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Le Vigne at Montaluce Vineyards, Dahlonega, GA Restaurant Review

Montaluce GA winery review

About one and a half hours north of Atlanta, in Dahlonega, GA is a beautiful winery called Montaluce. I heard about it but never made it up until recently. I planned the trip a couple weeks in advance and was just praying that we’d have nice weather for our visit to Montaluce. As you know, in early April, we can have beautiful days, or sometimes cold, rainy days, but we lucked out and enjoyed temperature in the upper 70s. Disclosure: this was a complimentary meal for research for my book, Food Lovers’ Guide to Atlanta.

We had dinner reservation at Le Vigne, the restaurant on Montaluce’s estate, but arrived early to look around and tour the winery. We were dressed in jeans which was perfectly acceptable for an early Sunday evening dinner, but I would recommend dressy attire for a weekend dinner. Montaluce Vineyards is not only a winery but on site they also have homes for sale and have plans to build a Resort and Special Events facility. Right now, they are host to a lot of weddings as you may have already guessed, based on the beautiful scenery. And those events are actually held at Le Vigne which is a beautiful space for the Weddings.

During our tour, Bill, the resident Sommelier, took us through the various rooms used in their wine-making and thoroughly described the wine making process. He showed us the different equipment used in making red vs. white wine and explained how the two differ in the process. FYI – they do free wine tours on Saturdays at 2 pm according to Bill. Tip: if you aren’t in the mood for a full meal, lounge on the patio and sample wines and cheeses.

I was pretty much famished by this point but I did want to taste some wine. What’s the point of visiting a winery and not doing a wine tasting, right? So we elected to try some reds and pair that with a cheese plate to assuage our hunger a bit. Interesting enough, Montaluce and Le Vigne don’t just offer their own reds but reds from select other wineries as well. So we opted to try two red flights, or tastings: one Montaluce, and one of their recommendations. This was a 2oz portion of each of 5 wines per tasting. The four cheeses paired were unique and served up with an accompanying honey or jelly.

The restaurant focuses heavily on locally sourced food and as such, the menu changes daily. The menu is set up for a 3-course prix fixe offering. Usually, I’m not a fan of limited options, but I felt the choices had a decent variety. If you think that because this isn’t in Midtown, the food won’t be creative, you’d be incredibly wrong. We started off with a Cauliflower soup and Chicarrone salad. Yep, that was salad that was topped with house made pork rinds. My salad was enjoyable but that Cauliflower soup was divine!

Mr. ARB chose the trout and boy was the presentation beautiful with the three pieces separated on the plate, skin side up. I had a taste and boy was it prepared perfectly. I opted for the pork tenderloin which comes with pork belly pieces as well. It was another wonderful meal and as far as I’m concerned you can never have too much pork.

Lest you start to think dessert was an afterthought, let me tell you about it. I was in the mood for chocolate and the cake sounded rich, yet simple. And it delivered just that, being moist but simple. The blood orange pudding was a show stopper. So creamy and tasty, I grabbed it from Mr. ARB after he was done and scooped out any remnants I could possibly get out.

Considering the multiple wine tastings, cheese plate, 3-course meal per person and wine pairings with the meal, the $158 tab was extremely reasonable. Montaluce and Le Vigne are a fantastic day trip from Atlanta if you are looking for a short getaway. Guys, if you want to impress your woman, this is a really terrific surprise, and I can assure you, she will be very appreciative. And if you are celebrating something special, this is a wonderful choice. If you live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, your drive is only about an hour. Can’t wait until they build the on-site lodging, for the perfect overnight getaway.

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!