This year, on May 30, we’ll be celebrating our three-year anniversary. It’s so exciting to think back on how far we’ve come and the exciting plans on the horizon.
Coming in to our opening in 2012, we were still very unsure about the entire concept of opening a winery and vineyard in Georgia. We had all of one harvest under our belt, and our cellar was basically empty. Late frosts in 2010 and 2011 had set our young vines back tremendously, and whatever business plan we had was out the window.
What we were lucky to have, however, was a network of friends and family who wanted to see this succeed. They lent us their time and energy to help plant new blocks of vines, to restore and remodel the old house into a functioning tasting room and winery, to harvest and crush grapes, to help bottle, and to be there when we needed to vent about the challenges of starting a new business. These people will always be a part of Hightower Creek, and there’s not enough we can do to thank them.
Lo and behold, when we opened people showed up! And they even seemed to enjoy our wine! We learned a lot that first year, including what worked and what didn’t. We learned that my wife Katrina and I were not caterers, after preparing a summer’s worth of after-hours meals. We learned that fall days were our busiest time – except when UGA was playing football! We learned that sometimes, especially with wine, the best approach is to leave well enough alone and let time take its course.
We’ve made some great strides as well. This year, we’re excited to invite people to our expanded covered deck – we hope it allows our guests to relax and enjoy the constant breezes and views. I’ve personally grown as a winemaker, and I think Hightower Creek wines are beginning to show a real unique identity. We hosted our first weddings last year and we’re excited about other couples making Hightower Creek a part of their celebrations. Finally, we hired our first employee, Emily Wilson, who has done a tremendous job of managing our tasting room.
We’re excited about new adventures in the next year, and hope that you’ll share it with us!
Winemaker, Hightower Creek