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Approval for soundfront winery set for Monday

67 steps Vineyard just west of Peconic Landing in Greenport.
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The Kontokosta family plans to build a winery at its 67 Steps Vineyard, just west of Peconic Landing in Greenport.

Nearly one year after the Kontokosta family unveiled plans for a new winery next to Peconic Landing in Greenport, the Southold Town Planning Board is slated to decide whether or not to approve their proposal next Monday evening.

The 67 Steps Vineyard, owned by the Kontokostas’ KACE Development LLC, already operates on the property.

The proposal calls for a two-story winery building of 8,419 square feet with two mezzanine wings, set far back on the property, about 700 feet from the Soundfront bluff. Forty-two parking spaces are proposed, with an additional 96 overflow parking spaces on grass and gravel areas for special events.

The plans also call for wind and solar energy generation, including a 120-foot-high wind turbine.

Named for a nearby beach, 67 Steps Vineyard covers 60 acres that stretch from Route 48 to Long Island Sound. Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, riesling, syrah, merlot and viognier grapes have been grown on 20 acres of the property since 2004, according to its website. The grapes were first harvested in 2006 and the first wine was released in 2007. There is no winery on the property now.

The property is zoned R-80, which allows it to be subdivided into house lots of at least two acres each. In the early 1990s, the Kontokosta family requested a zone change to allow four houses per acre. The Town Board agreed, changing the zoning in late 1993, but a new board, led by members of the United Southold Party, reversed that decision in early 1994. After losing a court battle against the new board, the Kontokosta family decided to start the vineyard.

A public hearing on the winery proposal was held in September 2010.

In the fall of 2010, at the urging of town planning staff, the family hired a consultant to prepare an archeological report, in part because the area was near prehistoric foot trails of the Native American Mantoobaug tribe that connected the area’s tidal creeks. The consultant, Tracker Archeological Services, did not find any historic artifacts, according to its report in the planning board file.

KACE Development principal Michael Kontokosta and his architect, Nancy Steelman of Cutchogue, did not return phone calls this week. Ms. Steelman designed the Sparkling Pointe winery in Southold and the Pellegrini Vineyards winery building in Cutchogue.

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