A New Generation of Winemakers

Gene and Laura Poland
Gene and Laura PolandGoodwater Vineyards
Owners Gene and Laura Poland are all-in in a seriously fun way when it comes to wine. Gene, the winemaker, who holds a degree in physics and speaks five languages, is not your typical geek. He loves to make you laugh and you’ll never know what to expect each time you visit. Even his lab will make you smile — with colorful strobe lights flashing as you peer in to see his mad scientist equipment — tools to hand craft the dry wines they both love. Laura provides balance with her sense of style and fabulous culinary skills. This young, energetic couple has plans. Big plans. For starters, their 30-acre vineyard is the largest on the Thunder Road Wine Trail. In production only since July 2014, their wine is already the official wine of the Tennessee Smokies baseball team. And, at the top of their to-do list, they’re raising four children! Goodwater Vineyards is a family winery in the truest sense.
Doug Seitz
Doug SeitzHillside Winery
Doug, the head winemaker at Hillside Winery, found his life’s passion early when his relatives put him to work in their vineyard at the age of 13. As past President of the Tennessee Farm Winegrower’s Association, Doug developed strong relationships with dozens of vineyard owners across the State of Tennessee. Currently he oversees the wine production for five wineries, one of which is Eagle Springs, and crushes between 800,000 and 1.4 million pounds of Tennessee grapes annually. Doug is passionate about his wines and wants you to experience his wines on a visceral level where you feel the passion in your gut — beyond simply tasting it. He gets a thrill out of seeing others having fun and enjoying his wines.
Chuck and Alice Belt
Chuck and Alice BeltSpout Spring Estates Winery and Vineyard
Chuck and Alice Faye Belt are both mechanical engineers and lovers of wine. Alice Faye is a modern Southern belle. Her family has roots in the area from way back. In 2003, they purchased 120 acres from her uncle and decided to grow Old World grapes. They manage six acres of vineyards on their impeccably maintained, ridgetop estate with stunning views of Mount LeConte in the Smokies, the pinnacle of Clinch Mountain, and the unique silhouette of House Mountain. Until recently, Spout Spring Estates was a farm winery, selling most of their grapes and reserving some for their own use. In 2015, Chuck, the winemaker, expanded their operation to include a winery dedicated to his love of the Old World style of winemaking.
Nikki Riddle & Michael Coombs
Nikki Riddle & Michael CoombsThe Winery at Seven Springs Farm
Owner and winemaker Nikki Riddle has winemaking in her blood. She got the itch after working in the vineyards with her aunt and uncle, owners of Spout Spring Estates Winery and Vineyard, and competing as an amateur winemaker. After completing her degree in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, she worked in the health care industry before leaving for a job as assistant winemaker at Beachaven Vineyards and Winery. There, she met her fiancé, Michael Coombs, the Master winemaker. While at Beachaven, she completed an additional undergraduate degree in Enology (the science of winemaking) at Missouri State, and began planning The Winery at Seven Springs Farm. With state-of-the-art laboratory, tank room, and equipment, this team has crafted some of Tennessee’s best wines for you to enjoy. The winery is on her family’s 370 acre farm-to-table complex in historic Maynardville.

FREE Winery & Estate Vineyard Tours

Have you ever seen a cluster of grapes on the vine? They are glorious. Tightly packed bundles of flavor aching to be sculpted into a nectar to feed the soul. Each varietal is a different experience, depending upon the winemaker’s vision. Free winery and estate vineyard tours are a must! You’ll enjoy the experience talking with these winemakers and you are sure to walk away with something special that will enhance your love of wine.
Female Winemakers — 33%
Winemakers Under 40 — 50%
Wineries with Estate Vineyards — 66%