When I was invited up to Wolf Mountain Vineyards to join a crew for a dosage trial of Georgia’s first méthode Champenoise sparkling wine, I was curious, but a little pessimistic of what I’d taste “up in them hills”. My previous experience with Georgia wines was never more than pleasant, often far less.
As mentioned above, Wolf Mountain’s sparkling wines are the only méthode Champenoise / “traditional method” bubbles made in Georgia. To be honest, I didn’t know there were any sparkling wines (Champenoise or non) being made in Georgia. Méthode Champenoise production is extremely labor intensive and expensive, but the quality difference between the cheaper alternatives can be huge.
At Wolf Mountain Vineyards, we were given an overview of the property, their grapes and their wines. While learning about the winery we sampled their “Plénitude” blend. A Chardonnay / Viognier blend that has seen no oak aging. Crisp, bright, floral w/ medium body. decent acidity, and a medium finish. This was a refreshing wine. Cosmic? No, but this would make a fine summer-sipper, and it beat the plonk I’m currently sipping on a flight home from Central America. This wine is worth a try and was a good start to see what can be done in Dixie. I’ll bring home a few on my future visits to share with friends.
We moved from the tasting bar into Wolf Mountain’s beautiful dining room. This is a great space. Incredible views, comfortable-- Great looks out to the mountains and over the vines- Wow. I felt bad for not coming here before.
As we sat, we were led through the real reason we came. To try their sparkling wines, but more importantly to have a dosage trial of their three final sparkling wines. In sparkling wine production, “dosage” or a topping off of still wine, is often added to both make up for the loss of wine after disgorgement, as well as to add body, color, and a dose of sweetness. So often, before a final blend is determined, the product is narrowed down to several wines with varying levels of the house’s dosage.
We sampled three wines- each with 2 levels of dosage. A Blanc de Blancs (BdB) Brut, a Rose, and a Demi-Sec.
Wolf Mountain Vineyards sparkling wines were refreshing on their own. They were toasty, vigorously effervescent, and had decent levels of acid. They really exceeded my expectations. The crew was close to unanimous on the dosage preferences.
Served along the side of each pair was an attractive sampling plate- Each tier of the plate had a pairing matched to each wine. The highlight was an onsite, vine-smoked salmon served with their rose sparkling wine. I’d be happy to serve that to anyone.
After our tasting, we got a great tour of the facilities and the winery. These are passionate, committed people, that know good wine, and are working their hardest to make the best possible juice.
If you haven’t made it up Wolf Mountain Vineyards, make a trip. They do lunch and brunches (check the web for hours) and host a ton of special events. I will be back for sure. In fact, when it came time to leave, I contemplated breaking free from the pack, and going AWOL through the vines with a new sense of Georgia pride....
180 Wolf Mountain Trail
Dahlonega, GA 30533