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A new tour business is pouring into North Georgia wine country
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Josh Walker, an Army veteran and realtor, plans to open a wine tour business in late May 2021. The experience involves private transportation to and from several North Georgia wineries. Photo courtesy Josh Walker

Visiting your favorite wineries in North Georgia wine country is about to become more convenient. 

Josh Walker, a U.S. Army veteran and local realtor, plans to launch North Georgia Wine Tours this spring. The experience includes private tours at three to four wineries, including Yonah Mountain Vineyards in Cleveland, Kaya Vineyard & Winery in Dahlonega, Wolf Mountain Vineyards in Dahlonega and others across the region. 

Walker, who is a University of North Georgia alumnus, said his interest in wine started at an early age. He grew up in Cleveland, next to the old BlackStock Vineyards, and watched as other wineries began to pop up in White County. 

In 2018, Walker said he felt inspired by the growth of wine in his hometown, and decided to start his own tour endeavor.

“I was getting more serious about opening the business right before COVID hit,” he said. “When that happened, I put everything on pause.”

As wineries slowly began to reopen with COVID-19 protocols in 2020, Walker decided to jump back on the horse. He aims to get the business up and running by Memorial Day weekend.

“Even though it’s not open, I’ve been getting calls and messages from people wanting to book tours,” he said. “At that time, I was like, ‘It’s go-time.’”

Walker describes his business as a luxury wine tour and transportation company. Customers have the option of booking a private experience for up to 14 guests and visiting three to four wineries of their choice. 

Walker said he partnered up with a local antique business, Velvet’s Vintage in Cleveland, and plans to use the shop’s parking lot as a meeting area. People have the option of either leaving their cars in the lot and starting the tour from there, or having the van pick them up at a desired spot within the area for an additional cost. Local private tours are $550 for two to eight guests and $850 for nine to 14 guests. 

People can also opt for an Escape the Mountain Tour for $900, which includes pickup and drop-off from a location in the Atlanta area or of a similar distance from White County. 

Each tour encompasses transportation to and from wineries and the pickup spot. The pricing does not include wine or food. As Walker drives people to their destination in a van, he will share a bit of the winery’s history, as well as an overview on the type of wine they serve. 

“I’m excited about spending the days at the wineries and getting people to experience the beautiful wineries that have popped up in North Georgia,” Walker said. 

Each wine tour will not exceed seven hours. Walker said most will last from around 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and people will be able to grab lunch at one of the wineries on the tour. The business also provides transportation for bachelorette parties, weddings and other private events.

For more information about North Georgia Wine Tours, contact Walker at 706-725-0049 or northgawinetours@gmail.com

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