Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall tour: Adams County Winery

Harvest admittedly is the busiest time of the year for wineries, lasting several weeks to more than a month. So now what, John Kramb of Adams County Winery in Orrtanna, Pa., was asked yesterday?

Kramb said he’ll turn his attention to strategic planning. And he’ll certainly keep an eye on what’s going on elsewhere in the operation as we get ready to tear off another calendar sheet and suddenly come face to face with November.

“We are preparing, of course, for Thanksgiving and the holidays,” he said, “getting items in for that, for gifts and stuff. [And] all those grapes we got have to be processed and that includes the crushing, the destemming, the pressing, transferring from tank to tank or what we call racking. That’s the grapes we process this year, and for last year’s grapes we’re doing lots of bottling.”

There is some urgency to getting that done, Kramb said, “because we’re running out of things . . . running out of space and wine. Like, let’s see, so far we’ve done some
Rebel Red and Tears of Gettysburg. T
his month they’re setting up to do our sweet Catawba for bottling. We need to get our apple ready and our Fireside Memories for the holidays. So all of that takes time.”

Kramb said some shoppers will use the bottles for gift baskets. Other will come looking for specific wines because of the time of the year. “Especially with the cold air coming, they’ll like the apple wine mulled,” he said. “The Fireside Memories is good for holiday meals. We also have some new products this year. We have some blackberry wine . . . we have ice wine in limited quantities. So, yes, we’re finding stuff to do.”

That’s the primary reason they take a hiatus from the classes and entertainment that runs primarily from spring into fall. They will welcome a few small tours and plenty of customers through December. In January, Kramb said, they’ll crank up the classes again and begin the cycle anew.

But that’s getting ahead of things, especially in a euphoria of what Kramb called a very good year in the vineyard. “We tried some different growing techniques, which resulted in not only a better crop as far as tonnage but as far as wine quality.” he said. “The sugars, the acids, the pH were all much better. You know, we’ve had some good years, but this one turned out very nicely.”

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