Over two decades ago, the late Dr. Ezzard gave up his medical practice in Denver to return to the Rabun County farm where he’d grown up milking cows. When he and his wife Martha, a former Colorado State Senator and lawyer, planted the first vines here in 1995, the main goal was saving the land that had been his family’s for five generations. “I wanted to save the family farm...,” John said. “I wanted to follow my father” into farming, but John wanted to do something other than raise beans, corn, potatoes and tomatoes. Because he’d become interested in wine through his son-in-law, a wine connoisseur, while living in Denver, he decided to try growing wine grapes. Col William Ezzard, John's father, lived long enough to see the first plantings, and while “Dad never had a drink in his life, probably,” Ezzard said, “he was so glad I was coming back, it wouldn’t have mattered what I was growing."
Tiger Mountain Vineyards was the first Georgia Vineyard to successfully establish European vines here in North Georgia. It was challenging work to cultivate the land and vines to produce TMV's amazing fruit and successfully craft award-winning wines. John loved getting his hands in the earth, especially the earth at Tiger Mountain, which his wife, Martha, said, "was part of his soul".