Montaluce Winery is located about an hour and a half north of Atlanta. Not only is there a winery, but there's also a restaurant which overlooks the beautiful vineyards. The Italian-themed community is a welcome escape from city life.
Arriving early in the afternoon affords visitors the chance to wander around the Montaluce estate, take a tour of the winery, and sample some wines. Most tours are conducted by Bill, the resident sommelier. Learn about the different equipment used in the wine-making process and the difference between making white and red wine. Free tours are offered on weekends.
Plan to spend two to two and a half hours between walking around the vineyards and taking pictures as well as the winery tour. While it's important to wear comfortable clothing and shoes for walking, make sure you dress in business casual clothing, as the restaurant, Le Vigne, is rather upscale.
Montaluce wines — Photo courtesy of Atlanta Restaurant Blog
Interestingly enough, Montaluce and Le Vigne don’t just offer their own reds, but reds from select other wineries as well. So, opt to try some flights or tastings: one Montaluce and one of their recommendations. These are 2oz portions of each of 5 wines per tasting, which come with various cheeses. The four cheeses paired are unique and served up with an accompanying honey or jelly. While the restaurant interior is indeed beautiful, so is the patio. If the weather allows for it, definitely sit on the patio while you enjoy the wine and cheese plate.
Dish at Le Vigne — Photo courtesy of Atlanta Restaurant Blog
After the wine sampling is complete, head inside to dine. The restaurant focuses heavily on locally-sourced food and the menu changes daily; it's set up for a 3-course prix fixe offering. The pork and trout dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful. Desserts of chocolate cake and blood orange pudding are equally fantastic. And, having them served fireside is a wonderful bonus.
Pricing at Montaluce and Le Vigne is very reasonable when considering the wine tasting and a 3-course meal. The winery is a fantastic day trip from Atlanta if you're looking for a short getaway, and a great spot to spend the afternoon it you really want to impress a date. It's also a terrific choice when celebrating something special. There are even plans to build on-site lodging, which will soon make it the perfect weekend escape from Atlanta.