I have to give my husband Gene credit for suggesting Kenny Glenn as the artist for Iron Gate labels. Gene met Kenny way back in 1979. Gene owned a feed and seed store in Granville County. Kenny worked for IBM and was beginning his career as an artist.
Kenny came by Gene’s store, The Southern Planter, one day and showed some of his work depicting life on a tobacco farm. Gene purchased three of his prints Blood, Sweat & Bessie, Under the Old Oak Tree and Prime Time for $25 each. Gene bought these to
hang in the store thinking local farmers would enjoy Kenny’s style. Today these prints hang in the tasting room at Iron Gate for all to enjoy.
When we began thinking about our winery and the story we wanted to tell I went back to my childhood days of working in tobacco. The old Lynch family farm that we had purchased in 2000 to plant our vineyards on still had tobacco growing in the fields. My grandfather, Porter Simmons, was a tobacco farmer in the Anderson community in Caswell County. I have many wonderful memories of helping my
Grandma and Grandpa Simmons in tobacco. During the summer months we also helped other farm families in our community. Being the eldest of eight children, it was how I made money to buy my school clothes.
Kenny’s art touched something deep in my soul. It brought back those memories and reminded me of who I am, where I came from and how I developed the work ethic that has carried me this far in life.
Kenny has been very gracious to allow Iron Gate Winery to use his art work to tell our story. So, when you come to the winery and hear the words Brightleaf, Pack House, or Flue Fire let us tell you a story that has helped North Carolina become the state it is.
If you see Kenny out and about at art shows and festivals please tell him how much you appreciate his willingness to share his art with us and if you can, take some home with you.