Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Magnificent Monteluce Winery

Last weekend I wanted to get out of the house and enjoy the great weather. I spent some time searching for a quick day tip getaway and found a gem. Monteluce Winery  is located just outside of Dahlonega, GA and is one of the wineries on the North GA Wine Trail. The winery itself sits within a larger planned community modeled after an Italian landscape. The homes and the winery reflect the look of Tuscany, but with a slightly modern flair. The winery itself holds a restaurant Le Vigne, a tasting room, and a bar as well as several spaces for private events and dining.

The tasting room was beautiful, a perfect blend of old world style and modern touches. The bar had ample room for tasting and several cozy booths where you can cuddle up for a drink.

Speaking of drinks we did a tasting of the Monteluce wines, followed by a winery tour and then a special tasting of rare Italian wines. There were not too many people visiting this weekend so we were treated to a personal guide and tour as well as one on one attention for our tasting.

First the Monteluce wines. I have been to several wineries in GA and been dissappointed by the wine, this was not the case here. We tasted five wines, a Rose, a Chardonnay, a Viogner, a Merlot and a Cabernet. The Rose, and Cabernet were excellend. The Viogner was sweet, but would be a nice apertif. The Chardonnay is not oaked and therefore was one that I would like to drink, but not my favorite on the menu. The Merlot however lacked substance. Overall Monteluce has some excellent wine. According to our guide, Bill, the current wine is made from grapes from a nearby vineyard. Monteluce is only two years old so this fall will be the first full harvest. I can't wait to go back to try more.

Now for the Italians... Bill had chosen several oddball Italian wines for us to sample. We again worked our way from a light white toward the deep dark reds. While I love Italian wines, two stuck out as clear winners. The Casata Monfort Blanc de Sers 2006 was a fabulously flavorful blend of northern white varietals. The Tormaresca Neprica 2008 was also unexpected, and unusually complex blend of traditional red varietals put together in an interesting way.

Monteluce is a stunning place to get away from the city. You are less than an hour from a little piece of Italy. I am looking forward to returning to sample the Sunday Supper. More to come!

Monteluce Winery

501 Hightower Church Road
Dahlonega, GA 30533-2235
(706) 867-4061

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