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.

Stephanie Whigham

Tasting Room Associate

Stephanie is an Occupational Therapist for Ashe County School System by day and one of our tasting room associates by night. She and her husband moved to the High Country in January of 2019 from Durham, North Carolina. She's the proud fur momma to Sadie (a Lab-Great Pyrenees Mix), and Max & Alice (her lovely kitty cats!).

If Stephanie were a wine she'd be our Sweet Creek White because she is always so peachy!

Lily Crum

Lily Crum

Vinyard & Winery Operations

Lily joined our team in June of 2020. She studies art education at Appalachian State University and is also getting her masters in special education. She loves working outside and you can often find her in the art studio. She especially enjoys print making and paper making, a hobby she has explored at Penland School of Craft. She is also getting married to Hunter, another member of our staff, next spring! If Lily were to be a wine, she would be a dry rosé because she loves flowers and has a sparkling personality.
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!
Brad Blizard Grandfather Vineyard

Brad Blizard

Vinyard & Winery Operations, Assistant Winemaker

sam widman tasting room associate at Grandfather Vineyard

Sam Widman

Tasting Room Associate

Sam is one of our newest team members. She just graduated from NC State with her Master's in Advanced Analytics. She has the sweetest pup, Bindi, who she spends a lot of time with and brings her everywhere. During the summer she enjoys going on the river and in the winter enjoys snowboarding.
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!

Stockton Ware

Vineyard & Winery Operations

Hunter Mclure

Vineyard & Winery Operations

Hunter, fondly referred to as ‘Newbie’ joined the Grandfather Vineyard team in April of 2019. He’s originally from Mooresville but is now studying finance at Appalachian State University. Hunter enjoys all things outdoors! If he were a wine, he would be the Cabernet Franc, down to earth, grounded, and sometimes smells like a campfire!

Emily Bubnis

Tasting Room Associate

Emily Bubnis is one of the newest additions to the Grandfather Vineyard Family and like our Cabernet Sauvignon, she’s hoping to stick around for a while. Currently a Communication Studies major at Appalachian State University, she also participates in the organization, Chi Omega. In her free time Emily loves snowboarding during the colder seasons and paddleboarding during the warmer. If Emily was a wine at Grandfather Vineyard she would be the Gewurtztraminer because just like this semi-sweet wine, no one is quite sure how to say Emily’s last name!

Britton Phipps

Vineyard & Winery Operations

Britton Phipps joined the Grandfather Vineyard family in July 2019. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, he has since relocated to the high country to attend Appalachian State University where he studies Political Science. He has a passion for cars and sports, especially hockey, where he is a lifelong fan of the Carolina Hurricanes. If he were any wine at Grandfather Vineyard, it would be the Big Boulder Red.

Max Negron

Vineyard & Winery Operations

Max is one of our newer team members. He's currently attending Appalachian State University, and is getting his BS in Communication Studies. He really enjoys listening to music, and you can often find him putting an old school vinyl on his record player. He loves writing, a passion he discovered early on in life.

Kyle Whigham

Webmaster & Parking Crew Member

Kyle and his wife, Stephanie, moved to Boone in January of 2019. He updates our website with new events and pictures while also helping direct parking on the weekend. During the week, Kyle is Director of SEO and Content Creation at Appnet New Media Studio. If Kyle were a wine, he'd be our Malbec; easy to drink and pairs nicely with a big steak.
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.


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!

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.


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.