"Oh, what is it?", I ask.
"If I tell you, it won't be a surprise anymore."
"No, I'll just be surprised NOW."
Wolf Mountain Winery in north Georgia on Saturday. I had visited the winery for a tasting last summer when I went on a tour of three north Georgia wineries from LivingSocial with one of my sisters. (I've uploaded my pictures from that day to Flickr.)
Wolf Mountain is owned by the Boegner family. Karl Boegner was the original manager of Chateau Elan in Braselton and you can see that same attentiveness to detail and the experience at Wolf Mountain. In fact, I think they do a better job at making your time at the winery feel like a special occasion. It's definitely a smaller winery, but they make up for it in wonderful ways. I hesitate to call it "off the beaten path", because it's a pretty busy and well known winery, but it's not the same kind of resort destination.
Anyways, let's talk about our day! Look at that gorgeous building. That's the cafe and tasting room. You have to walk up the incredibly steep driveway to get there from the parking lot. My calves burned. But the walk is totally worth it, because at the top you have a gorgeous view of the valley and the vines themselves.
The tasting room is a beautiful glass enclosed patio that overlooks the vineyard. You can go out to sit a tables to enjoy your glass, or stand at the dark wood bar where they pour. My husband and I shared a tasting flight of eight wines for $20. They tell you this will equal about two glasses, but the pours are generous, so its really just a bit more than that. I won't get into too much detail about the wines, since eight is a lot to keep track of in your head (I think it's tacky to take notes while I'm eating and drinking in public. I also think it's tacky to snap pictures with my phone, but my blog would be pretty boring without that. Sorry good taste and propriety.) But Wolf Mountain is an award winning wine maker and none of the wines offered disappointed. Our server was knowledgeable and chatty and though he was busy with several other patrons, I never felt rushed or unattended. We could have taken longer, but we had a lunch reservation at the cafe upstairs.
The cafe is another beautiful, light, airy room overlooking the valley. We had a table on the patio, which was perfect with this early fall weather we are having. We started with a tomato mozzarella spread with pita chips. The cheese spread was savory and delicious. The pita chips were thick toast points that were lightly fried, not baked. It makes a chip that's both chewy and crispy. It was a little much for two people, but we ate it all anyways. We're both gluttons for good cheese and bread.
I ordered the crab cake sandwich special. It was a large crab cake that included kernels of grilled corn, but otherwise very little filler and a house made mustard sauce. It came with fries, which were just fries. Very few places put effort into their fries. The bun overpowered the crab cake, so I just ate the cake by itself and left the bread. It was a pretty tasty crab cake by itself and I'd probably order it like that if I saw it on their menu.
I paired my sandwich with a glass of their Plentitude white wine. This is a 70/30 blend of Chardonnay and Viognier grapes. It's dry and crisp and just the sort of thing I like drinking on a pleasant almost fall day. I've had it before and I think it's about a perfect wine for this time of year.
My husband ordered a smoked brisket sandwich which was served with a horse radish sauce on soft focaccia bread. This was a pretty amazing beef brisket. Mr. Northside is from Texas and they know their smoked beef down there. So if his semi-hysterical natterings while eating are any indication, this is really good brisket. You should eat it.
All the prices are pretty moderate, especially considering this is a "fancy" place. This isn't a cheap date, but it's not going to break your piggy bank either.
After lunch, we walked around the grounds again and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. Everything seems to have been placed to give you just the perfect view or backdrop wherever you go at Wolf Mountain. Like I said before, attention to detail.
So yeah. My husband pretty much wins at surprises. Aren't you jealous now?