Goodwater Winery and Vineyard to be fully operational this spring

Dr. Michael Hood cuts the ribbon for his daughter and son in law Laura and Gene Poland (center) with their children to open Goodwater Vineyard’s winery and tasting room with friends from the Cocke County Partnership Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Michael Hood cuts the ribbon for his daughter and son in law Laura and Gene Poland (center) with their children to open Goodwater Vineyard’s winery and tasting room with friends from the Cocke County Partnership Chamber of Commerce.

Water soon won’t be the only liquid flowing down from the hills near the Nolichucky River in Cocke County.

Goodwater Winery and Vineyards on the edge of Mosheim, is adding the finishing touches to become fully operational this spring.

The new agritourism spot, 1869 Goodwater Road in Mosheim, held a ribbon cutting in its production warehouse and tasting room with the Cocke County Partnership Chamber of Commerce recently.

Although no actual wine is ready for sale, the tasting room will be open starting Dec. 27, selling grape juice, jellies and for tours of the vineyard.

The vineyard is overseen by Gene and Laura Poland who have spent the past three years dedicating all their efforts into growing grapes and learning how to run the winery at a level near perfection.

Gene is almost through with achieving a certification in commercial wine making at the University of California- Davis.

With his extensive knowledge and the help of talking with growers from all over the world he has been able to formulate how to grow the best grapes for vineyard location.

All the grapes grown and thus the wine made are French-American hybrids such as dry white muscadine, sweet and dry seyval blanc, dry Marquette, dry corot noir, dry noiret.

The vineyard does produce sweet red and white muscadines that are native grapes.

In its short existence, the vineyard is already the third largest in the state, according to Laura’s father, a popular Newport doctor, Michael Hood.

Hood gave the couple the land to build the vineyard and has helped tremendously with building the winery.

The winery allows the couple to produce their own wine from the grapes, complete with everything needed to do so; a crusher, press, barrel room and bottling machine. All of their equipment is among the latest technology in the wine-manufacturing field, much of it imported from Europe.

Gene said the equipment can produce up to 500 bottles of wine an hour at full speed, but he prefers to take his time.

The winery will be among the very few in the world that produces through a triple fermentation process. Gene said he takes the grapes through three processes, alcoholic, sugar and dorastralaspora (enhance grape to give it a more big mouth fill) that helps create an overall better flavor of wine.

Because of the special way he ferments the grapes, they will only take one week for reds and three weeks for whites to be ready for processing.

The government shutdown in October prevented the Polands from obtaining the proper licenses they needed to be able to have wine for sale before Christmas.

The Poland’s are now waiting to get the final licenses they need to produce alcohol in hopes to have their first production ready for sale in early spring.

Goodwater Vineyards is open for tours. Anyone interested in a tour can contact the Poland’s by emailing goodwatervineyards@yahoo.com or calling 423-608-3249.

A Goodwater Winery webpage will be complete in January for more information.

-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer

Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm