Sunday, March 18, 2012

18 March 2012 – Lucky Georgia Spring

What another beautiful Spring weekend in Georgia! This is the kind of weekend that makes you thank your lucky stars you live in this area of the South. Jeff, Cory, John and I spent the weekend in Dahlonega and the North Georgia mountains. We rented a cabin and had a great time. We went up on Friday night and had dinner at Yahoola Creek Grill. On Saturday, we toured several vineyards, beginning with Yonah Mountain Vineyard in Sautee. We really liked their Genesis 2 and Majestic Red! Afterward, we stopped by the Old Sautee Store to browse nostalgically. On our way back over to the Dahlonega area, we stopped for lunch at Yonah Burger in Cleveland. The burgers were great – simple and tasty! The morning rain cleared around noon, and we spent the rest of the day at vineyards in Dahlonega. We did a tasting at Three Sisters and introduced John and Cory to their "cheeto wine." We then ventured over to our favorite, Frogtown Cellars. It was the first time back since my 50th birthday party, and it was great to see Chauna, Craig and the other lovely Frogtown ladies! They introduced their Cabernet Saviognon this weeked, and we enjoyed it very much. We also indulged in their wonderful Cabernet Franc, my favorite! The vineyard had just experienced bud break, and everything was beginning to leaf out and bloom. We chatted with four delightful women from the Atlanta area and retreated to our cabin retreat for the evening. John and I built a fire by the creek while Jeff and Cory went to pick up some simple food for dinner. They returned with frozen pizzas, and I "doctored them up" with some local cheese and peppered salami from Blackstock Vineyards. The pizza was surprisingly good! We just hung out for the rest of the night and watched My Week with Maryland. It was clear to see why Michelle Williams got an Oscar nomination. She WAS Maryland!

This morning, we checked out and went into the square for breakfast at The Crimson Moon Cafe. It was delicious, as usual, and their coffee is divine! It it also a wonderful place to catch local music, so check it out. After breakfast, we went our separate ways. I am a fan of the old back roads, so Jeff and I took 52 over to the Ellijay/Talking Rock area. We stopped and did a tasting at a new tasting room in Ellijay, Cartecay Vineyards. Their wines are new but show some promise. We enjoyed their newly released Merlot, but the best thing about it was discovering the most exciting destination of the entire weekend! I always ask if there are any places to buy local, grass fed meats, etc. Well, I am so glad I asked the manager at Cartecay, because she told me about MountainValley Farm! I almost hesitate to tell anyone else about this wonderful place, but it is too good not to share. MountainValley is owned by Suzy Wright, and they specialize in Dry Aged Grass Fed Beef and Free Range Heritage Pork. They also have the most adorable free range eggs as well, so I bought a dozen. I found my Nirvana here! We met Suzy, and she told us all about their products. They have their meats fresh butchered (humanely) and flash frozen on Friday, and they are open from 5-7 on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. I did not know where to start, so I asked Suzy. She did not hesitate and recommended the grass fed ground beef for burgers. She also showed us their bacon, fresh ham, pork chops, rib eye steaks, filets, etc. I am so excited about this place, and I cooked local grass fed burgers for Sunday Supper! We served them with baked potatoes, a great green salad by Cory, and Georgia Merlot for a local Spring feast! I can't wait until the Farmers Market begins in Canton on May 12. This summer will be filled with complete locally grown meats and produce for Sunday Suppers!

To top everything off, it was the first Sunday Supper of the year on the Side Porch at One Britt! Yes, it reached 85 degrees this weekend, and everything is in full bloom in the yard. Yes, I highly recommend the North Georgia Wine Highway. They are making some incredible wine, and the beauty of the land and people is unmatched – especially in the Spring.


The Menu:

- Georgia Grass Fed Beef Burgers in Brown Butter

- Baked Potatoes with Backyard Britt Chives
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