Our Winemaking Philosophy

Most significantly, wine should have a sense of Place, which the French call “terroir.” The French concept of terroir can be stated as follow:

the combination of unique characteristics such as geography, geology and macro, meso, and micro climatic conditions provided by a certain place, that, when interacting with a grape vine’s genetics, produce wines uniquely recognizable year after year.

Frogtown is committed and dedicated to, and proud of, our unique North Georgia (Dahlonega Plateau) terroir.

Frogtown grows and produces wines, which compete with other premium and ultra premium wines grown and produced anywhere in the world. We do not just say we make premium wines. We prove our characterization of Frogtown as premium wines by submitting Frogtown labeled wines to the rigors of competing against the best wines produced anywhere in the world, at the most prestigious and challenging competitions in the United States.

With the sole exception of dessert wines offered under the Frogtown label, all Frogtown labeled wines are made under the self imposed strict “French Rules” and are completely dry wines. By adopting French winemaking rules, Frogtown does not add back any sugar to its dry wines.

Unlike France, in the United States it is not illegal to add sugar to “dry” wines. Many wineries in the United States, including California, add small amounts of sugar to their “dry” wines at bottling to make their wines more supple and easier to drink. This small addition of sugar is usually in an amount that is below the threshold for most people to perceive sweetness in wine. While this practice adds smooth textures to the wine, it also makes wine less food friendly. Even the extremely small amount of one gram of sugar per liter of wine coats each molecule of wine with a thin sugar veneer that adversely affects the palate cleansing benefits of drinking wine while consuming food.

All Frogtown wines labeled under a State of Georgia Appellation means the wine contains 100% Georgia estate grown fruit.

You should be aware of deceptive wine labeling practices. The federal government and the most States, including Georgia, allow the blending of up to an astounding 25% of non-domiciliary wine (i.e. California grown wine or concentrate) into their State labeled wine without requiring the disclose of such blending on the label of the wine bottle. Many East Coast wineries, including wineries in Georgia, systematically blend California grown wine or concentrate into their State labeled wines without any attention to the ethical issues such non-disclosed winemaking practices create in wine labeling. Under specific and detailed wine labeling laws, the Federal Government, by allowing this winemaking practice, simply encourages, in our opinion, fraudulent and deceptive labeling practices throughout the East Coast. Simply stated, a person purchasing a bottle of wine, other than a Frogtown wine, labeled under a Georgia Appellation may not be purchasing wine containing 100% Georgia grown wine!

The problem with blending California grown wine with wine produced in another State is not the making of such wine but the labeling of such wines. Frogtown, in an effort to educate the wine consuming public, has created wines labeled under a label designation of American wine, not a State of Georgia wine, by blending California grown wine with wine grown at Frogtown. Frogtown additionally differentiates such wine from its 100% estate grown Georgia labeled wine by placing on the label of such American wine a label reference either as an East Coast West Coast Wine, a West Coast East Coast Wine, or Disclosure (because we disclose that the wine is not a 100% Georgia wine).

In 2010, 2011, AND 2012 a number of such label wines won gold medals, and our First Compulsion, an East Coast West Coast Wine, won a Platinum medal, at major California Competitions. Frogtown has proven proper ethical labeling can be accomplished so the wine tasting public is aware of what is in their purchased wines while winning substantial recognition for such wines at California competitions.

It is not illegal in the United States to add sugar to a finished wine. Frogtown, by adopting such less strenuous American winemaking rules and protocols, also produces Off-Dry Wines, Sweet Vinifera Wines, and Muscadine and Muscadine-blended wines. These wines do contain residual sugar in different quantities.

The Off-Dry Vinifera Wines are produced under the Thirteenth Colony label. These wines contain 1% or less residual sugar. Thirteenth Colony wines are very close to being dry wines. The addition of a “slight” amount of sugar (10 grams per liter or less) aids wine drinkers who are not accustom to drinking dry wines to enjoy wines made from the premium European vinifera grapes. Thirteenth Colony wines often serve as a bridge to many Frogtown customers enabling such customers to expand their palate to dry wines.

The Sweet Vinifera Wines are produced under the Talking Rock labels. These wines are quiet sweet, containing up to 6% residual sugar.

The Muscadine wines are produced under the Valdosta Wine Company and Helen Wine Company labels. These wines are made from 100% pure muscadine grapes; we label these wines “estate” (terroir) wines, as the grapes for these wines are grown at our Hahira, Georgia vineyards.

Muscadine-blended Wines are produced under the Southern Charm label. By blending vinifera wines into muscadine wines, these wines are unique having a “lighter” muscadine flavor.

For a complete list of all wines made by Frogtown please see Our Wines.