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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

< Back to Oral History project: Wine in the South


Robert Taylor

Tilford Winery & Farms

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:
2008-08-28 00:00

John T Edge

John T Edge

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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