Meet Our Team

At Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, we’re truly a team. From our owners to our newest employee, it takes each and every one of us working together to bring you a one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience! Learn more about our amazing team at Grandfather Vineyard and Winery below.

Steve & Sally Tatum


Steve and Sally have built quite the life in the High Country. After meeting in 1977, they knew they had something special. So, since getting married in 1978, Steve and Sally have become pillars of the community. Although they are known in business for Tatum Galleries interior design firm and Grandfather Vineyard, Sally is known by friends for her unparalleled jams and jellies and Steve for his exquisite woodwork. When they’re not making sure business runs smoothly, the Tatum’s like to spend time at their happy place, their lake house, with family and friends.

Dylan & Nicole Tatum

Winemaker/GM & Tasting Room Manager

Grandfather Vineyard serves as a happily ever after for its Tasting Room Manager and Winemaker. Nicole moved to the High Country in 2014 and four days after settling in she met Dylan and their love story began. Soon after, Nicole began working at the winery and three years later in 2017 they had their fairytale wedding on the bank of Watauga River, right here on the property. Now, Nicole and Dylan split their time between being the power duo behind the Winery operations and loving dog parents to the Vineyard dogs, Casey and Willa.
Brad Blizard Grandfather Vineyard

Brad Blizard

Vinyard & Winery Operations, Assistant Winemaker

Brad Blizard joined the Grandfather Vineyard team in July of 2020 after graduating from Appalachian State's Fermentation Science program. Brad is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, and came to Boone to study business at ASU. Three semesters in, he found his passion: he wanted to create quality craft beer. Throughout his studies, and his hands-on experience at Grandfather Vineyard through those studies, Brad's passion for fermentation honed in on wine. When not at work, Brad is spending time with his family, hiking, and playing guitar.
Brian Mayfield, Grandfather vineyard operations

Brian Mayfield

Vineyard & Winery Operations

Brian Mayfield studied biology and geography while attending Appalachian State University, graduating magna cum laude. After graduation, Brian began working at Grandfather Vineyard where he's been able to combine his passion for science, the outdoors, practical management and operations skills. He joined GV in July of 2020 and experienced his first harvest that fall. Growing up in Morganton, NC, Brian had always wanted to move 'up the mountain', and now considers Boone home. He is an avid hiker and recently has taken akin to snowboarding. When not trekking the wood or crushing grapes, Brian enjoys working out and ending the day playing video games.
Will Burrow, grandfather vineyard wine making crew and operations

Will Burrow

Assistant Winemaker

Will is a native of Boone, North Carolina, and attended Appalachian State University. After graduating in 2020, Will secured a harvest internship at Dundee Hills AVA. He was able to go in-depth with learning the process of wine making from vine to bottle. Will thoroughly enjoys the hands-on aspect of working at Grandfather Vineyard, each day bringing a new task while each season looks a bit different. When not at the winery, Will can be found playing the banjo, cooking up a delicious meal in the kitchen or spending time with his girlfriend, Liz, and furry companion, Eddie.
joe clevenger, grandfather vineyard staff

Joe Clevenger

Vineyard Operations

Joe Clevenger joined Grandfather Vineyard's Operations Team in September of 2020. He is currently studying fermentation sciences at App State and is in his Sophomore year. Joe is our resident Veteran, a Marine who served for 5 years prior to moving to Boone. Joe is a self-admitted adrenaline junkie. In his free time, Joe enjoys working on his farm with his dog Rosie and cat Turbo.

Emily Bubnis

Tasting Room Associate

Emily Bubnis has been a valuable member of the Grandfather Vineyard team since 2019, and just like our Cabernet Sauvignon, she's a staple here at GV. She graduated from ASU with a Bachelor's in Communication Studies. Emily is an avid snowboarder in her free time, loves her cat Jellybean, and likes to tap into her creative side in her free time. Her favorite part about working here is the chance to meet and talk with all of our be sure to say hello to Emily on your next visit!
Lana Whigham at Grandfather Vineyard

Lana Whigham

Tasting Room Associate

Lana joined the Grandfather Vineyard team in May of 2020. She and her husband retired to a cabin in Newland after finishing up her career with Atrium Healthcare. Lana is a volunteer at Grandfather Mountain, an avid hiker, pickleball champion, and YMCA regular. She's excited to become a grandma this fall! If Lana were a wine at GV, she'd be our stainless steel chardonnay, full of flavor, crisp, and easily bringing a smile to those around her!
hannah dalness

Hannah Dalness

Tasting Room Associate

Hannah joined the Grandfather Vineyard team in January 2021 and is excited to be here! She recently got her undergrad degree in Secondary English Education from App State and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Reading Education. In her free time Hannah enjoys reading a good book or cooking a delicious meal. Her favorite part of working at the winery is all the dogs she gets to pet!
Daniel Machon

Daniel Machon

Tasting Room Associate

During the week, Daniel teaches and molds the minds of future generations teaching kindergarten in the Watauga County school system. On the weekends, however, he teaches tasting room visitors about the varietals found in our wines. You’ll often find Daniel at the winery with Sally, his rescued beagle mix! If Daniel were a wine he’d be Grandfather’s Provenance Chardonnay, classic, easy going, a bit of an outdoor side, and enjoyed by all!
dayna forman, parking crew grandfather vineyard

Dayna Forman

Parking Crew

Dayna joined the Grandfather Vineyard crew in August of 2020. She is a senior at App State studying Communication with a minor in Psychology. She has a guinea pig named Peaches. Her favorite is the Sweet Creek White, and her favorite aspect of working at GV is the delicious cheeses for sale in the tasting room! You can find Dayna on the Golf Cart or guiding cars in our Auxiliary Parking Lot on the weekends.
abby simmons grandfather vineyard tasting room associate

Abby Simmons

Tasting Room Associate

Abby Simmons joined the Grandfather Vineyard team at the of Summer in 2021. She is from Mount Airy, North Carolina and currently attend Appalachian State University. At ASU, Abby studies Middle Grades Education with a focus on English and Science. She is the proud owner of 3 cats and 1 dog.

Abby's favorite Grandfather Vineyard Wine is the Dry Rosé!

jenna dalbo at grandfather vineyard

Jenna Dalbo

Tasting Room Associate

Jenna Dalbo is from Apex, North Carolina and is a graduate of South Carolina. She is currently working on her Master's in Speech-Language Pathology at App State, and plans to move to Colorado upon graduation where she hopes to work with older adults. Jenna's favorite wine is the Cabernet Sauvignon, and her all-time favorite is the Whiskey Barrel White. In her free time, Jenna loves to read as many books as possible, listen to Phoebe Bridgers, and travel!
katlin holder

Caitlin Collins

Tasting Room Associate

Caitlin joined the Grandfather Vineyard Tasting Room team in April 2021. She is currently a senior at App State studying in Special Education with hopes to further education by obtaining a Master's in Reading Education. In her free time she loves to paint, and one of her favorite paintings is above the fire place in the tasting room! Her favorite aspect of working at GV is the friendly staff and the scenic view!
madison thorpe, grandfather vineyard tasting room associate

Madison Thorpe

Tasting Room Associate

Madison joined the GV team in April 2021, and is currently a senior at App State studying Biology. She is originally from Charlotte, NC and came to Boone to attend Appalachian State. Madison loves to spend her time outdoors and relishes cuddles from her cat. Her favorite parts about working at Grandfather Vineyard are her awesome coworkers and the vineyard dogs!


Winery and Vineyard Operations

Kathryn became a part of the Grandfather Vineyard team in the fall of 2021. She is originally from the area, calling Boone her hometown. Kathryn loves to be outdoors, especially around the vineyard; she thinks GV is one of the most beautiful places in the area. If you ask Kathryn what's next for her, she'll tell you that 's going to go somewhere in the world.
alicia pettit at grandfather vinyeard

Alicia Pettit

Tasting Room Associate

Alicia joined the Grandfather Vineyard team in July of 2021. She is a student at App State currently studying Recreation Management and Tourism, after previously attending Radford University in Virginia. She has lived in Boone for just over a year, and her favorite place to be is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Alicia is part of the Insprial Fire Tribe, spinning fire hoops, a fire baton, and more!

Anderson Noonan

Vineyard & Winery Operations

More to come!
casey dog


Vineyard/Winery Dog

Meet our “Bordeaux Collie” Casey. She was born in 2010 and spent her puppyhood growing up at Grandfather Vineyard. She enjoys meeting customers at their cars and “herding” them into our tasting room. She spends the rest of her day wading in the Watauga River, playing catch with customers and chasing our four wheeler through the vines. During her occasional days off, she likes to go hiking with her humans and watch the animal planet.
willa the dog at grandfather vineyard


Vineyard/Winery Dog

You’re bound to find one ear up and a friendly face with Willa the Wine Dog! Willa was born in July of 2016 and loves to hang out at the Vineyard with her big sister and fellow Border Collie, Casey. During her work days, she spends her time splashing in the creek and charming kids and adults alike with her almost endless energy. When she does get a day off, she prefers cuddling with her humans and looking forward to sunny days in the vines.


Vineyard/Winery Dog

Meet the newest member of our vineyard family! Hallie was born in February of 2019 and found a forever home roaming the grounds at Grandfather Vineyard & Winery. Hallie can be found playing with her sisters Casey and Willa on any given day or wading through the Watauga River next to the tasting room.

If Hallie was a wine, she'd be our Orange Muscat because she is sweet!


Sidekick To Owner

Meet Zoe-Belle, the fun-loving sidekick to our owner, Steve. Lovingly called “Belle,” Zoe-Belle is a young and mischievous member of Grandfather’s canine mascots. She loves wrestling with Willa and getting into all sorts of trouble – until Steve catches her, of course! You’d be hard-pressed to find our owner without Zo-Belle trotting along at his side, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.