Jim and Sandra Penner, Owners: The Cottage Vineyard & Winery was founded in the mountains of North Georgia in 2012 by owners Jim and Sandra Penner on 29 acres just north of Cleveland, Georgia. The Cottage Vineyard & Winery seeks to make the finest vinefera based wines in the Southeast and offer the most beautiful vineyard wedding settings with 360 degree mountain views in the North GA mountains.
Jim grew up in rural farming county in upstate New York. After a year of college, he joined the US Air Force, where he spent the next 24 years, including a tour in Vietnam. Appreciation for quality wine began as a result of his favorite Air Force assignment in Germany, with multiple travels throughout Germany, France and Italy. One career followed by another with Regions Financial Corporation, continuing his work in technology & telecommunications. After nearly two years working for Harley Davidson, Jim retired, moved to North Georgia, and took up winemaking as an intense hobby. Hobby became passion became The Cottage Vineyard & Winery!
Sandra was born and raised in Dothan, AL. As is the typical work-ethic of most of the baby-boomer generation. Sandra went to work, for now, Regions Financial Corporation, at 16 years old on a work-release program in high school. Starting as a teller, then loans, then loan officer, she worked her way from the ground up. Eventually, as an officer of the bank, and responsibility for technology training, conversions, and testing, she made the jump to the information systems environment for the Corporate side of the bank. Now, as a Senior Manager of programs/projects, Sandra, after 35 years, continues to work for Regions.
With one son, Nathan, and parents, Joe & Joyce Hodges, still in Dothan, AL, “We get back home as often as we can; but our new home and new winery adventure, keeps us in these gorgeous North Georgia mountains; our new home.” With her degree in Accounting and Program/Project Management certification, Sandra (still working full-time for Regions) acts as CFO/Secretary, and as Jim’s ‘Chief Rein-Er-Inner’! Jim says, “When I met the once-crowned, Little Miss Rose Hill, and one-time runway model, I simply didn’t have a chance!”
Hey ya’ll, I’m Nathan Beasley (aka TooTall), Jim and Sandra’s son. I am 7' ft. tall, so I might possibly be the tallest tasting room employee around! I just recently joined the Cottage team in early June, so to some I may be considered a “newby” but I’ve been studying and quietly gaining the necessary knowledge required to be the best at what I do. I was born in Dothan, AL where cotton fields and peanuts grow wild, then moved to Montgomery (what I thought was a big city) and experienced a whole new world. North Georgia is a BIG change for me, coming from a flat land, being able to look at all the mountains and beautiful scenery! I was a sports fanatic in high school and college where the basketball court was my “home”. When I moved up here I wasn’t sure how I would take to the wine business, but come to find out I feel like im right where I belong!!! Like I stated before I am a south Alabama man so instead of goodbye imma just say “ill see ya’ll later”, and ROLL TIDE!!!!
Jason Keinat, Vineyard Manager: Our vineyard manager, Jason Keinat, comes to us with over six years of vineyard experience. He also has over ten years of experience in the landscaping industry. His vineyard knowledge was learned, hands on, in the North Georgia area where he realized growing premier fruit leads to award winning wines.
Hey there, I’m Angela Reilly! I stumbled upon The Cottage Winery while I was wine tasting with my best friend a month after they opened, and completely fell in love. A week later I started with the family and the rest is history. I was born in the Franconian wine region of Germany but call Rabun County home. I worked for a Northeast Georgia winery for three and a half years while in college, but ultimately left the vineyard to finish my degree, and study abroad in Italy for a short period of time. I received my Bachelors in Psychology in 2012 from Piedmont College and feel right at home discussing life and delicious wines with our diverse customers. Can’t wait to see y’all soon, I’ll be the girl in the cowboy boots!
Georgia London: is a North Georgia native holding the first-class skill and knowledge that any Vineyard could only hope for. Georgia's horticultural experience and constant attention to detail sets us apart from all others. She proudly "looks forward to the opportunity of growing outstanding fruit for The Cottage Vineyard & Winery".
Hey guys! I'm Crystal Wolfe, born and raised in Dothan, Alabama. I'm a country girl at heart and love my big family. I'm the youngest of five children so when I decided to join the Cottage family, along with Nathan, it was a life changing experience. Giving up the flat land for the mountains is only one of the many perks to this area. The owners and the customers make this whole journey worthwhile.