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 Wine Highway 3 Georgia ladies warm their wine galsses at Sharp Mtn Winery

Georgia ladies wear wine eyeglasses at Sharp Mountain Winery. PHOTOS BY
WAYNE CRAWFORD

Wine Growers Association 2017 Wine Highway

Habersham hosts 25th annual Winefest, May 6

By Wayne Crawford

Habersham Vineyards and Winery will host the 25th annual Winefest at its tasting room and production facility in Helen, noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 6.

This event brings together about a dozen wineries from around the state. Tickets are $30 per person for those who will drink wine; there is a $10 nondrinker entrance fee. Under 16, entrance is free.

There will also be a Kentucky Derby Hat competition, as the race will be that day. So, ladies, plan ahead since you will be outside for a good portion of the tasting.

When I attended last year it was great to travel to one location and enjoy so many different wines. You will find all the details at http://habershamwinery.com/product/2017-winefest-ticket-at-habersham-winery/.

 Wine Highway 5 Chateau Meichtry outside

Sun and wine combine to provide an optimal setting at Chateau Meichtry.

WAG 2017 Wine Highway

Twenty wineries across North Georgia participated in the Wine Growers Association of Georgia 2017 Wine Highway, March 25 to April 2.

This popular tasting event was a great success, with 1,521 passports purchased. Except for some intermittent rain, most days were bright and sunny. The 20 wineries on the trail account for 222 acres of vines planted, producing 1,078 tons of juice in 2016.

Among these wineries is the oldest active winery in Georgia, Habersham Vineyards and Winery, started in 1980, and three vineyards started in 1995: Crane Creek Vineyards, Tiger Mountain Vineyards and Sharp Mountain Winery. All add exceptional winemaking expertise.

Wine Highway 2 Tiger Mtn Vineyards

Musicians provide entertainment at Tiger Mountain Vineyards.

There is a broad cross-section of varietals grown among the 20 wineries, but the primary grapes include cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, cabernet franc, Chambourcin, Cynthiana/Norton and petit manseng. With cold fronts challenging growers for several weeks, winter into spring, almost all the vineyards were pruning vines while customers were enjoying the juice.

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