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Georgia's First AVA: Upper Hiwassee Highlands

You know all about wine in Georgia, right? No, I'm not talking about the country located by the Black Sea between Russia and Turkey that has an ancient wine history. I'm talking about Georgia, one of the fifty states in the US. The Upper Hiwassee Highlands American Viticultural Area (AVA) stretches from the northern part of Georgia to southwestern North Carolina for a total of about 700 square miles, reports Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The petition for the AVA sent to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was submitted by Eric Carlson, who owns Calaboose Cellars, on behalf of an Upper Hiwassee River Basin vineyard and winery group. Did you know this North Carolina winery is the smallest in the country AND is located in a former jail?

Compared to North Carolina, Georgia makes far less wine. In 2013 the latter state produced around 132,000 gallons of wine while the former made almost 1.4 million. That does not, however, deter Hightower Creek Vineyards Winemaker Travis Green. “I think the wine industry in Georgia has really grown to a point that we’re beginning to serve not just the Atlanta or Chattanooga or Greenville areas, but outside of that.”

Listen to the whole story, and find out why Norton is a go-to grape in Georgia.

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