A native of Atlanta, Eric spent much of his early life traveling the world with his father and family as part of the U.S. State Department. Finishing up his final high school years in Atlanta he went on to West Point and began a career as an U.S. army officer. A significant portion of his military career was spent in Northern Italy. It was there that he developed his appreciation of the art of wine making and the life style of winegrowing in three of the four major Italian wine regions: Tuscany, Veneto and the Friuli. Upon retirement Eric settled back in his native Georgia and moved to the North Georgia Mountains to embark on a second career.

Much of Eric's attitude toward wine is Italian in its source versus the more formal and rigid French outlook. In Italy wine is not the star but a supporting player in the great "dolce vita". This attitude is adopted at Crane Creek Vineyards where we all, including Eric, invite you to kick your feet up and lift a glass to "la dolce vita!"


Born in California and raised in Iowa, Eric's wife DeAnne is a practicing veterinarian in Blairsville, Georgia. She met and married Eric while serving as a veterinarian in the army.

Eric and DeAnne lived in Italy for many years while in the army. Their first son was born there. Their second son was born in Atlanta 2 years later after they moved back to the States. In 1995, they bought the farmland that is now the vineyards. They also purchased DeAnne's practice that same year.

DeAnne, owner of Blairsville Animal Hospital, is a full-time veterinarian and mother to their 2 growing boys. She helps out at Crane Creek when she can, acting as the buyer for the tasting room retail shop. She enjoys collecting folk art and likes the idea of taking the mystique out of both wine and art.


A lifelong resident of Georgia and graduate of Georgia Southern University, David brings culinary skill and warm hospitality to Crane Creek. After pursuing a business career that exposed him to cuisine from around the world, he took off his tie and decided to follow his true passion: cooking. He owned and operated his own boutique catering business in Atlanta for 15 years. Here at Crane Creek Vineyards he is able to combine his love of food and wine while providing memorable experiences for our visitors and guests. Wine tastings, weddings, and special dinners are the perfect way to experience David's culinary talents.


Matt is our cellar rat, responsible for assisting the wine maker and the overall efficiency of the winery. He was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, and grew up in Pensacola, Florida. When he turned 18, he joined the Navy and served for eight years, traveling around the world. He lived in Greece for three years working for the Department of Defense as a federal firefighter and in Spain for over thirteen years. He acquired his love for wine while living in Spain, where he was able to experience the many different wines of the Mediterranean regions. He loves to travel and enjoys spending time with his family. He moved to Young Harris two years ago from Atlanta and feels himself at home here in the beautiful Georgia mountains.


From a stay-at-home mom of three to Haralson House Wedding Venue Director to wine enthusiast...

Jill Espalin, our tasting room manager, is a native to Young Harris, GA. She engrosses herself in the creativity and uniqueness of Crane Creek's atmosphere, culture and wines while introducing it's distinguished flavors to the winery's guests.

When Jill isn't buzzing at the vineyard, she most enjoys spending her time with her husband and kids, watching football and traveling.

"Everyday I get to come to work and look out over this gorgeous vineyard, meet the most wonderful people and be a part of an ever-growing, ever-changing wine culture."

Team Photo
Crane Creek Vineyards · 916 Crane Creek Road · Young Harris, GA | 706.379.1236 | info@cranecreekvineyards.com