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Monday, July 23, 2012 - 2:57am

Georgia: New Hot Spot For Vineyards

“Georgia Grown” is a label adorning more and more wine bottles across the country. The Peach State is a new hot spot for up-and-coming vineyards and award winning wine.

North Georgia is now home to nearly 20 wineries and vineyards. With its high elevation, warm temperatures, red clay and aged granite soil, the region is well suited for producing varietals most often associated with Europe—like France’s Cabernet and Malbec and Italy’s Sangiovese.

Liz Green just launched Hightower Creek Vineyards in Hiawassee last month and sales are taking off:

“We think Georgia is an up and coming hub for the wine industry because of the climate here as well as the soil. And our wines are going over well, everyone likes our Deliverance wine, it’s named after the movie, because it was filmed up in this area.”

Jay Markwalter is Director of Tourism for Dahlonega and Lumpkin County, home to about a quarter of North Georgia’s wineries.  He says they’ve launched a campaign to brand the area as the ‘heart of Georgia wine country,’ bringing in more business as the state’s premier wedding destination:

“Collectively, these six wineries are making a tremendous economic impact with about 300 weddings a year here.”

The state Agriculture Department is planning to launch an advertising campaign to attract more tourists to Georgia wine country.