Marth Ezzard, right, toasts her husband John at Tiger Mountain Vineyards, their family farm turned winery in Tiger, Ga.

Second Bud Author Martha Ezzard Speaks at Brenau About Family Farm Turned Winery

Feb 4, 2014
Brenau Staff
Marth Ezzard
Marth Ezzard

Keynoting a special lecture and wine-tasting program at the Brenau University Downtown Center Feb. 13, author Martha Ezzard will discuss how she and her physician husband John turned a north Georgia family farm into a successful winery.

Ezzard, award-winning newspaper columnist, environmental lawyer and former Colorado state senator, also will sign her book, The Second Bud: Deserting the City for a Farm Winery.  The event, free and open to the public, is scheduled between 6 and 8 p.m. as part of the university’s Sense & Sustainability lecture series. However, seating is limited and reservations are required. For more details contact Alison Reeger Cook at 770-534-6160 or make a reservation online at

Born in in Atlanta, Martha McElveen Ezzard, had a skyrocketing career in law and politics in Colorado (she lost a nomination in a U.S. Senate election by 19 votes) when she and her husband John, a retired urologist, returned to Rabun County in the Georgia mountains to save a five -generation- old 100-acre family farm near the tiny town of Tiger where he was born. While John was winding down his medical career and Martha was an editorial page columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they embarked on a bold plan to build from the ground up a French-style winery, using some varieties of grapes foreign to Georgia, in an area best known as the locale for the motion picture Deliverance and its dark, primitive mountain characters.

The couple’s risk-taking efforts paid off. Their Tiger Mountain vineyards and winery have produced wines that have won gold and silver medals in top east coast and California competitions. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Ezzard took the title of her book from grape horticulture. “In grape growing, a second bud sometimes comes along to replace a first bud that’s fallen victim to late spring frost,” the article stated. “As a metaphor for survival and perseverance … it’s pretty darned good. As the title for Martha Ezzard’s book, it’s perfect.”

The Ezzards partner with John and Marilyn McMullan in the Tiger Mountain Vineyards venture. The operation produces red and white wines only from Georgia-grown grapes in Rabun County. Ten acres of vines, planted in 1995 and 1996 on the Ezzards’ farm are individually tended and hand-picked. Their wines, mostly European vinifera, are found in every major city in Georgia. The wines have won more than 195 awards. The vineyards and tasting room are open year round at 2592 Old Highway 441 South in Tiger, Ga. For more information about Tiger Mountain Vineyards please visit online at