SHEPHERDSVILLE - You will soon be able to visit your local small farm winery and be able to have a drink on Sundays.
Bullitt Fiscal Court voted 4-1 to allow Sunday sales of wine and beer at small farm wineries.
Currently, the wineries are able to sell bottled wine and provide a limited number of samples on Sundays.
Under the new ordinance, those which are certified as small farm wineries will be able to sell their product by the drink on Sundays, as well as beer.
John Miller, owner of MillaNova Winery in Mount Washington, lobbied for the change recently.
He said the county’s four wineries are losing business opportunities by not having Sunday sales.
Many of the guests to the local wineries are from out of the region and some come from across the country and from overseas.
Miller said the wine business has become a very important economic development key for the state.
By allowing the Sunday sales, Miller said it would allow more social functions, such as weddings.
Sales would be permitted from Noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays.
John Bradshaw cast the lone vote in opposition.
However, Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts inquired who should get the complaints when people complain about loud noise and traffic.
Miller said that most wineries are located off the beaten path.
In terms of his operation, Miller welcomed any calls.
Currently, plans are underway to widen Gentry Lane near his winery. Future plans could have a second entrance to connect with the 21st Century parks system which touches Mount Washington.
Miller said his business only has live music a few times each summer and he felt the building absorbed most of the sound.
Magistrate Bob Hunt said he talked with a customer who was there recently and said he couldn’t hear the music past the front gate.
Roberts said she had gotten no complaints on other wineries. She favored the agribusiness and understood it was beneficial. But the judge also wanted to make sure they operate in the proper areas.
Brance Gould, owner of Forest Edge on Highway 245, said that the winery business continues to grow quickly in Kentucky. In 2000, only six wineries were in operation. That number is now at 69.
Miller said the local impact of the four wineries is huge. Bullitt County is the only one with four wineries, he added.
And when the father of local wine-making, Butch Meyer, is mentioned, Miller said his name is known across the country.
In other business:
*The county opted to pay the entire KACO insurance bill at a cost of $438,169.05. By doing this, the county will save about $4,000 on its premium.
*No discussion was held on the creation of a human resources position for the county.
The county is still awaiting more information.
The possibility of creating the position was met with positive remarks from magistrates. Currently, benefits questions are often split up between several offices.
*County attorney Monica Robinson said the usage of the e-warrant system landed some national recognition for the local office. The local efforts will be part of a national presentation on the program.
The next meeting of the Bullitt Fiscal Court will be on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 9:30 a.m. in the courthouse. The public is invited.