When Katherine Bigler and her husband, John Kramb, came to Gettysburg on a Fourth of July weekend getaway in 1998, they had no way of knowing that it would be a life-altering vacation. John, retired Army, who enjoys history convinced his wife Katherine, then active Army, to take a quick weekend trip to one of the most historical towns in the United States, Gettysburg. During that visit they made a stop at the Adams County Winery to experience a local winery with a rich history of its own.
During the visit then owner, Tom Campbell, mentioned to John and Katherine about how he and his wife, Beverly, had just put the winery up for sale. “Two days later, we called and said that we would take it,” John says, “we figured, how hard can it be to run a winery?” During the first several months while Katherine was still serving in the Army, John was managing the day to day operations with his best friend, Shadow, a black Labrador Retriever. “There was a lot to learn,” John remembers, “We had inherited a lot of the recipes and other notes from the Campbells, but each day still had its challenges.” When asked, “what advice would you give to your younger self, just starting out as a winemaker?” Katherine laughs and exclaims, “Are you crazy? You don’t know anything about making wine or growing grapes!”
Their goal was simple; create a fun, inviting, and casual atmosphere where anyone can relax and feel at home. Many thousands of gallons of wine, three additional locations, numerous facility and property enhancement projects, and more than 150 national and international wine competition awards later; they have certainly exceeded their goal. “We couldn’t have done it alone,” says John. “We have hired smart, hardworking people to take over most of the operations of the winery. “We’re very fortunate,” adds Katherine.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary as the proud owners of the Adams County Winery, on October 1st the winery will be bringing back one its most requested wines from the past, Fireside Memories. This semi-sweet blend of Vidal and local cherries features a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a limited time release and will only be around while supplies last. “We’re so grateful to all of our guests, and to be able to bring back a wine that we know they loved, to commemorate the past 20 years is our way of saying thank you,” says Katherine.