- reported by Gabby McMillen
Offering a sense of home with their homegrown wine, visitors can enjoy a piece of vineyard heaven once sip at a time at Hightower Creek Vineyards in Hiawassee, Ga.
Liz Green, owner of Hightower Creek Vineyards, says the idea of owning a vineyard has always seemed fun and adventurous to her and her husband.
Their love of wine led to her husband making his own in their basement.
Green continues, “My husband has always wanted to farm and we have loved visiting
wineries around the country. Starting our own winery seemed like a lot of fun,”
Hightower Creek Vineyards has seven signature wines made on site, ranging from sweet reds to tart whites. It’s made from 3,200 vines with seven different varieties of grapes.
Green stresses the unique aspect of her vineyard is it’s a winery based off of family values. “We want to give [our visitors] a sense of coming home and sitting on the front porch with a glass of wine,” Green explains. “It’s a family business. I’m the manager of the wine tasting, my husband is the manager of the vineyard, my daughter does [public relations] for us, and my son helps make the wine.”
Guests can take their glasses and enjoy the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on adeck attached to the winery. “The deck has picnic tables and chairs where [visitors] can take their wine and eat a nice lunch. We also have picnic tables on the premises. [The winery] has a park-like setting so that it is family-friendly,” Green says.
Since the Greens have lived in Hiawassee for over 18 years, they decided to bring the wine country home to them. She says, “ We own a Napa Auto store here in Hiawassee and have over 10 acres of land. For us it made sense to start our vineyard at home.”
Green hopes soon they will be able to expand their business by offering different cheeses at wine tastings and having special events twice a month. “I would love to have a band or duo come out a couple of times a month and play as we have wine tastings. We would also offer hors d’voeuvres for our guests.”
Green says she is still in negotiations for finding a good, yet reasonable cheese seller. However, she feels that the future is bright for her fledgling winery.
Despite the hard work it takes to keep the winery running, she says the experience has been very rewarding, starting with buying and planting their own grapes. “Seeing everything come together and watching our grapes being turned into wine makes the whole process a real payoff. We love how we can meet new people and see them enjoy our wine.”
Hightower Creek Vineyards offers a wine tasting tour for $5; adding a souvenir glass to the wine tasting makes the total cost $10. Visitors can also have wine by the glass for $6. One bottle of wine ranges from $14.99 to $23.99.
photos courtesy of Hightower Creek Vineyards