At Crane Creek Vineyards, we like to think that wines made from our grapes are an expression of our unique area. More than 20 acres of vines are planted in a variety of grapes, including the European varieties of Gruner Veltliner, Cabernet Franc, Albarino, & Petit Verdot. We also grow many French American hybrid varieties of Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Villard Noir along with the modern hybrids like Chardonel. The American Heritage varieties Norton and Catawba round out our unique collection.
These vines are intensely managed and cultivated, starting with winter pruning and continuing through the growing season with hedging, leaf pulling, shoot thinning, cluster thinning and other canopy management techniques to achieve the greatest potential of our vines and the grapes.
Our goal at Crane Creek Vineyards is to grow the finest regional wine grapes possible, in the most sustainable way possible.
VINEYARD SITES & CLIMATE
In this sub-tropical region, we can experience a lot of rainfall, so one of our primary concerns is keeping our soils well-drained. Our vineyards all range from 1800 to 2000 ft in elevation, on sloped hillsides of various exposures which allow for excellent drainage. Our soil type is primarily Clay Loam, which helps add structure to our wines and cools the vines on warm summer days.
Much like the vineyards of Europe, we experience a large degree of vintage variability. Each growing season is different, which leads to a different grape chemistry, and thus a different wine each year. We embrace the nuance of each vintage and make grape growing and winemaking decisions based upon these external factors. No wine will be the same from vintage to vintage, which is something that we celebrate!
UPPER HIWASSEE HIGHLANDS
When you think of any great wine growing region, it’s probably been incorporated into an “Appellation.” Think: Napa Valley, or Champagne. These are appellations. Appellations are legally designated agricultural areas which have specific climates, soils, and other assets that help create a sense of place.
Crane Creek Vineyards is located in the Upper Hiwassee Highlands Appellation, or AVA (American Viticultural Area), which was the first legally designated AVA in the state of Georgia! The Upper Hiwassee Highlands encompasses a 690 square mile area totally within the upper Hiwassee River basin. The basin includes counties both in North Georgia, and in Western North Carolina. The AVA is known for a varied combination of both hybrid and vinifera grape plantings, many diverse soil types, and cooling Appalachian mountain altitudes that temper the warm/humid southern climate.