With the aim of creating wines that with each sip, people can taste that their full hearts went into every bottle, Accent Cellars sources fruit from farms around Georgia as well as around the country to identify the highest quality and most interesting varietals. Winemakers Tristen Vanhoff and Tyler Barnes create small-batch wines for Accent Cellars as a micro-farm winery which is located only two minutes from downtown Dahlonega.
Tristen Vanhoff was born and raised in Queensland, Australia. He has been in the wine business for over 10 years, and he obtained his formal Enology degree from North Melbourne University in Australia with internships in Sonoma County, California and in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. Upon fatefully meeting his now wife Katie while visiting friends in Georgia in 2009, he uprooted his life in the name of love to move to metro Atlanta and begin building his wine career in the North Georgia Mountains. In 2013 he started his first head winemaking position in the heart of North Georgia wine country at Montaluce Winery & Vineyard in Dahlonega, Georgia. Shortly after starting at Monteluce, his brother-in-law and business partner, Tyler Barnes, began working as his assistant at the trade of winemaking. They slowly built a side business that eventually became Accent Cellars. Both men parted ways with Montaluce in the spring of 2017 to focus on Accent Cellars which officially opened its doors in July of 2017. In addition to his efforts at Accent Cellars, Tristen now also works as a wine consultant for other North Georgia wineries, ever honing his craft and further cultivating his passion for making new and different wines.
Tyler Barnes was born and in raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia just north of Atlanta. After spending a year abroad in Germany, he returned to the states with a new found appreciation for beer and craft beverages. He then attended the University of Georgia graduating with dual majors in the humanities in the spring of 2013. Becoming a winemaker was hardly considered a likely outcome for his life. After being offered a job at Montaluce by the head winemaker, also his brother-in-law, and now business partner Tristen Vanhoff, and for reasons he still can’t quite explain, he decided to dive headlong into the wine business. As soon as he started to apprentice for Tristen, they also started their side business of Accent Cellars. Since opening their winery, you can find Tyler behind the bar nearly every day of the week doing tastings for wine lovers with his heavy emphasis on education about the beauties and intricacies of all things wine.
With an eye toward the future, Tyler and Tristen plan to take Accent Cellars to the next level with their dedication to working with all different types of grapes from around the country to be made in unique ways that entice all manner of wine drinkers.
Read more about the “Great Vineyards, Wineries, and Cellars of North Georgia” HERE.
by Denise Romeo | Atlanta City Editor
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