Winery set to move forward

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mower County’s newest winery is back on the fast track.

The Mower County Board of Commissioners informed owners of Four Daughters Winery they will amend the county’s zoning ordinance to allow for farm wineries with a restaurant to be classified as agricultural.

By mending the county’s zoning methods to include farm wineries, Four Daughters will be able to pair a restaurant with the business, while still being classified as agricultural

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“I just hope we can make it work and don’t run into other issues,” Chairman Tim Gebrielson said.

Owners the Vogt family originally planned to open the business this fall. They were recently ordered to cease advertising as a restaurant pending board action by planning and zoning employees after finding out the establishment was planning to serve food made at the site.

At issue was the winery’s business classification. If the winery sells things like pizza, bread and sandwiches, that could mean the winery is a restaurant under Mower County’s permitting procedure, which wasn’t stipulated in the business’s conditional use permit.

The Vogts said their winery’s food plans are covered under the Minnesota Farm Wineries Act, which was modified in 2007 to allow wineries to operate restaurants on-site.

The amendment discussed Tuesday would give them permission to serve wine-related foods.

Not all the questions were answered Tuesday, however. There is still some uncertainty about how the business will be classified for taxes, specifically whether there will be additional commercial charges. The Vogts are also working to correct some concerns about their septic system.

The board will hold a public meeting to amend the zoning ordinance by Sept. 13.