City Winery gained final site plan approval at a Village of Montgomery planning board meeting on Feb. 27.
The project will turn the old Montgomery Worsted Mills property into a fully operational vineyard and event space that includes a restaurant, a distillery, tasting rooms, 14 guest rooms, an outdoor ceremony and performance areas, and parking for approximately 300 cars and loading areas, according to Village of Montgomery planning board documents.
Founder and CEO Michael Dorf said renovation will start this week and he hopes to begin planting in the spring, as soon as the landscaping plan is approved by the village board. The next priority will be the hotel and bridal suite.
Dorf said the winery will promote tourism not just in Montgomery, but the entire Hudson Valley, drawing visitors to City Winery and other businesses in the area.
“Hopefully we’ll get people that want to come up and visit not just City Winery on a weekend afternoon but go up to Angry Orchard and go to one of the distilleries and then go antiquing,” Dorf said.
It will also provide between 15 and 20 new jobs.
The site will be the first non-urban winery in the metropolitan chain with locations in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Washington, D.C. and Boston. It will also be the first to aid in the production of other City Winery sites. It’s tasting room and restaurant will have a unique combined design.
“We’re really good at making food and being a restaurant so, our tasting room will be more expansive than most in that it will have a restaurant side to the tasting room,” Dorf said.
Dorf said City Winery’s specialty is events, from weddings to private parties, and everything in between.
According to City Winery’s Planned Development District (PDD), the hours of operation for the restaurant, indoor cafes, tasting rooms and retail will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays. Other weekdays from 4 to 10 p.m. may be added with village board approval.
Dorf said the winery would add hours only if there is local demand.
The PDD also stipulated the site may play jazz, folk and classical music only between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; noise was a major concern for neighboring residents. Dorf said the atmosphere of City Winery is a classic working winery, the opposite of a bar or nightclub with loud rock music.
Despite earlier concerns over noise, traffic and quality of life impacts, several people expressed support for City Winery and the tourism benefits it might create.
“From the community’s perspective, this is a big win,” Director of Orange County Economic Development Bill Fioravanti said.