KyMar Farm Distillery has purchased the Story House Book Bindery building in Charlotteville, and plans on moving most of its winery and distillery operations there, with management hoping to double production by this time next year.
“It just made a lot more sense for us to purchase and rehab as opposed to build new,” said Ken Wortz, who along with his wife Lori and partners Christie Dahms and Bill Martz, runs KyMar Farm Distillery.
The Wortz family moved to Schoharie County in 2001 from Connecticut, and began planning the distillery in 2007.
“This whole area, central New York, is just absolutely beautiful,” said Ken Wortz, when asked why they’d decided to move.
Today, Wortz commutes between Charlotteville and Manhattan, where he has a job at a telecommunications company, while his wife works at the distillery full time.
Currently located on Wortz and his wife’s apple and grape farm, less than a mile away from the Story House building, KyMar Farm Distillery began selling products in December of 2011. KyMar Farm is named after the two Wortz children: Kyle, who is in the Army; and Marissa, who is in college.
Wortz grew up on an apple farm in Pennsylvania, but didn’t expect that he’d take up the farming life himself.
“I didn’t think I would ever set foot on a farm again.”
KyMar Farm Distillery produces two products: Schoharie Mapple Jack, an apple brandy with a hint of maple, and Schoharie Shine, an unaged whiskey made from Sorghum.
“Everything that goes into our products is grown in New York state,” said Wortz, noting that the cider for the Mapple Jack comes from their farm and nearby cideries, while the Sorghum for the Schoharie Shine is grown by Tony VanGlad in Jefferson.
The distillery produces between 60-120 cases of alcohol a month. Wortz says that while Mapple Jack is more popular in the winter and Schoharie Shine is more popular in the summer, they generally produce an equal amount of each over the course of a year.