Coming Fall 2017

Our Story

About Bear Claw Vineyards and our location. The making of exceptional wine takes time and it has a story.

Bear Claw Vineyards is located in Blue Ridge, Georgia. It is a place known for breathtaking mountain views, pristine bubbling springs, amazing fishing and wild life, a place you can soak up the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and breathe in the clean mountain air to renew your spirits.

Blue Ridge, GA is in Fannin County and joins with both the Tennessee and North Carolina state lines. The land is ancient Cherokee Indian land and the vineyard is a little over thirty minutes to the important historic site of the Chief Vann House Museum. Natural spring waters truly just bubble from the ground at the vineyard in several areas explaining why the Cherokee Indians chose this area to call home.

Just a short road trip to the vineyard can be an interesting day out to enjoy the beauty and history the Blue Ridge area has to offer. The vineyard land also sits inside the Chattahoochee National Forest area and will remain protected for many decades to come.

“We are proud to share that Bear Claw Vineyards is also the first Vineyard and Winery established with a true “Blue Ridge, GA” address.”

To fully understand what makes Bear Claw Vineyards unique and the wine something you have never tasted before you need to understand how wine is created and what the grapes and land can do to make the perfect wine possible.

A vineyard is often characterized by its terroir. This is a french term meaning "a sense of place" that refers to the specific geographical and geological characteristics of grapevine plantations, which may be imparted in the wine.”

A large portion of the property has alluvial plain soils, rich in mineral deposits.   Bear Claw Vineyards, Chardonnay field. 

From Wikipedia "An alluvial plain is a largely flat landform created by the deposition of sediment over a long period of time by one or more rivers coming from highland regions, from which alluvial soil forms. A floodplain is part of the process, being the smaller area over which the rivers flood at a particular period of time, whereas the alluvial plain is the larger area representing the region over which the floodplains have shifted over geological time."

Bear Claw Vineyards is in a prime location, the elevation of the vineyard is at 1832 feet above sea level and this is an elevation that is known worldwide as optimal for producing great wines. Lots of sunshine during the day, cooler temperatures at night, and the plentiful cool mountain air and breezes combine with the very rich and unique soils to produce a wine grape with true quality and superb characteristics.
It is always about quality, never quantity, this is part of our mission to produce only top quality wines. True quality wine is birthed from the land, thus the care we give the land is very important.

Bear Claw Vineyards is a densely planted vineyard which is rarer to see, we have vines planted 3ft and 4ft apart, the majority of the other vineyards you will see have planted 6ft to 8ft between vines. This dense planting will actually produce fewer grapes.

Why would we do this, why would we want each vine to actually produce less grapes? It is once again about quality, the grapes we do produce will be of a higher quality and when harvested have a larger natural sugar content, this will yield the results we want in the finished product and make it exceptional compared to just a standard wine.”

“We have a goal to instill exceptional quality every step of the way, from the vineyard to the barrel, and then finally to the bottle. We will use farming practices to sustain the rich and bio-diverse ecosystem of our vineyard soils as we understand one of the most important parts of the wine-making process happens in the vineyard. As a result, our team maintains a deep respect for the land and the vines.”

Bear Claw Vineyards, Inc’s. original acreage was planted by the Swim family in the spring of 2015; they are currently still the majority stock holders of the business.


     Kevin & Michelle Swim                             Kody Swim                                               Diane Youngbird