Gilmer County is famous for its luscious apples and its numerous outdoor activities; however, viticulturists and vintners also know that grapes grown in the rolling fields and valleys around Ellijay have unique characteristics which lead to beautiful wines. The climate of the Southern Appalachians, alternating from cool and cloudy to sunny and hot, creates a complexity of flavors that are fully released from the grapes and expressed in the wines created here. Winemakers call this delicate yet immediately recognizable quality a region’s “terroir”, which is created by site-specific soil conditions, climate, elevation, and topography. The infinite combinations of these elements, big and small, give every wine a particular character, which both the experienced sommelier and casual wine drinker can appreciate. Experienced wine-sippers who prefer some wines over others, and wines from one region over another, can likely point to the wine’s terroir as a major reason why.
At Engelheim Vineyards, visitors are encouraged to savor the whole experience of tasting and enjoying locally produced Georgia wines. Since revitalization after prohibition began in the 1970’s, the Georgia wine industry is booming. The dry weather, a consequence of record-setting drought conditions across the Appalachian region, just so happened to create some spectacular wine grapes. The state of Georgia was once the sixth largest producer of grapes in the country, and Engel thinks we can get there again someday soon as more and more people flock to the Georgia wine country in search of the perfect bottle.
Engelheim proudly produces eleven varietals including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Traminette, Chambourcin, Petit Manseng, and others. Engelheim has received numerous awards and medals from various wine competitions including a Double Gold, multiple Silver, and Bronze medals from the San Francisco Wine Competition with Engelheim estate grown and bottled wines. They were also named Best Georgia Winery in 2018 and received Best Georgia Grown Wine for their Petit Manseng in 2020, and for their Red Blend, Doxology in 2021, by the Georgia Trustees Wine Competition.
Engelheim Vineyards is also proud to announce that they have recently opened a new event center, Venue in the Vines. This 12,000 sq. foot facility is home to an indoor and outdoor event space, bridal suite, groom suite, and barrel cave. The event center can host up to 250 people and has a beautiful view of the vines.
As a Christian, faith-based, family-run company, they strive to honor God in everything they do while paying respectful homage to the Cherokee people who once inhabited their land. “Engelheim,” or “Angel Home” in German, makes use of German architecture as a celebration of the Engel family’s rich German heritage and history. But it’s anything but stodgy or stiff; children and pets are always welcome and guests are invited to share their knowledge—or lack thereof—of wine. Their tasting room features live music and food trucks on Saturdays and Sundays and is always pet friendly. Above all, Engelheim Vineyards is meant to be a place where people can come together, relax, and truly appreciate what a fabulous wine experience the state of Georgia has to offer.
Gary Engel’s passion for wine stems from his time in the United States Army and his childhood in a farming community in South Alabama. Though he comes from Alabama, he has spent extensive time overseas, in California, Virginia, and other grape producing regions and the processes of viticulture and winemaking still fascinate him. When he retired from the Army, now-Colonel Engel told his wife, Jan, that he wanted to grow grapes. The couple bought their lush, green acreage near Ellijay, Georgia in 2007 and planted their first vines in 2009, producing their first harvest in 2011. The vineyard’s success has continued to grow, and is now among the most prominent wineries in Georgia.
However people choose to experience the Georgia wine country, Gary Engel is confident that the popular local wine industry is here to stay. It’s about more than wine; it’s about culture, history, hospitality, and the rich Southern farming heritage that makes Appalachia such a magical place to live and play. Engelheim invites you to “come and experience a taste of heaven.” ACLM
Our brand new event center, Venue in the Vines is now available to book for Weddings and other private events. We have several dates open for 2022 and beyond. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us, we’d love to host your event!
200 Lakeview Road, Ellijay GA 30540
Tasting Room Hours Daily: 12:30-6 pm.