Montaluce Winery and Le Vigne Restaurant-Dahlonega, Georgia and a recipe for Berkshire Pork Meatballs

Montaluce Winery and Le Vigne Restaurant-Dahlonega, Georgia and a recipe for Berkshire Pork Meatballs

The weather in the South has been absolutely gorgeous lately, so rather than spend a day on the computer, what better way to spend a beautiful Autumn day than to go on a road trip!  This time we headed to a North Georgia winery, Montaluce Winery & Restaurant.

Here we go again!

Now, I know that you might be thinking…Georgia wine…who would travel anywhere to drink some of that? Well, let me tell you, lots of people! Dahlonega, Georgia is home to several wineries and it has become quite the popular place to visit.

Wine tastings. I’ll have some!

The day we arrived, Montaluce was incredibly busy with wine tastings and visitors. Montaluce is also the home of Le Vigne, their on-site restaurant. Le Vigne and the Executive Chef, Steve Hartman (formerly Chef de Cuisine at The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee), were recently featured in the October 2010 issue of Southern Living Magazine. (Update – They now have a different restaurant and chef, but maintain a similar focus on local and seasonal foods.)

Main dining room at Le Vigne

Of course, we came to drink some wine and have lunch, but I also wanted to sit down with Rob Beecham to talk about Montaluce. (Update – The Beechams were the previous owners of the winery.)

Chatting on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.

I first met Rob, who is a Partner in Montaluce with his dad and brother, at Stir It 28 in Atlanta (this was a Haiti relief effort by food bloggers). I saw him at several more food, wine and blogging events after that. In fact, it is Rob who got me obsessed with Twitter.  (Should I thank him or never speak to him again?!) Rob has become such a great friend that he was one of the major sponsors for the Atlanta Food Blog Forum. Those folks sure liked that Georgia wine!

Chef David Mitchell and Executive Chef Steve Hartman

Montaluce sits on four hundred acres in the North Georgia mountains. The vineyard occupies forty acres of that land. The northern border of the property is the Chattahoochee National Forest and the western border is the Etowah River. The river’s headwaters flow down from the North and the National Forest.

The Etowah River where it borders Montaluce.

I can certainly see why they fell in love with this piece of property. The views from the terrace of Le Vigne over the vineyards and the rolling hills are truly breathtaking.  I felt like I was in Tuscany. With a few more glasses of wine, I just might have actually been there!

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