Meet the grapestompers Gang
"Crazy" Tom Burgiss
"Crazy" Tom didn't originally plan to be a winemaker, but his training
and 40-year career as a pharmacist certainly helped prepare him
for his current position as "Doctor Wine" of both grapestompers
Meadow Winery. Tom's skills as a wine mixologist are legendary
in the hills of North Carolina.
Tom first began making wine in 1996 after a visit
to Victoria, British Columbia where he discovered the art of making
wine at home in small quantities. Over the years, Tom has made hundreds of
batches of wine, and he's an expert at tweaking a wine
to fit the most discriminating palate. His favorite wine to drink
is Beaujolais, because he says it's good for the heart. Tom lives
just up the road from the grapestompers warehouse and adjoining winery in
Laurel Springs with his wife Nancy. Tom has converted his old family farmhouse
(circa 1899) to a mountaintop
bed and breakfast.
Our warehouse is run by James Hines, the hard-working packer and shipper that get your orders out to you.
Mitchell lives in Sparta, NC and has been with grapestompers since 2009. He also helps out with wine tastings at Thistle Meadow Winery and works lots of the wine festivals as well.
James also lives in Sparta with his wife Joy. James came on board with grapestompers in 2007, and knows our inventory like the back of his hand.
Wyatt has been with grapestompers since 2005 and says it's the best job she's ever had. Pam tries her best to keep Tom in line but it doesn't always work... that would be a full time job by itself!
She answers the phone, takes orders, creates free personalized wine labels for our customers, publishes our monthly winemaking newsletter called "The Stomper" and orders items for our gift shop.
Pam lives in Mouth of Wilson, VA with husband Paul and sons Cory and Adam.
Thistle Meadow Winery's new winemaker is Don Mabe. Don is a lifelong resident of Laurel Springs. Don has been a member of the Laurel Springs Volunteer Fire department for 6 years and is also a Medical Responder.
Don has one son, Brian, who is a police officer in Alleghany County.
Ginny and Karen
"The Wine Girls" as we call them are Ginny Absher and Karen Vinski. They run the tasting room at Thistle Meadow Winery and also help out at grapestompers when things get crazy.
Ginny lives in Laurel Springs. Karen also lives in Laurel Springs with her husband Joe.
Last, but not least, our "gang" would not be complete without Rosie, our rescue winery dog. Rosie has been living with Tom and Nancy since 2008 and spends a lot of time in the grapestompers gift shop office right by Tom's side. She especially hates rainy days but loves Tom and dog treats!
Her favorite pastime is racing Tom home after work each day. She runs up the meadow while Tom drives along Elk Knob Road.