Our family was raised on this property along Goodwater Rd. Doctors Michael and Carol Hood had two children, Laura and Matthew. Michael and Carol had always loved fine wines and found the idea of a having a vineyard to be romantic. In 2004 Michael, his son Matthew, brother-in-law Steve, and neighbor Ron Moorfield planted the first two vineyards. They quickly learned that grapevines are possibly the most labor intensive crops. Michael and Carol happily invited their daughter Laura back home from Japan to help manage the farm. She fell in love with her future winemaker Gene Poland, who would help the family plan their future winery. After much trial and error, they ended up with around 30 acres of native muscadines and a few varieties of french hybrid grapes.
In 2013 Gene and uncle Steve finished building the winery and Laura helped them blend their first 4 vintages White Muscadine, Noble Muscadine, Rebecca’s Red and Seyval Blanc. Since then, many more wines have been added to the tasting list. They do tours of the vineyards, winery and Laura provides a unique experience of catered picnics in the vineyards. Also since then, Gene and Laura have added the third generation of the Goodwater crew we call the Goodwater Kids; Calvin, Rahli, Silas and Genevieve.
Head Vintner at the farm, Gene is our multi-talented task-master. A typical day at the farm consists of fixing a tractor, doing lab work at the winery and blending wines, and perhaps a little wood working. Gene was raised in Randolph, Vermont. He grew up snowboarding and enjoying the natural beauty of the Green Mountains. He lived in Europe as a young man which made him a great match for Laura who also loved traveling and languages. Gene majored in Physics at University of Connecticut and always had an appreciation for great wine, especially after training at the top of the world trade center’s Windows on the World with their wine course. Since designing and building the winery, Gene has completed a certification for winemaking from UC Davis California. Gene has many hobbies such as SCUBA, Hunting, Fishing, Snowboarding, wood-working, traveling and languages. He hopes to hand down all of his wine secrets to his children. If you come to either of the two tasting rooms you will not only be impressed with his wine-making skills, but also his handcrafted bars.
Sales Manager and vineyards manager, Laura holds a degree in Spanish and International Business from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She grew up on the farm at Goodwater rd and after graduating taught Spanish and English as a second language in Cocke County as well as Sapporo, Japan. She took her young son Calvin Hood to Japan with her which was a wonderful experience for them both. After several years of teaching she settled down back home on the farm and started managing the vineyards. She got a culinary arts chef certification at Walter State college in Sevierville, TN in order to add an additional element of offerings for the farm. Once she met Gene they soon started making wine together and the rest was history. They now have four children including Calvin, Rahli, Silas and Genevieve. Laura and Gene are very devoted to their children and they all play an integral part of the story from helping in the fields to bottling the wines!
Steve Bush AKA “Uncle Steve”
Steve is Carol Hood’s brother and has been working at Goodwater Vineyards since the establishment of the first vines. Steve grew up near Atlanta, Georgia and was known as a very wild child. He took his wild to the actual wild and became an avid hiker and rock-climber. He worked his way around the country and into other countries doing construction on high-rises as well as independently working his own crew on large corporate dry wall jobs. These building skills provided the Goodwater family with a shoe-in for building the winery independently. Steve enjoys the farm life and all of his nephews and nieces. We all know him as Uncle Steve.