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Find a unique taste of Georgia at local wineries
North Georgia’s wine is among the best in the country, and even though there aren’t any grapes on the vines, there are still plenty of reasons to stop by a local vineyard this time of year. - photo by Tom Reed

Just because the grapes have been picked and the trees have lost their leaves doesn’t mean the season has ended for North Georgia’s wineries.

While many do close in the beginning of January — some to take a much needed vacation, others to do some maintenance — the final days before Christmas are actually a busy time.

Because, as many patrons said on a recent trip to some Lumpkin County wineries, if you can get your holiday shopping done and taste some wines in the process, why not?

Alexis Neal is one such wine enthusiast. She said she had been to some wineries recently with some friends, and was back with her husband for a second round of gifts.

"I came up with a bunch of girlfriends — we had fun and I brought back lots of wine," Neill said while trying some wine at Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega. "Now we’re back to buy more."

That same gift-giving sentiment was echoed by Dianne Sullivan, who was tasting wine at Frogtown Cellars, just down the street. Sullivan and her husband, who live in Lawrenceville, own a second home in Dahlonega mainly for its proximity to the wineries.

And, because Christmas is around the corner, they decided to stop at some vineyards to get some bottles as gifts, too.

The wintertime is Doug Paul’s favorite time to visit a vineyard, he said. "They’re so symmetrical ... You get to see the lay of the land," said Paul, owner of Three Sisters Vineyards.

"It’s very interesting to come to vineyards all throughout the seasons. There’s so many interesting things to look at."

January and February is bottling season for most vineyards, and in March many wineries bring out their latest round of wines.

And while the crowds are less during the winter, the wines are still available for tasting said Karl Boegner, owner and winemaker at Wolf Mountain Vineyard in Dahlonega.

During the winter people can come "just to see the vineyards while they’re sleeping," Boegner said.

North Georgia Wineries

Blackstock Vineyards & Winery, Town Creek Church Road, Dahlonega, 706-219-2789. Tasting room open noon-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Monday-Wednesday, Jan. 1 and 2.

Chateau Élan Winery, 100 Tour De France, Braselton, 800-233-9463. Tastings Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 12:30-6 p.m. Closed Christmas day.

Crane Creek Vineyards & Winery, 916 Crane Creek Road, Young Harris, 706-379-1236.Through December, the tasting room is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but is open noon-5 p.m. Monday and closed Tuesday. January-March the tasting room is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Jan. 1.

Frogtown Cellars,3300 Damascus Church Road, Dahlonega, 706-865-0687. Open noon- 5 p.m Monday-Friday, noon-6 p.m. Saturday, 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Habersham Winery, 7025 S. Main St., Helen, 770-983-1973. Tastings 10 a.m.-6 p.m Monday-Saturday, 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday. Closed Tuesday.

Montaluce Winery & Estates, 501 Hightower Church Road, Dahlonega, 706-896-1680. Holiday Open House on Saturday celebrates the soft opening of the winery and resort. Call 770-444-0000 or e-mail for more information.

Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery, 439 Vineyard Way, Dahlonega, 706-865-0359. Tastings 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Winery reopens Feb. 2 with its annual Wine and Chocolate Lovers Celebration

Tiger Mountain Vineyards & Winery. Wines from this Rabun County vineyard are available for tasting at Naturally Georgia in Dahlonega. Open noon-6 p.m. Thursday, noon-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Call 706-864-0832 for more information.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery, 180 Wolf Mountain Trail, Dahlonega, 706-867-9862. Closed through Feb. 8, but will reopen for tastings noon-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Feb. 9.