Less than two weeks after the New York State Liquor Authority revoked the liquor license for Vineyard 48, the Cutchogue winery is back open for business while it appeals the ruling in state court.
According to Southold Town attorney Martin Finnegan, the winery received temporary stay from the SLA revocation as a New York State Supreme Court considers whether or not the previous ruling by the state authority is legal.
The current stay is good until Jan. 9, he said, when the vineyard is due back in court.
“We anticipated this was coming at some point,” said Mr. Finnegan.
Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley confirmed the decision as well, though he and Mr. Finnegan both noted that the issues at hand are technically not between the town and Vineyard 48, but rather the SLA and Vineyard 48.
On Dec. 17, the SLA board sustained six of eight charges brought against the embattled vineyard, which has drawn the ire of neighbors for years.
Nearby residents have testified that they’ve witnessed lewd acts in public, dealt with overwhelming traffic coming in and out of the vineyard, and heard more than their fair share of loud music coming from the winery.
A manager on site at Vineyard 48 did not return a request for comment, and a call to Vineyard 48 attorney Pat Moore was not returned on Monday. A spokesman for the SLA also did not return a call seeking comment on Monday.
Chief Flatley, who testified at the Dec. 17 SLA hearing in New York City, said that the winery had previously been offered a deal that would have resulted in a fine and a liquor suspension. That offer was denied, he said, as the owners opted to go to a hearing.
After listening to testimony at the hearing, SLA Chair Dennis Rosen said that “I think there is a point where one can distinguish between a winery running legitimate operations … and turning into this kind of a nightclub atmosphere that is clearly detrimental to the community.”
While the winery is back in business — its Facebook page advertised its “victory in court” on Monday — the vineyard will still need to meet new compliances as required through a recent site plan approval from the town Planning Board.