To celebrate our first long weekend of the semester, my roommates and I decided to head a few hours north for a little relaxing getaway. We stayed in my roommate’s adorable house on Lake Chatuge, which is tucked away in the vineyard-filled mountains of North Georgia. When we arrived on Friday night, we decided to stay in and cook a delicious meal by the fireplace to conserve our energy for a full afternoon of wine tasting the next day. After eating homemade fajitas for dinner, we delved into chips, cheese dip, and margaritas to fill us up while watching one of my favorite Netflix shows, Orange is the New Black. I’m not sure how, but we even managed to roast and eat s’mores over the fireplace for dessert. Falling asleep that night was easier than ever, with a full stomach, comfortable margarita buzz, and dreams of wineries floating through my head.
The next morning, we ate a quick breakfast and piled on the layers to keep us warm at the wineries we planned to visit that afternoon. The first winery we encountered was called Tiger Mountain Winery, which welcomed us with a bright atmosphere and cheery staff. All of the wines that the staff supplied were dressed with their own adorable Tiger Mountain labels and we were happy to discover that they tasted just as good as the bottles looked. For the tasting, we were given ten different wines to try, including one white, one rose’, and eight different reds. I usually like to drink white wines more often than reds because they don’t make me as sleepy, but I’ve been on a “red kick” for a while now and couldn’t contain my excitement to try so many types of red at this tasting. My favorite wines from Tiger Mountain ended up being two reds, with the Rabun Red as my favorite and the Merlot in a close second place. The Rabun Red was so delicious that we all chose to buy a bottle of it to take back home to Athens. When the tasting was finished, we walked around the beautiful surrounding vineyards until our hunger for lunch set in. We found a cute local grill called University Joint near the winery and gobbled down a delicious meal before heading out to the second winery on our list, Crane Creek.
We arrived at Crane Creek shortly before 5 pm, with our mouths nearly watering for some more delectable wine. This winery was a bit larger yet more rustic than the previous one, making the atmosphere perfect for some tastings and relaxation. We were each given a list to choose six wines from for the tasting, along with plain crackers to cleanse our palettes between each taste. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the wines we chose and ended up each buying a glass of our favorite to settle down with at a table for the rest of our time there. The cozy atmosphere was the perfect compliment to our glasses of red wine, and it was a great way to chat together with school stresses aside. Before leaving the winery, we finished our glasses and headed outside to take some pictures with our complimentary cups of mulled wine to ease the cold mountain air. The vineyard was beautiful even though the grapes weren’t growing at the time, and we decided to take our time to get loads of pictures together with the surroundings. After watching the sun set over the mountains, we headed back to the lake house with a relaxing wine buzz flowing through our veins.
I’m on the far left!
Sunday morning, we woke up fulfilled, relaxed, and slightly sad that our getaway was over, but ready to get back to Athens. It was nice to arrive at home knowing that we had today to catch up on schoolwork before the week really started. The entire weekend was wonderful, and if you live anywhere near a winery, I highly suggest taking a day or two to let your hair down and relax with your friends. Whether you know it or not, a weekend vacation is always a necessity and you should never feel too guilty to take advantage of a long weekend when the opportunity arises!
Three of us acting silly in the vineyard
The pretty sunset over Crane Creek Vineyards