One of the best ways to get away for the day without having to go too far when you live in Atlanta is to go to a North Georgia winery…or multiple. Montaluce Winery & Restaurant located in Dahlonega offers an all around great experience and is one of my favorites. Upon arrival it is as if you have been transported to the rolling hills of Tuscany with lovely vistas of grapevines, Tuscan-style architecture and lush green hills.
The Montaluce experience can be tailored for what you are looking for. You can do anything from popping over for a glass of wine to taking part in a deluxe private tasting during which a sommelier will guide you on a 2-3 hour winery tour followed by a six-pour wine tasting paired with cheese & charcuterie. Montaluce also offers wine hikes every day at 12pm and 4pm which is an awesome way to enjoy the outdoors on a 1.8 mile hike and then treat yourself to a 5 pour tasting.
While you may choose to visit Montaluce for the winery, do not miss out on the restaurant! Believe it or not I get more excited about the food than the wine when I visit. The menu changes seasonally as it is farm-focused and features locally sourced ingredients. If you can, make a reservation prior to visiting because the restaurant does get busy. I have really enjoyed everything I have had at the restaurant. My two favorites on the winter menu are the Chef’s Delight which is a Havarti grilled cheese with house-made truffle honey served with Tuscan tomato soup and the Bison Burger which includes caramelized onions, grainy mustard, aged cheddar and bibbed lettuce served with fries. So delicious! Also, if you have the Atlanta Dining Out passbook you can use it here to to get one entrée free (up to $20).
Before you head out be sure to stop at the Montaluce Market to grab your favorite bottle of wine and other merchandise. Two of my favorite items that they sell are the salt scrub and wine bottle candles.
If you want to make it a weekend staycation, Montaluce has 4 privately owned villas available for rent, but keep in mind they do have a two night minimum.
Montaluce is truly a great place to escape the city at any time of year and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. For more information about Montaluce visit the winery website.