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Cottage Vineyard & Winery Profile

     Written by Brian Dec 21, 2018

Sitting high atop the Dahlonega Plateau just north of Cleveland, Georgia, you will find the tasting room for Cottage Vineyard & Winery. The 29-acre property provides a commanding, nearly 360 degree, view of the nearby Appalachian Mountains Chatahoochee National Forest. It is as beautiful a spot as you will find at any winery in the United States.

The spot is ideal for more than just growing and serving wine. Owner Jim Penner bought the property after retiring from the Air Force. In tribute to his service and that of others, a military memorial rests on the hillside. In addition, a worship service is held every Sunday morning. I have encountered wineries with a military memorial, but I know of no other doing Sunday church service.

Owner(s): Jim and Sandra Penner

Winemaker: Joe Smith

Planting began in 1999 and the tasting room opened four years later. Just under nine acres of the estate are devoted to seven different varieties of grape. In order to achieve 4000 acres of annual production, Cottage must source at least 50% of their fruit.

I tasted several of the Cottage wines during my visit. Winemaker Joe Smith does an excellent job crafting a wines that will accommodate a range of palates. I really liked the Viognier, which displayed the right balance of fruit and acidity. The Syrah was another standout with it berry nose and pepper notes in a long finish.

Nearly 360 degree mountain views.

Open to Public 

Sun 12:30 to 6, Mon-Fri 11:55 to 6, Sat 11:55 to 9

A small crowd is gathered at the tasting bar.

Viognier is just one of the stellar wines.

5050 US-129, Cleveland, GA 30528

phone: (706) 865-0053


A view of the tasting room.

Promoting wine tourism opportunities in the​​ Eastern United States

Cottage also grows a Blanc Du Bois, which I had not previously encountered. The hybrid grape was developed for hotter climates prone to Pierce’s disease. Jancis Robinson considers it a “potentially high-quality” variety. At Cottage it is blended with the Syrah to make a blush. I’m always excited to try something new, so this was a nice added bonus.

I very much enjoyed my stop at Cottage Vineyard & Winery. The staff was friendly, the wine was good and the view was exceptional. I heartily recommend stopping in and after you do, please let me know what you think.