To the editor:
In June of last year, we opened Owera Vineyards on East Lake Road with the best of intentions. Our plan was to contribute to our local community and economy by developing a beautiful farm winery that produced and sold local products. We also hoped to create a business for our family. It was never our intention to cause any concerns or disruptions for our neighbors.
Ever since learning of even a single concern, our family and the hard-working team at Owera has been taking specific action steps to address a small number of unforeseen circumstances, all while trying to run a start-up business that supports this community. Unfortunately, our well-intentioned efforts have been repeatedly misrepresented by accusations and incorrect information being reported in this newspaper which are based on rumors.
Let us set the record straight.
In our first year of operation, we received a handful of complaints about the lights in general and noise from certain events — and those complaints were enough for us to immediately consider major alternative options. New lighting has been ordered, and attempts to reduce noise were undertaken. We also proposed the construction of a state-of-the art events building that would allow us to continue to host winery events without disturbing our neighbors.
We have worked closely and diligently with the town of Cazenovia in pursuing remedies to any concerns, and we have tremendous support in the community. However, a small number of individuals have totally disregarded civility and have attempted to poison public perception.
The vineyard is a new endeavor for us. We are very grateful to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets for all of their encouragement and support. Owera Vineyards has been recognized as a qualified start-up farm operation, and is in compliance with Agriculture and Markets Law for its operations. One reason we decided to embark on this path was because of the emphasis on the winery business as a key growth sector in New York state. We were encouraged to locate here, to contribute here and to work with the community.