Vineyard owners unhappy with DInwiddie’s proposal to limit event days

DINWIDDIE – The Thibault family who own and operate Ashton Creek Vineyard in Chester are trying to fulfill their dream of opening a second family winery in Lake Chesdin, but proposed changes to the county’s agri-tourism code could crush those dreams.

“Our goal is to bring something big to Dinwiddie County, much like we did in Ashton Creek Vineyard in Chester, “said Alan Thibault, who lives on the property where his family wants to open Riverside Vines.” We’re a little upset with the county that they want to limit us before we even open. “

On Tuesday evening, the DInwiddie County Oversight Board will hold a public hearing on a proposal to limit the number of times places such as the Thibault’s wish can accommodate groups of 100 or more patrons. According to the proposal, venues cannot host more than 26 days of public and private events per year; from that, public events would be limited to 12 days per year.

For many, these are just sour grapes.

The property in question has been recognized as a century-old farm. It was once the home of Leonard’s Campground and Marina. The Thibault’s bought the property in 2018 in hopes of opening a brother in Ashton Creek and have been lovingly restoring it ever since.

“My great-great-grandfather owned Riverside Farm. I think the venue will be an asset to our county. Dinwiddie doesn’t have a lot of event venues, and he doesn’t have a vineyard at all. is the county’s premier vineyard, and I think that’s a great asset to the people as well, ”said Linda Barker, who lives nearby. “It’s a beautiful place that they’ve worked hard on for two years, and it’s going to be beautiful when they do.”

The Thibault family took to Facebook to express concerns about the proposal. They even created a hashtag, # doawaywith26days, to rally support.

Grapes growing in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

“Like many other businesses in the county, we have proudly chosen to invest our time and resources here in Dinwiddie, planting 12 acres of vines and maintaining the 175-acre property was a dream worth pursuing,” the family said in an article on their Ashton Creek. Facebook vineyard. “Unfortunately, Dinwiddie County is proposing a new agrotourism code that will only allow sites to accommodate 100 people or more 26 days a year. This type of legislation would only hurt the economic development of Dinwiddie County.”

Support for the project came from Tori Celli Abernathy, a former board member of the Dinwiddie Chamber of Commerce.

“If you build it, I’ll come!” Good luck ! Abernathy posted to Facebook in response.

“We passed this while we were on the lake. It’s definitely a nice sight to see. The county plays hardball and I don’t think it will fly with the community,” said Pam Williams of Dinwiddie. “Since Virginia Motorsports Park only has events to fill 26 days, that doesn’t make sense. Come on Dinwiddie!”

However, other residents who live near the proposed development are not sure they want to see it happen. One of them, Caryn Yost, said in an email to The Progress-Index that many of her neighbors “have not been made aware of the substantial impact that proposed changes to zoning rules could have. on their quality of life, health, safety and overall well-being. ”

She said that since the public hearing was announced, she and others have been going door to door in the neighborhood to spread information about the project. Yost said the county was turning a deaf ear to their concerns.

“Table [of Supervisors] leans towards development, which is fine, but without defined “substantial impacts” there are few rights for citizens, ”Yost said, adding that Dinwiddie needed to codify a definition of“ substantial impacts ”that must be addressed before any development.

Throughout this time, the Thibault family maintained that their only concern was the 26-day limit. Everything else can be sorted out.

“The only goal is to avoid the 26-day limitation,” said Alan Thibault. “We have no problem with the current noise ordinance. I live on this farm and I don’t want a ton of noise either! “

The future location of the Riverside Vines event in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

RVA will have a taproom in Church Hill:Saint Petersburg brewery owner opens new location this weekend

After:Local vineyard takes root in Chester

After:Ashton Creek tasting room opens

The hearing is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Dinwiddie courthouse. Click on here read the public notice.

Recently, Ashton Creek Vineyard won two silver medals in its first international wine competition at the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards for its 2017 Cannonball Red and 2019 Bailey’s Bold.

“Currently about half of the grapes we use to produce our wine come from our fields in the new vineyard,” said Alan Thibault. “We planted seven acres in 2018 and five more last year. We hope to grow further so that 100% of our grapes used in production come from our two sites.

Kristi K. Higgins is the News and Food Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index. Do you have any advice on trends or local businesses? Contact Kristi (her, her) at [email protected], follow @KHiggins_PI on Twitter, and subscribe to

About Alma Ackerman

Check Also

Live updates: US producer prices rose 11.3% in June as inflation continued to soar

©REUTERS Celsius Network, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency lenders, has filed for bankruptcy as …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.