Wine Importing and Marketing Services

Welcome to Georgia’s Dahlonega Plateau AVA

Sunset at Three Sisters Vineyard in Dahlonega, GA. / Image Courtesy of Jason T. Barker

Affectionately called “Napa of the South,” the Dahlonega (pronounced ‘duh-lah-neeguh’) Plateau AVA offers wine lovers a dose of Southern comfort. Tucked away about an hour north of Atlanta, the Dahlonega Plateau is one of two American viticultural areas in the state of Georgia—the other being the Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA shared with North Carolina.

Being a plateau, the AVA sits just above 1,500 feet of elevation, allowing for adequate sun exposure to help with ripening and good drainage through the clay-loam soils, which provide increased flavor concentration in the grapes grown. But over the last few years, growers have been met with climate change-related challenges. “Climate has changed the growing season slightly, making it more volatile due to warm Januarys and Februarys, then late freezes in March and even April,” explains Sam McDuffie, director of tourism for the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Bureau. Thus, vineyard managers must be very meticulous and prepare for these late surges that occur during budburst each vintage. Luckily, these seasonal frost events have not greatly impacted grape or wine quality.