Dan Vallish has been homebrewing beer as a hobby for more than 20 years. During that time, he often envisioned the perfect place to shop for his supplies. It would have all the specialty grains one could want, an onsite milling facility, and fresh yeast and hops. Ultimately, he made that vision a reality, founding Barley & Vine to be a one-stop shop for beer lovers and beer brewers, complete with a 27-tap growler bar with 26 craft beers and a cider on tap at all times.
Of course, Dan offers more than just disparate beer-brewing supplies. He teaches classes on the subject, or provides cloning kits for beginners, which contain all the ingredients to mimic Irish stouts or American pale ales. He also provides winemaking kits, which produce 6 gallons of fermented libations at a time. He even offers instructions and supplies to make cheese, so that his customers can pair their homemade beverages with the perfect snack.
Once you’ve bellied up to the cozy tasting room’s bar like an urbane, sophisticated cowboy, you’ll be treated to a few flavorful wafts and quaffs of Montaluce's finest 2008 and 2009 red and white wines, fermented from the carefully maintained fruits of its 35-acre vineyard. The 2008 chardonnay massages the nose with aromas of green apples, pear, and lemon zest mixed with smoke, walnut, and honeysuckle. And the 2008 risata (Italian for laughter) will put your palate into hysterics with notes of cherries, raspberries, cranberry, savory herbs, and just the faintest hint of Joker venom. Otherwise, go snorkeling for the dark chocolate notes buried in the oaky, deep violet, kraken-filled deeps of the cabernet sauvignon. Much like wine itself, your experience at Montaluce will be different depending on the exact point in time you partake of it. Gracious guests who arrive for their wine flight Tuesday through Saturday will be treated to a complimentary guided winery tour at 2 p.m. Likewise, Sunday sippers can tune their taste buds to live musical performances on the veranda from noon to 5 p.m.
Since its founding in 1983 in the foothills of Lookout Mountain, Georgia Winery has produced more than 20 fruit-forward small-batch wines. All of them begin life on the winery's 15 acres of vineyards as five varieties of muscadine vines bedded in organic fertilizer. At harvest time, these organic grapes are transferred to a facility where a blend of old-fashioned and new techniques slowly conjures each wine into being. Here, the juices are fermented for up to nine months at low temperatures?a process that preserves the fruit flavors?and then bottled by hand. Guests can get an up-close look at this unique process during winery tours or sample the end product at guided tastings by the sleek, modern bar. Meanwhile, a gift shop stocks each style of wine alongside gourmet foods and chocolates.
You don't have to travel to Spain or France to taste renowned wines?you simply have to show up at Talk of The Table. This wine-and-cheese boutique corrals more than 275 wines from various regions of the globe and displays them proudly on wooden shelves, in wine racks, and in the livers of wine racks. Twice a week, visitors can belly up to tastings inside the tasting room, savoring Sauvignon Blancs from around the world, Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley, and dry Rieslings from the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. The boutique pairs these wines with samples of 25 artisan cheeses including aged goat cheese and aged Parmesan.
Peaches aren't the only great fruit to come out of Georgia. That fact becomes evident on visits to Paradise Hills Winery and Hightower Creek Vineyards along the Georgia Wine Highway. Backdropped by the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, the wineries invite guests to taste the complex vintages that result from the region's well-drained mineral soils and combination of warm, dry summer days and cool mountain nights.
At Paradise Hills, patrons meander past rows of grapes and abominable snowmen on vacation back toward an all-wood mountain lodge set far back in the trees. Part of a larger resort, the winery tasting room shares space in the lodge with guest rooms and a full-service European spa. A short stroll brings you to the cabin rentals from rustic to luxury. In good weather, the outdoor deck is the perfect setting for sipping a cabernet sauvignon with hints of fruit or nibbling a picnic lunch.
At Hightower Creek Vineyards, live music often complements visitors' sips of wine. A full calendar of events brings everyone from bluegrass musicians to barbecue chefs to the hilly estate. On other days, guests can enjoy a picnic lunch amidst views of mists slowly rolling over the tops of the mountains. Paradise Hills Winery and High Tower Creek Vineyards
Whether wearing a horned Viking helmet?cheekily dubbed the official Wine-Making Hat?or working bareheaded, the team at Warm Springs Winery crafts an array of muscadine wines. The sweet red and off-dry varieties of muscadine are produced from grapes grown on the premises and purchased locally.