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How people can drink wine, tour vineyards, support journalism — at the same time
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People can catch a glimpse of Kaya Vineyard and Winery’s mountainous views during the Times’ North Georgia wine tour and tasting. (Courtesy Horn Photography & Design)

Cheese isn’t the only thing that pairs well with wine.

The Times has decided to promote its journalism with the launch of its first North Georgia wine tour and tasting on Thursday, June 27.

Wine enthusiasts can hop on an air-conditioned coach to embark on a trip to Montaluce Winery and Kaya Vineyard and Winery.

The group will gather at The Times at 9:45 a.m., which is located at 345 Green St. in Gainesville. People will arrive at Montaluce Winery around 11 a.m. for a guided tour and wine tasting.

When people enter the grounds of the Dahlonega winery, they’re greeted with Tuscan-style villas and 13.5 acres of vineyard space.

“It’s a little slice of Tuscany up here,” Shelby Everts, Montaluce Winery’s event manager said. “Instead of traveling to Italy, people can stay here in the U.S.”

North Georgia wine tour and tasting

When: 9:45 a.m. June 27

Where: Meet at The Times, 345 Green St., Gainesville

How much: $150, includes transportation, lunch, tastings and tours

More info: Lori Maxim, 770-535-6323, or Eventbrite

The winery grows 11 different grape varietals. Everts said its current most popular wine is the Tempranillo, a full-bodied red aged for 18 months in oak barrels.

“It’s flying off the shelves,” Everts said. “We’re getting in a few more this year as well, and we’ll have an apple wine for the fall.”

Sweet Magnolias from Gainesville will cater the day’s lunch, then people will head over to Kaya Vineyard and Winery for a tasting and tour.

Katie Trammell, Kaya Vineyard and Winery’s tasting room manager, said the venue offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“You don’t really see it until you walk into our tasting room,” she said. “You can see the mountains and our vineyard. It’s real romantic.”

All of the wine at the vineyard is grown, bottled and produced on-site, Trammell said.

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Kaya Vineyard and Winery offers a tasting room with 20 different types of wine. (Courtesy Horn Photography & Design)

The location offers 14 grape varietals and 20 different wines.

Trammell said the top seller now includes the cabernet, Oola.

The winery excursion will end at 5 p.m. by dropping the tour group off at The Times.

Lori Maxim will guide the tour experience, and entertain attendees with the history of North Georgia wine making.

“If you love wine, our goal is to help you discover good wine from local vineyards,” Maxim said. “Enjoy wine tasting without the hassle of driving, no designated drivers needed.”

Norman Baggs, The Times’ general manager, said in order to continue to become financially viable, the company has looked to other opportunities like concerts, special events and tours.

“It’s no secret the traditional business model for newspapers doesn’t work anymore,” he said.

The winery tour provides another way of diversifying the company’s offerings. If the first one proves successful, The Times will offer other tours for area residents.

“The wine tour is going to be a lot of fun, and the end result will be continued quality journalism from The Times,” Baggs said.

People can purchase tickets for $150 per person by visiting gainsvilletimes.com/winetasting. The price includes transportation, lunch, wine tastings, wine tours and gratuity for the tour guide.

For more information contact Maxim at 770-535-6323.

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