Gregg and Bev bought 3.3 acres in South Florida in 1998 with plans of building a house. While the house was being built, Gregg discovered a wild muscadine vine on the back of the property. He made jelly out of some of the grapes. It was good! Since a wild vine was growing on the property, he decided to try some domesticated varieties. They grew like weeds. After this, he found that the University of Florida developed some hybrid bunch grape varieties that could be grown in South Florida. These varieties were good for making wine. Eventually, Bad Armadillo Vineyard was about an acre.
Gregg continued making wine out of the grapes, which he entered yearly in the Florida State Fair. After his Double Gold for Cynthiana, he wondered if he could produce a wine good enough to sell commercially. Stress and frustration from his job (along with a short hospital stay) caused Gregg to change the direction for his life. He discovered that vitis vinifera could be grown in the North Georgia Mountains (only 11 hours from where they lived in Florida), and started to look for land for a vineyard. After a 5 year search, Gregg and Bev found the perfect piece of land between Blue Ridge and Blairsville, in the North Georgia mountains. They logged 10 acres of the property. In Spring of 2013, Gregg planted 1 acre of Chardonnay, 1 acre of Cabernet Sauvignon, and a few hundred vines of Merlot, Malbec, & Cabernet Franc. The 2014 vines arrived in July, and were potted. They will be planted in 2015.
Gregg retired from his job in April of 2013, and moved to the property the next month. Bev retired from her job in April of 2014, and moved up to be with Gregg and help with the house and vineyard. They have a Lot of work to do! Gregg will be doing some contract work periodically, until the vineyard gets going.
Thursday, Oct 3, 2019 at 9:00am
Union County Senior Center
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Sautee Nacoochee, GA
Saturday, Oct 5, 2019 at 9:30am
Smokey Springs Retirement Residence
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