Vineyard will be allowed to serve goes-with-wine food
The Mower County Board approved a measure Tuesday that will allow a winery near Spring Valley to move forward.
At issue was whether the Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery should be allowed to serve food, as covered by the family farm winery statute, or not, based on the winery's agricultural zoning restriction.
The county issued a conditional-use permit in November to owners Gary and Vicky Vogt.
"We've talked about serving pizza and sandwiches from the beginning," Vicky Vogt said last week when the issue of food service arose. "We're not talking about a restaurant with a menu. We're talking about ... food that will go with wine. It's always been that way."
The site, however, is in an agricultural zone, not an area zoned for restaurants. The Vogts say that the Minnesota Farm Wineries Act allows winery owners to "operate a restaurant or other establishment" on the site.
"I appreciate that this says you can run a restaurant," County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said, "but it doesn't say that it overrides our zoning laws."
County board members resolved the issue Tuesday by amending the county's zoning ordinance to include family farm wineries and restaurants in the agricultural zone. All other licenses and conditions required by the conditional-use permit remain.
The Vogts hope to open Four Daughters this fall. It will include a family farm vineyard, winery production area and a building that houses the tasting room, a small private dining area and storage.