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  • 1 Apr 2021 8:04 AM | Anonymous

    Press Release

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021
    Office of Communications

    Initial Meeting of the Georgia Wine & Grape Commission

    The newly formed Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Wine and Grapes will hold its first meeting on Friday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the Atlanta Farmers Market in Forest Park. The meeting will be in the Administration Building of the Georgia State Farmers Market (enter from the market side). The address for the meeting is 16 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, 30297. 

    The purpose of the meeting is to elect a chair and vice-chair from the commission members appointed earlier this year by the Commodity Commission Ex Officio Committee. The meeting also has an agenda to discuss operations and guidelines of a Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission, as well as the marketing orders and assessments and how to implement them. 

    The Georgia Wine and Grape Commission was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 2020 at the request of Georgia wine and grape producers.  

    Social distancing guidelines and masks are encouraged.

    For more information, please contact:

    Andy Harrison
    Manager, Commodity Commissions
    Georgia Department of Agriculture
    (404) 710-1196

  • 2 Nov 2020 10:45 AM | Anonymous
    Press Release

    November 2, 2020
    Office of Communications


    Commodity Commission for Wine & Grapes Accepting Nominations for Board Member Positions

    ATLANTA, GANominations are currently being accepted to fill five board positions of the newly created Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Wine and Grapes.  Persons nominated must be active producers of wine and reside in the State of Georgia.   The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 27, 2020.

    Those interested may submit a nominee information form found at agr.georgia.gov/cpf, to Andy Harrison at andy.harrison@agr.georgia.gov or by fax at 404-656-9380.  Forms may also be mailed at: 

    The Georgia Department of Agriculture

    Attn: Andy Harrison

    19 MLK Jr. Drive S.W.

    Room 320

    Atlanta, GA 30334 

    The nominees will be vetted and certified to ensure they are active Georgia producers of this commodity in the appropriate geographic areas. Interested producers with questions may contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 404-586-1405. 

    On August 3, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp amended the Georgia Agricultural Commodities Commissions Act by signing HB 1093 to establish an Agricultural Commodity Commission for Wine and Grapes.  Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commissions are created by the Georgia Legislature. Furthermore, a market order of each commission is passed by the growers of that respective commodity which allows for assessments on the commodity to be paid by each of the producers of such commodity. These funds are used for research, education and promotion of the commodity. Members of the commissions make decisions on how funds are spent and programs the commission supports.


    Media Contacts

    Julie McPeake Chief Communication Officer

  • 26 Aug 2020 8:45 AM | Anonymous

    Governor Kemp signs SB 358 making the muscadine the official grape of Georgia.

    Every August, you can visit South Georgia and there will be a scent in the air that most familiarize with their southern childhood. It’s the smell of ripe muscadines growing in their native environment. You may find it surprising to know that Georgia leads the nation in its production of muscadines, and the University of Georgia also has the oldest muscadine breeding program in the United States.

    Recognizing his district and the State of Georgia as a leader in muscadine production, State Senator Tyler Harper introduced SB 358 on February 3, 2020. The bill was signed by Governor Kemp on August 5, 2020 making the muscadine the official grape of Georgia effective January 1, 2021.

    Muscadines are harvested in Georgia for wine and fresh fruit. Muscadine ingredients may be used as the primary ingredients in products such as functional foods, dietary supplements, super fruit products, ready to drink beverages, beverage powders, tablets and capsules, cosmetic and skin care products, natural antioxidant for stabilizing foods, natural food coloring, and jams and jellies.

    Now is a great time to head to South Georgia and enjoy fresh Georgia muscadines.  Mark your calendar to attend the Georgia Muscadine Festival on September 4, 5 & 7th at Paulk Vineyards in Wray, GA. Admission to the festival is free.  You can purchase fresh fruit, grape stomp, wine tastings, artisan market, food vendors, live music and more. For more information on the event, visit www.georgiamuscadinefestival.com.

    If you are interested in learning more about muscadines, save the date for the Georgia Muscadine Conference to be held virtually on November 2 and hosted by the Georgia Wine Producers and the Georgia Muscadine Association, for more information on this event, visit www.georgiawineproducers.org

  • 9 Jun 2020 8:32 AM | Anonymous

    Photo Credit: @CodySassyJazzy on Instagram

    New Dates: August 1 - 31, 2020, Yes that's right the entire month of August.

    Important Change - Passports will be accepted during each property's regular business hours. Properties reserve the right to change those hours. You are encouraged to check the business hours of the property you plan to visit.
    Passports are $50.00 - that gives you 4 tastings at each participating winery/tasting room & complimentary wine glass.

    Passports will be available to purchase at the participating vineyards and wineries.

    Wine glasses will be provided at the first property you visit, that property will punch out the glass on the passport. Each property can provide tastings based on their established safety protocols and are not required to use the souvenir glasses.

    Participating Properties:
    12 Spies Vineyards and Farms
    Big Door Vineyards
    Cartecay Vineyards
    Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery
    CeNita Winery and Tasting Room
    Chateau Meichtry
    The Cottage Vineyard & Winery Inc.
    Crane Creek Vineyards
    Creekstone Winery
    Currahee Vineyards
    Twisted Wine Garden at Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard
    Engelheim Vineyards
    Etowah Meadery
    Fainting Goat Vineyards
    Habersham Winery
    Hightower Creek Vineyards
    Odom Springs Vineyards
    Ott Farms and Vineyard
    Serenity Cellars
    Sharp Mountain Vineyards
    Stonewall Creek Vineyards
    Sweet Acre Farms Winery

    Yonah Mountain Vineyards

    **Tiger Mountain Vineyards has chosen not to participate this year. They will not be honoring passports are their location.

    Tasting Rooms:

    You may visit the following tasting rooms, and use your passports instead of visiting the winery/vineyard. The tasting will punch your passport for the winery/vineyard associated with the tasting room. 

    Naturally Georgia - Engelheim Vineyards
    Naturally Georgia - Crane Creek Vineayrds
    Wild Berry Grill & Gifts - Cartecay Vineyards
    Cartecay Wine & Craft - Cartecay Vineyards
    Dahlonega Tasting Room - Habersham Winery
    Dahlonega Tasting Room - Etowah Meadery
    Helen Wine Co - Sweet Acre Farms 

  • 1 May 2020 4:49 PM | Anonymous

    We were saddened to hear the news at our Annual Meeting that Dr. Cain Hickey would be leaving UGA.

    It may be some time before the viticulture position will be filled again. In the interim, Georgia Wine Producers will be working closely with UGA Extension to continue to meet the viticulture needs of our industry. 

    Georgia Wine Producers is doing everything that we can to ensure that the viticulture position will be filled as quickly as possible with the best candidate to support our industry. 

    Currently, we need as many of you as possible to provide us with a letter in support of filling the viticulture faculty position. Below you will find a link to a word document, you can copy/paste sample language and print on your letterhead. Please scan or take a picture and email the letter to director@georgiawineproducers.org

    Click Here to View the Support Letter
  • 13 Jan 2020 6:23 PM | Anonymous

    There were over sixty-five judges, representing various North American wine regions, evaluating nearly 6,700 wines from over 1,000 wineries for the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Seven Georgia wineries were awarded medals at the competition this year.

    Farmers Daughter Vineyard, Winery and Tasting Room located in Thomasville, Georgia was awarded Best in Class medal for wine, namely, Hellraiser, a delicious Blanc Du Bois. The wine continues to be awarded at local and international competitions across the country. They also won a Silver medal for their 2018 Saltwater Gypsy, a blush/rose.

    Chateau Elan Winery and Resort located in Braselton, Georgia won gold medals for two of their reserve wines, the 2018 Chardonnay and 2018 Sauvignon Blanc. They also received five silver medals and two bronze medals. 

    Frogtown Cellars located in Dahlonega, Georgia won a double gold for their 2014 Merger. They were also awarded gold medals for their 2018 Marsanne and 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, along with three silver medals and two bronze medals. 

    Yonah Mountain Vineyards located in Cleveland, Georgia received a gold medal for their 2017 Pinot Noir.  They also received seven silver medals and four bronze medals. 

    Paradise Hills Winery, Resort and Spa located in Blairsville, Georgia submitted three wines to the competition received a silver and two bronze medals. 

    Crane Creek Vineyards located in Young Harris, Georgia also received a silver and two bronze medals. 

    Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega, GA received three silver and two bronze medals. 

    Congratulations to these Georgia wineries on winning medals at such a prestigious and competitive event. These wineries continue to raise the bar on the quality of wines produced here in Georgia. 

    Grapes. Growth. Georgia.

  • 14 Nov 2019 2:12 PM | Anonymous

    The voting membership, including the Board of Directors, shall have their Annual Membership Meeting for the transaction of business on February 3, 2020 at 1:00pm at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort, 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton, GA 30517. 

    Currently Accepting Nominations for the following Positions:

    Bonded Georgia Farm Winery Member from the North Region

    Bonded Georgia Farm Winery Member for the South Region

    At Large 1 

    At Large 2

    At large voting members can be any combination of Bonded Georgia Farm Winery member(s) and, or Vineyard and, or Orchard member(s), from any region of the state. 

    Membership dues must be paid and current to be considered for a Board of Directors position. 

    Click Here to view the Georgia Wine Producers By Laws and a Regional Map

    If you wish to appoint a proxy to vote at the Annual Meeting, click here for a Voting Proxy Form.

    Please include Name, Business Name, and Contact Information.

  • 23 Oct 2019 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    I have been a passionate and dedicated winemaker for more than two decades, and have been growing grapes and making wine on the East Coast for the last 16 years, most recently at Kaya Vineyards & Winery near Dahlonega. I am now a freelance consultant, ready to help new and existing wine businesses in Georgia.

    My adventure into winemaking was a long time coming. When I was a 17 year old high school student in a Chicago suburb, I woke up one day and decided my life needed a drastic change. I moved to Israel, joined a collaborative farming community, and by the time I was 23, a colleague talked me into planting an almond orchard. I was young and naive, and I had no farming experience, but I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to agricultural work. I quickly learned what it takes, and that led to planting and growing avocados, persimmons, and olives. 

    In 1996, a neighbor suggested I plant wine grapes and sell the fruit to a commercial winery. In order to understand the product better (I preferred beer at the time), I enrolled in a year long, immersive, hands-on winemaking course. I ended up with two cases of my first wine, a newfound fervor, and a lot more questions. I was enamored with wine, and so continued my deep dive into all things enology and viticulture. The next step was to open a very small winery, which was well received thanks to a renaissance of winemaking in Israel. There are now well over 300 wineries in Israel, a country the size of Delaware (which, by contrast, has only 5 wineries!).

    In 2003 my family and I moved back to the States, and I spent the next three years making wine in New Jersey at a winery founded in 1864, and establishing my winemaking and wine testing consulting business. A chance encounter and the internet led to Dahlonega, where I became winemaker and vineyard manager at BlackStock Vineyards and Winery, beginning in 2006. That rollercoaster included the frost of 2007, which was immediately followed by the outstanding 2008 vintage. Unfortunately, that was also the start of the recession that led to the eventual dissolution of BlackStock in late 2012.

    After BlackStock, I restarted the consulting business and was recruited by the bank that had foreclosed on the property to care for the vineyards. Two years later, the new owner came along and renamed it Kaya Vineyard & Winery, and I have been head winemaker and vineyard manager at Kaya for the last five years. Now it’s time for another change.

    Georgia has been experiencing an explosion in vineyards being planted. Fortunately for our local industry, UGA had the foresight to hire a state viticulturist, Dr. Cain Hickey, who specializes in pruning, trellising, and fruit-zone management. Dr. Hickey and I have worked together since his arrival in Georgia, applying state of the art techniques to improve crop yields and quality. Planting and maintaining a vineyard is a lot of work, considerably more than some people imagine. With more than a decade of North Georgia harvest seasons under my belt, I am well experienced in the theory, and especially the practice of successfully growing grapes in our region. This means that I have already made most of the mistakes, and therefore have a better idea of how to do it right.

    Growing the grapes, or knowing where to source them, is the agricultural aspect of the business. Planning and building a winery is an equal, if not greater challenge, and getting the right equipment at the right price is just the beginning. Learning and developing the methods and protocols of winemaking is something that I have been doing successfully for quite some time, and part of the expertise I offer to the nascent winery or vineyard.  Personally, I enjoy the perfect blend between science and art behind winemaking, and have paid particular attention to laboratory analysis, as well as wine theory and history, flavors, varieties, and culture.

    I am excited and energized to meet new people getting their start in the business. If you are starting a winery or planting a vineyard, or even just thinking about doing those things, I want to help you build, grow and reach your full winemaking potential.

    Ariel Padawer
    Ariel Wine Consulting LLC

  • 23 Oct 2019 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    We would like to congratulate the 2019 Medalists from the Georgia Trustees Annual Wine & Spirits Challenge. 

    Click Here for a list of medalists

    The Fifth Annual Georgia Trustees Wine & Spirits Challenge Gala will be held on October 28. 

    For more information on the Gala or to Purchase Tickets, Click Here.

  • 12 Jun 2019 7:37 AM | Anonymous

    The Georgia Wine Producers Board of Directors voted to join Wine America in supporting the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed and signed. The tax reform law modernized the federal excise tax system for breweries, wineries, and distilleries for the first time in a generation.

    Section 13804 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reformed the credit system for producers of wine. Now, wine producers received a credit of $1 per gallon of wine up the first 30,000 wine gallons, 90 cents per wine gallon between 30,001 and 130,000 wine gallons, and 53.5 cents per wine between 130,001 and 750,000 wine gallons.

    Separately, Section 13805 of the 2017 tax reform law also expanded the alcohol threshold for still wine to be subject to the $1.07 per wine gallon federal excise tax from 14 percent alcohol by volume to 16 percent. Section 13806 increased carbonation tolerance levels of artificially carbonated wine and sparkling wines from 0.392 grams of carbon dioxide per hundred milliliters of wine to 0.64 grams, allowing these products to be taxed at $1.07 per wine gallon rather than $3.30 to $3.40, which was the case under previous law. [Sources: Freedomworks.org & WineAmerica.org]

    If congress doesn’t act, this important law will lapse at the end of this year and new brewers, vintners, distillers that have opened since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law will see a tax increase at the beginning of 2020. Senator Johnny Isakson has already co-sponsored this legislation. We have created a sample letter for you to send to Senator David Perdue to urge him to support this legislation.

    Georgia Wine Producers will be sending a letter from our organization to Senator David Perdue requesting his support of this legislation. We will also be sending a letter to Senator Isakson thanking him for his support of this legislation.

    If you would like to view this legislation, Click Here.

    Click Here for the Sample Letter

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"GEORGIA WINE PRODUCERS" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Georgia , P.O. Box 1931, Ellijay, GA 30540

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