-Web site: Frogtown Cellars
-Directions: Click (about 95 miles each way from Rome)
-Separate tasting room is even closer: Can't make it to Dahlonega? Try Frogtown's exclusive tasting room, Frogtown Cellars at Corks & Crumbs on the Ellijay square.
5 Southside Square, 706.698.9463
About the winery: Three of Dahlonega's wineries are just minutes from each other. Frogtown Cellars is almost contiguous to Three Sisters. But the difference in the venues is just about as plain as red wine and white wine.
Frogtown has one of the best settings of any of the North Georgia wineries and the view for the expansive back deck is spectacular. The campus is just as nice. You enter across a small bridge leading from the parking lot. Below are the traditional coy and other "fountain fish." Inside is an earthy toned tasting room that doubles as a serving area as well for special events. Frogtown has one of the larger tasting bars and includes a side station or two for overflow. Like several of the wineries, Frogtown offers some food service, including a Sunday brunch (two seatings) and a panini bar open from noon to 3:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Special events: Our visit was on Valentine's Day and the dining room was set up for a special (and sold out) Valentine's Dinner. Frogtown followed it with a special brunch service on Feb. 15. The campus also is available for wedding receptions and related events.
What we liked: The view and the large deck. Also nice: some of the signage between Three Sisters and Frogtown, a plus for first-timers touring Dahlonega wineries.
What was different: The conversation, or lack thereof. The pourers were not as free-flowing with background on each sample poured. The sample list was detailed so we knew what we were getting. Still, it is the conversastion and even education that makes a tasting room special as well as the wine itself. Again, it was Valentine's Day and the place was busy so the quick-serve mentality can be excused.
What they're pouring: Frogtown features an extensive list of wines, including two we liked: Talking Rock and Tannat. Click Wines
Sunday samples, sales OK, too: Our biggest surprise aside from the overall enjoyment of the trip--you can both sample the farm-grown wines at Three Sisters on Sunday afternoons as well as purchase it for on-site or take-home consumption. The reason has something to do with state laws and agricultural products. The exemption helps promote such tours on both weekend days although Saturday remains the busiest for most local wineries.
Photos: The images at the top and bottom show some of the views from Frogtown Cellars. The vineyards are prepped for the next harvest. Inside, you get a look at the main tasting area.