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!

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.
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!
hannah dalness, grandfather vineyard tasting room associate in front of fireplace

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 watching bad reality tv with her roommates and driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway listening to good music.
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.
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!
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!

amy cyzman tasting room associate grandfather vineyard

Amy Cyzman

Tasting Room Associate

More to come!

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!
dayna forman, parking crew grandfather vineyard

Dayna Forman

Parking Crew

More to come!

Anderson Noonan

Vineyard & Winery Operations

More to come!
kyle whigham webmaster and parking crew at grandfather vinyeard

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.
megan clothworthy tasting room associate grandfather vineyard

Meghan Clotworthy

Tasting Room Associate

More to come!
joe clevenger, grandfather vineyard staff

Joe Clevenger

Vineyard Operations

More to come!
Will Burrow, grandfather vineyard wine making crew and operations

Will Burrow

Winery and Vineyard Operations

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.
jenna dalbo, grandfather vineyard tasting room associate

Jenna Dalbo

Tasting Room Associate

More to come!
madison thorpe, grandfather vineyard tasting room associate

Madison Thorpe

Tasting Room Associate

More to come!
katlin holder

Caitlin Collins

Tasting Room Associate

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.


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.