Owera Vineyards will not be approved for the liquor license it wants, nor will it be given any more caterer’s permits for next year’s wedding events it plans to hold unless and until the numerous complaints and concerns of the winery’s neighbors over loud music and deteriorating quality of life are addressed and solved.
This was the decision of the New York State Liquor Authority last week when it considered Owera’s liquor license application.
“This is where the community is up in arms,” said SLA Chair Dennis Rosen when Owera’s application came up before the board during its Dec. 2 meeting. “I would deny based on the opposition.”
“Yeah, they’ve got way too many scheduled events; it’s a beautiful place, though,” said SLA Commissioner Jeanique Green.
According to SLA records obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request, Owera applied for a liquor license as a “catering establishment” this past July. Such a license would allow Owera to “provide liquor, wine and beer for consumption for an assemblage for a particular function (i.e. retirement dinner, wedding reception, private party) to which the general public is not admitted,” according to SLA information.
In October, Owera submitted an amended application due not only to personnel changes at the winery, but also because the original application as a “bar/tavern” was deemed to be inaccurate by the SLA for the license for which Owera applied. “A farm winery has the ability to file for an on-premises license but according to the law the premises would need to operate as a restaurant, not as a tavern in order to serve liquor,” the SLA wrote in an Oct. 8 letter to Owera.
Owera submitted amended applications on Oct. 21, one of which included a dinner menu and designated the winery as a “restaurant,” and the second that designated the winery as a “catering establishment.”