Fainting Goat Vineyards
Kayaking, photography, now vineyards...what is this blog about again? It sure feels like I haven't been hiking much lately, but in reality I actually have been averaging 2 hikes per week in August. Most of the places I've gone lately have been smaller, local haunts I've been to a million times before, so I just haven't written about them here. Don't worry, I've got some bigger excursions planned for the fall (in between football games, of course!).
Last weekend, the weather was pretty bad looking, so James and I went to Fainting Goat Vineyards in Jasper. Initially, we planned to go here on the 4th of July but that never happened. James actually thought I was tricking him into hiking as we drove up through Dawsonville into Pickens County. There actually is a lovely little hike across the street from Fainting Goat that I've done before- Burnt Mountain Preserve. If the weather was nicer, I may have added that on to our itinerary but really, that day, I was just about the wine.
Fainting Goat is easily accessible from downtown Jasper, but given its location in the Burnt Mountain area, it feels pretty remote and isolated (in a good way). They've got a great view from up on a hill and there's not much development in the immediate area. The grounds were beautiful with lots of flowers and outdoor seating. For a rainy day, this is a good choice because the outdoor seating is sheltered and there is also plenty of space indoors. The staff were all extremely friendly and knowledgeable. They also had live music and judging from their events page online, there are lots of events, musical acts, and other festivities on a regular basis. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own picnic style food, which I love because obviously it saves money but it also just makes you feel more at home. We stopped at the amazing Kroger department store in Dawsonville on the way and picked up some artisan crackers, figs, and other vineyard-esque snacks.
But what about the wine? And the goats? Isn't that the important part? I really enjoyed all the wine I sampled. They have a wide variety of both reds and whites. I think I've mentioned before, I am not a wine connoisseur and I don't drink a lot of red wine. James and I both really like Fainting Goats red wines, though. In particular, we liked the 1812 variety and bought a bottle of that to bring home. And let's not forget the goats. There are 2 goats onsite with their very own little house situated right next to the grape vines. Guests can interact with them respectfully through the fence. You may have closer encounters with a very friendly cat who wanders freely on the property and likes to hang out wherever food is.
I have a feeling if we still lived in Cherokee County, we'd visit Fainting Goat quite often. It was a little bit of a drive for us, but worth it (not bad scenery on the way, either). The atmosphere was relaxing and easy going. Beautiful scenery. Great wines. Adorable critters. What more could you want from a vineyard?