Grapes in Georgia’s vineyards have been growing all summer, and they’re now fully grown, brilliant in color, ripe and ready for harvest. For wine growers, harvest is the most exciting time of the year, because this is when grapes are turned into wine. Commonly referred to as “crush,” the grapes are quickly picked when the temperature and the grape’s sugar and acid content are just right for each variety to make the best desired wine. After picking, grapes are crushed to release the juice used to begin the winemaking process.
Georgia’s winemaking history dates back to at least the 19th century. In fact, in the 1800s, Georgia ranked sixth in wine production in the United States. However, Prohibition ended the wine industry and the wine production didn’t begin again until the 1980s, when the state’s two oldest wineries, Chateau Elan and Habersham Vineyards were established.
Today, Georgia’s wine industry is the gem of the South, with more than 50 wineries and growing. In fact, Georgia is the No. 1 producer in the country of Muscadine grapes, used to make jams, sauces and sweet wines. Georgia’s most common white wine grape varieties are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio. The state’s most common red wines are Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin and Norton, the oldest native grape in the United States.
September is the perfect time for you and your friends and family to visit Georgia’s many wineries at the height of their beauty to see and experience winemaking in action. Many Georgia wineries offer wine tours where you can learn how wine is made, from “vine to bottle,” with wine tastings along the way. Several local wineries offer volunteer opportunities to pick grapes in the vineyards and will provide a delicious complimentary lunch with wine tastings afterward. Some Georgia wineries offer classes to learn about wines, food pairing and even how to make your own custom-blended bottle of wine, with a wine label you can design.
For a complete list of all Georgia wineries, visit https://www.exploregeorgia.org/list/georgia-wine-flavor-tour.
The list provides a map of Georgia wineries by region, along with winery websites and contact information.
For information on Georgia wine country group tours or customizing tours for special occasions like girlfriend getaways, wedding parties, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, corporate events or social groups, visit www.gafarmtours.com. To book a Georgia wine country group tour, contact Georgia Farm and Garden Tours owner and operator Charmaine Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-575-7643.
As a tour operator and owner of GA Farm & Garden Tours, Inc., Charmaine Jackson creates unique and captivating tour experiences for your group. Connect with her at Charmaine@gafarmtours.com