Crane Creek Vineyards sits high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, just three miles north of the quaint college town of Young Harris in the shadow of Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest peak. Less than two hours from Atlanta – yet a world away…
Blessed with a unique microclimate, a combination of warm, dry summer days, cool mountain nights and well-drained mineral soils, which allows us to cultivate and harvest grapes that produce complex wines with fresh, assertive aromas and concentrated flavors.
Crane Creek Vineyards is a family run business in the truest sense of the word. Members of our small staff are all family members, even if they are not part of my blood family. All of our “family” members have their own specialties and unique personalities but are all experienced in each facet of the winemaking process and other activities at the vineyard. We may spend one day together harvesting, and the next weekend working at one of our many public or private functions. Each day and each season is filled with rewards as we work day to day with the land, the vines, and the incredible backdrop of our mountain home
A native of Atlanta, Eric spent much of his early life traveling the world with his father and family as part of the U.S. State Department. Finishing up his final high school years in Atlanta he went on to West Point and began a career as a U.S. army officer. A significant portion of his military career was spent in Northern Italy. It was there that he developed his appreciation of the art of winemaking and the lifestyle of winegrowing in three of the four major Italian wine regions: Tuscany, Veneto and the Friuli. Upon retirement, Eric settled back in his native Georgia and moved to the North Georgia Mountains to embark on a second career.
Much of Eric’s attitude toward wine is Italian in its source versus the more formal and rigid French outlook. In Italy wine is not the star but a supporting player in the great “dolce vita”. This attitude is adopted at Crane Creek Vineyards where we all, including Eric, invite you to kick your feet up and lift a glass to “la dolce vita!”
Born in California and raised in Iowa, Eric’s wife DeAnne is a practicing veterinarian in Blairsville, Georgia. She met and married Eric while serving as a veterinarian in the army.
Eric and DeAnne lived in Italy for many years while in the army. Their first son was born there. Their second son was born in Atlanta 2 years later after they moved back to the States. In 1995, they bought the farmland that is now the vineyards. They also purchased DeAnne’s practice that same year.
DeAnne, owner of Blairsville Animal Hospital, is a full-time veterinarian and mother to their 2 growing boys. She helps out at Crane Creek when she can, acting as the buyer for the tasting room retail shop. She enjoys collecting folk art and likes the idea of taking the mystique out of both wine and art.
A lifelong resident of Georgia and graduate of Georgia Southern University, David brings culinary skill and warm hospitality to Crane Creek. After pursuing a business career that exposed him to cuisine from around the world, he took off his tie and decided to follow his true passion: cooking. He owned and operated his own boutique catering business in Atlanta for 15 years. Here at Crane Creek Vineyards he is able to combine his love of food and wine while providing memorable experiences for our visitors and guests. Wine tastings, weddings, and special dinners are the perfect way to experience David’s culinary talents.
Matt is our cellar rat, responsible for assisting the wine maker and the overall efficiency of the winery. He was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, and grew up in Pensacola, Florida. When he turned 18, he joined the Navy and served for eight years, traveling around the world. He lived in Greece for three years working for the Department of Defense as a federal firefighter and in Spain for over thirteen years. He acquired his love for wine while living in Spain, where he was able to experience the many different wines of the Mediterranean regions. He loves to travel and enjoys spending time with his family. He moved to Young Harris two years ago from Atlanta and feels himself at home here in the beautiful Georgia mountains.
Darbie was raised in a family of entrepreneurs and grew up learning to manage the family-owned retail store, which has since transformed into a restaurant, coffee shop, and event space in Corinth, MS. Raised with small business knowledge and a retail background, she is a great fit for Crane Creek.
Her diverse background includes marketing, public relations and account management, as well as experience event planning for a law firm in Nashville, TN, and festival planning and program coordination for a local county government in Florida.
Darbie moved to North Georgia in 2015 with her husband who teaches at Young Harris College. She found Crane Creek through new friends, and is the newest addition to the CCV team. As Tasting Room Manager and Event Coordinator, her love of wine expands each day as she gets to interact with regular and first-time visitors to Crane Creek and share the joy of wine culture in the North Georgia Mountains.