Our Winery visit to Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, GA
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
One thing we have found out while doing this wine page, Georgia has some talented winemakers and the wine that comes from this state, can be delicious. We were trying to figure out some wineries to visit for an upcoming Georgia Wine weekend. We reached out to another amazing winemaker in Georgia, Sean over at Cloudland Winery to see if he could recommend any wineries to visit while we there for the weekend. Sean recommended Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, GA. This winery sits at 2000 feet elevation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia and is minutes away from Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest peak.
We stayed in Marietta, GA the night before and got up the next morning to head two hours north of Atlanta to the mountains of Young Harris, GA. A visit to Crane Creek Vineyards could easily be done as a day trip for people coming from the Atlanta area. The drive is beautiful, and scenery is breathtaking.
We had been communicating with husband and wife winemakers Peter and Jess about our visit to Crane Creek Vineyards and we were excited to meet them. You know how it is when you are communicating with someone over email or text and you get a good feeling. The kind of feeling like, we cannot wait to meet these people, or we are going to get along well. That is the feeling we had from our initial communication with Peter and Jess about visiting Crane Creek Vineyards and the second we met them, our feelings were right! Peter and Jess walked up to us with their new puppy named moo and just felt like a breath of fresh air. These two were some of the kindest and down to earth people we met over the weekend.
Crane Creek Vineyards started back in 1995 by Peter’s father Eric. Eric spent many years learning to enjoy wine while he was stationed in Northern Italy as an army officer and this where his love of wine originated. Eric came back to America and in 1995 planted his first vines which were Chardonel (50% Seyval blanc and 50% Chardonnay) and Seyval blanc, both are hybrid wine grape varietals used to make white wines.
From those first vines being planted in 1995, Crane Creek Vineyards has grown into something incredibly special! With Peter and Jess taking over the winemaking responsibilities at Crane Creek with Peter’s father Eric] over seeing things. They are now growing over 12 varietals which consist of Hybrid and Vitis Vinifera grapes and have grown into a special Boutique Winery that is making some great wine. Because the vineyard sits at 2000 feet elevation, the wine produced there has some special tasting elements that a vineyard sitting at 1000 feet elevation might not have.
We spent the first part of the day walking through the vineyard and talking about the houses on the property. The tasting room for the winery is the house Peter grew up as a child and it was transformed into the winery’s tasting room many years ago. Because of how poplar the winery has become, they are now in the middle of redoing another house on the property to be a new and much larger tasting room which will be ready by spring 2021. This new tasting room is located up a hill that overlooks the entire property with stunning views of the vineyard, a relaxing pond and the winery itself where all the wine making magic happens.
There is also a classic French restaurant located on the property called Paris and Company at Crane Creek Vineyards. This is an independently owned and operated restaurant offering incredible dining and take out options that you can enjoy while picnicking in the vineyard. We ordered the Croque Monsieur, a classic Café classic, Transformed into a rustic masterpiece. Baked ham & imported Gruyere cheese on artisan bread and oozing with velvety Dijon Bechamel. YUM! It was just as unbelievable as the description sounds.
The day winded down with a wine tasting that blew our minds. After talking all day with Peter and Jess about everything that goes into making the wine at Crane Creek vineyards we can’t speak highly enough when it comes to how good it is and we hope everyone watches the video we are posting along with this blog. We highlight the history of the vineyard, the hybrid varietals being grown there, the shear beauty of this vineyard and we show the tasting that Kelsey did with Peter and Jess. Worth watching for some great info!
Listening to Peter and Jess describe the wine that were sampling, we could hear their passion for wine making. The flavors and the profile of the varietals we tried were some of the best wines we have tasted. Winemaking is hard work and there is a lot that goes into it. From picking the grapes, fermenting and aging it, label and bottling it. Hours and hours of time go into the whole process. Peter and Jess are true artists when it comes to making wine at Crane Creek Vineyards and you can taste it with every sip.
We cannot speak more highly of Crane Creek Vineyards. Please check out all their wine options at website www.cranecreekvineyards.com. They ship to 48 states currently and it is worth placing an order.
You need to visit this place!