Limoges Cellars began in 2018 after a few years of intensive wine study and making wine in our spare time . After half a dozen trips to Europe within that time to hone our regional wine knowledge, we broke ground on the vineyard at Limoges Cellars in the Spring of 2021. The vineyard is situated among 37 acres of rolling hills in the North Georgia mountains, just adjacent to the Dahlonega Plateau: Georgia's first designated viticulture appellation or American Viticultural Area (AVA). After planting the initial 2 acres of vines, we began construction of the tasting room and production facility: our "Atelier Limoges" in January of 2022.
That same Spring we planted our next 2.5 acres of vines. The grapes we have planted between our two planting blocks are as follows:
The Avondale Estate block (2021), Vidal Blanc, Albariño, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Teroldego, Tannat, Nebbiolo.
The Atlas Estate block (2022), Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Grüner Veltliner.
Owner, Winemaker, Consultant to the winemaker, Cellar rat, Lab Technician, Architect, Builder, Vineyard Manager, Vineyard Laborer, Tasting Room Manager, Payroll Accountant, Janitor, Garbage man, Plumber, Electrician, Grounds Security, Chicken Wrangler and Vet.
I was born in Sioux City, Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa with an Engineering degree and began my professional career as a Project Manager in Atlanta, Georgia in 2011. During my time at international plastics manufacturer ALPLA, I was given the opportunity to live overseas in Bregenz, Austria for a short time. It was there my wine interest really peaked.
I had met Kristina the previous year at work and we married in Austria while I was living there. Countless winery visits across Europe and the United States and a few years of rigorous palate training inspired me to finally try my hand at wine making.
I got my hands on a wine kit and the wine turned out perfectly fine but I wasn’t satisfied with a kit that gave me a stock recipe for making wine. I wanted to learn the science and chemistry behind the wine making so I bought books, winemaker magazines, listened to podcasts, attended conferences, and eventually bought grapes from California: both grape must in 5 gallon buckets and also whole grape flats that we sorted and pressed in our home in Avondale Estates. The wine went from accidentally terrible (we've learned from whom not to buy grapes), to great, to I could drink this all the time! At this point we started looking for property in Georgia where we could grow grapes, make wine, host friends and family, and keep my day job while we built everything out.
Owner, Creative Director,
I was born in Florida but my mother is German and my father is Spanish so I grew up between Spain, Germany and the US. Surprisingly my parents are not wine snobs and know next to nothing about wine! They drank an average amount, maybe less. I do remember my first sip of Sangria at a fairly young age and loving the chunks of marinated fruit; “a taste is enough”, I was told, because the fruit was full of alcohol. I'm often asked, even by family, how on earth we ended up here or if I ever imagined I'd be a farmer and business owner one day and all I can do is point to Dan, the obvious entrepreneur, and to my childhood and the various components that may have inspired this kind of work.
My aunt and uncle own a banana plantation on a cliff directly above the ocean in Tenerife so maybe the farming gene is in the family which prepared me at an early age to value the the act of growing food and working with my hands. We traveled across Europe often while we lived there and though we never visited vineyards specifically they made up much of the scenery on every long car ride; Biergartens and Monastery breweries abounded....planting the seeds of ideas.
I met Dan at work during my brief stint in the corporate world before turning to the culinary world of catering, personal chef-fing and food styling. I've been obsessed with food since birth so this transition came easily and naturally. Dan and I were quickly engaged and before he left for Austria I told him we simply *had* to honeymoon in Italy on an "Agriturismo". This is an Italian term for a vineyard, olive grove or farm in the countryside open to the public for nightly or weekly stays. Who wouldn't want to honeymoon on a farm?? Ok, but it was much more romantic than it sounds haha. Well we did exactly that and the experience never left us. How to accomplish this in the US though? I guess we're figuring it out because here we are, 8 years later, with 37 acres in the rolling North Georgia mountains, with chickens, a future bee hive and an orchard and acres of grape vines planted and we can't wait to host you!
You submitted these questions on Instagram and we're answering below!
Favorite Wine Style?
Dan: "I love a wine with high acidity so I love Italian wines and the way they pair with food. Sangiovese, Nebbiolo are my picks from Italy. Gamay from Beaujolais for its fruit forward drinkability and of course a bitingly dry Lambrusco with a hint of bret."
Kristina: "Ok so we have pretty similar tastes but I have to add Burgundy Chardonnay. I learned to love Chardonnay later in life because I didn't think I liked it for a loong time. Turns out I'd been drinking the wrong kind! Also anything sparkling really. I LOVE bubbles for how celebratory they are, they elevate the everyday and are wildly food friendly! Give me a Cremant de Bourgogne or a sparkling Grüner Veltliner. We had some great bubbles in England recently as well which was super inspiring!"
The one book you're most likely to re-read?
Dan: "Has to be the Kingkiller Chronicles. I love sci-fi/fantasy because it's nothing like reality which my brain needs a break from now and again."
Kristina: "I have NO idea. Depends on the mood? I can't wait to re-read things like The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter to my kids. I also have such a nagging nostalgia for the book "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger and re read it ever so often. The characters, the writing, the gritty magic of it all. Go read it."