Many outside observers (and some metro Atlanta city folk) are surprised to learn about Georgia’s burgeoning wine industry.  In 2018 the Dahlonega Plateau was designated as an American Viticultural Area, the only one of its kind in the state, which indicates that 85 percent of the wine grown in that area and marked with its sticker has been derived from grapes grown there.  It’s a big deal in terms of winegrowing prestige, and it marks the growth of the industry in the state.  Georgia wineries contributed contributed $48.7 million in taxes and fees in 2021, up more than $6 million from 2019 just before the pandemic.  Georgia Wine Producers estimates that the industry employs more than 35,000 Georgians, most of them in rural areas.

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