There’s been much talk in Town Hall of late about what can and can’t take place at a vineyard other than making and selling wine. The concern voiced most often is that wineries have become de facto restaurants and event venues, while still receiving agricultural tax breaks.
An upcoming winery-based event with little if any connection to food may force the issue.
Former supervisor Josh Horton and the operators of Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue have scheduled a major two-day musical event, the NOFO Rock and Folk Fest, at the Main Road vineyard for Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1. News of the event caught town officials by surprise because the concert, with several internationally known recording artists scheduled to perform, was initially couched as just another winery musical event.
It is hardly that. We can only hope that our two-lane country roads can handle the traffic. If not, we could face a community-paralyzing “Winestock.”
The promoters say they envision a crowd of about 800 people. But with a two-day concert ticket costing $80, that number would generate only $64,000, certainly not enough to cover their expenses. Aside from the field’s dimensions, there’s really no limit to the size of the crowd.
If this doesn’t force a decision in Town Hall to revisit the rules, it’s hard to imagine what would.