Elena, how long have you worked at Beans Creek Winery?
I've worked here for about nine years. I started soon after I moved to Tennessee. I learned a lot and met many good people. Winemaker Tom Brown says, "Surround yourself with good people, and you'll be happy." He's right.
How did you learn about this job?
My cousin told me about it. She introduced me to the Browns, the owners. It has been a fun and rewarding job. I'm always confident when I offer Beans Creek wine to customers. Some customers are genuinely surprised that Tennessee wine is so good. It's nice to offer award-winning wines which have been recognized nationally and internationally.
What's your favorite thing about working at the winery?
We're all really close, we're friends - everyone who works here, the Browns and the regular customers. The new customers see that, so it's easy for them to feel at home, too.
What's your favorite wine?
Usually, people start drinking sweet wines and, gradually, they turn to dry wine lovers. Contrary to that, I used to like dry wines - being from Bulgaria, I had mostly tried dry wines. But now I enjoy some sweet wines, too. I love the Wild Mountain Blackberry and the port-style Apropos.
So you're from Bulgaria - that explains the accent.
Yes. Customers ask me where I am from all the time. Josh Brown likes to tell them I'm from Kentucky or Alabama - he likes to see their surprised faces.
What do you like to do when you're not at the winery?
I like to spend time with my family. I read. I recently binge watched Downton Abbey. I love the show and its characters, who really appreciate fine wines and ports, by the way.