Local winery bounces back from flood

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RUSSELLVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Flooding almost washed away a business in Hamblen County.

Seven feet of water sat inside the Grape Barn of the Nolichucky Vineyard, the heart of the Hamblen County winery's business.

"All I could do was sit on my bed and cry. I was devastated," said Katie Martin, the owner of the vineyard. "We totally emptied what was in here, everything that was flipped over, turned upside down, all the furniture took it outside and basically just burned it."

"It was very sad," said Nikki Wisecaver, a friend who helped finance the construction of the Barn. "She was just devastated when she saw how high the water was."

That was January 15. Now, on February 8, the Grape Barn is reconstructed and back open.

The building has new insulation, metal boards installed along the walls, and the fresh bottles have new wine labels.

"It's gorgeous. It's even prettier than it was before. She's done a great job putting together a venue to have different types of parties," said Wisecaver.

Which is good news for Martin, who has business to recoup.

"Three weeks of not having any customers, three weeks of not being able to take delivery on wine that we've had waiting to be bottled," said Martin.

That catch up has started with friends and loyal customers, who are happy to be back and help out.

The Grape Barn at Nolichucky Vineyard is located in Russellville, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until dark.

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