Our Story


Originated in 2013

Planted with Passion

The Cottage Vineyard and Winery has a story that began in 2013, when Jim and Sandra Penner purchased 26 acres of land in Cleveland, Georgia, and turned their passion for wine into a winery. They named their winery "The Cottage," to reflect the hospitality and home-like feel of the winery.

They wanted to create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere where visitors could taste their delicious wines and enjoy the natural beauty of the location. They believed that valuing people and experiences above all else was the key to creating a sense of community and connection for all who visited.

Passing the torch in 2022

Continuing to Grow

In 2022, the story of The Cottage took a new turn when Steve Schmidt and his business partners purchased the winery. Steve had been working as a business consultant for The Cottage and had learned the ins and outs of the winery business, working in the tasting room, cellar, and vineyard.

With the purchase of The Cottage, Steve and his partners saw an opportunity to take Jim and Sandra's foundation of hospitality and people-first environment and grow it into a full wine experience in the North Georgia Mountains. They immediately purchased another 20+ acres of neighboring land to turn their dream into reality. The Cottage will always be a place where people and experiences come first, and where visitors can connect with the land, the wine, and each other.


Our Mission

Our mission is to create a welcoming atmosphere where visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of our location and taste our handcrafted wine. We value people and experiences above all else and strive to create a sense of community and connection for all who visit.

Our Vision

Our vision is to grow North Georgia Wine Country into a premier destination for wine lovers across the nation, offering a unique and authentic experience that celebrates the beauty of our location, the quality of our wines, and the warmth of our hospitality.

Want to work with us?

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.