After breaking ground last October, Sannino Vineyard’s new tasting room on Route 48 in Cutchogue is nearing completion.
At a Southold Town Planning Board work session Monday, staff reviewed a report of a final site inspection, required before the board can recommend a certificate of occupancy be issued from the building department.
The new building features a 2,852-square-foot first floor for wine production, retail and education, a second-floor office and 3,600-square-foot basement.
Town planner Brian Cummings noted that the constructed building differed slightly from the approved plans in terms of building materials and the addition of an elevator that will strictly be used for operations.
Additional light fixtures that had been installed on the outdoor patio were removed after they were determined to be non-code compliant, he said.
Mr. Cummings also reviewed several conditions set forth on the site plan, including obtaining a Suffolk County Department of Public Works curb cut permit, which the applicants completed. The eight other conditions pertain to the vineyard’s operations and include a 235 person visitor limit at any given time, no limousine or bus drop-offs and a limit of 12 special events per year.
Though most of the landscaping has been planted as approved, Mr. Cummings said that a planted berm and five street trees along Route 48 have not been planted yet.
He had recommended setting a deadline of Oct. 15 to complete that, but Marisa Sannino, director of operations for the vineyard, noted that would conflict with the winery’s harvest operation.
“It’s unrealistic to have it planted by October,” she said at the work session, prompting the board to discuss changing the deadline to next spring.
“I think that’s fair,” Planning Board member Martin Sidor said. “You don’t know how the harvest is going to come along, the weather could change abruptly … so that’s fine.”
Ms. Sannino said they are hoping to open their doors within the first few weeks of September, depending on when a C.O. is issued.
They have outgrown their current 1,500-square-foot tasting room in Peconic, which opened in 2009.
The Cutchogue location will allow space for a new winemaking facility that will allow them to increase production and be located closer to a bed and breakfast the Sannino family operates.
Since receiving town approval in 2017, Sannino will be the first of two new tasting rooms planned to open in Southold Town since Kontokosta Winery opened in 2013.
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards in Southold was recently granted approval from the Greenport Village Planning Board to open an outpost on First Street, though no opening date has been set yet.
The Sanninos expect to phase out their current Peconic Lane tasting room once the new facility opens.
Photo caption: The owners of Sannino Vineyard are hoping to open the doors of their newly constructed tasting room in Cutchogue next month. (Credit: Tara Smith)