Tilford Winery & Farms

Tilford Winery & Farms
126 Berrypatch Lane
Kathleen, GA 31047
(478) 396-3025

Tilford Winery in the central Georgia town of Kathleen, is named in honor of Tilford Taylor, the father of proprietor Robert Taylor. The winery – as well as some of the grape arbors – is set behind Robert’s white clapboard home, in a suburban neighborhood. Robert, who works a full-time job at the Warner Robbins Air Force Base, believes his operation is the only one in Georgia owned and operated by an African American.

Robert’s family hails from downstate Mississippi, specifically the small town of Utica. Although there is a tradition in wine making among members of the family, Robert did not consider making wine from native muscadine grapes until, in 1999, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was out of work for 15 months, and during that time, he began exploring the health-giving properties of resveratrol, a compound in muscadine grapes – and the wines made from them – that is now being employed as a nutriceutical, in response to a number of ailments.

Tilford Winery uses Magnolia and Carlos varieties of muscadine to make white wine. Noble is their red wine grape of choice. Sales are accomplished by way of the Internet.

Date of interview:

August 28, 2008

Interviewer:

John T Edge

Photographer:

John T Edge

Tilford Winery & Farms - Robert Taylor - Wine in the South
My grandmother made the wine and my mother would make jelly… [T]hey will get the skin juice and boil it down, get the skin juice to make muscadine juice. You also could make muscadine syrup as well, and so those are type things that they use there. But basic thing that was no different type technique more—no more than steaming the juice and cooking it down and let it cool down to a jelly. [Y]ou can put it on toast, bagels, even make muscadine bread and you also can make muscadine pie.
Download Transcript