Antioch village board supports plans for village's first winery

The Trombino family has received the green light from Antioch officials to move ahead with plans to build and operate a winery.

After months of discussion with the village board and worried area residents, Vigneto del Bino, meaning vineyard of Trombino, is expected to open in March 2013.

The village board voted Monday to annex the unincorporated land at 42150 Crawford Road, where the winery will be located, and rezoned it for agricultural use. The board also created a winery license.

The Trombinos still must apply for the winery license and request a building permit, among other procedural tasks.

“We knew it was the right decision from the beginning. ... If you think about what Antioch's theme is, Authentic by Nature, growing grapes on your property and then making that into a product to sell goes along with that theme,” Debra Trombino said. “The village board obviously agreed with us.”

Trombino is heading the effort with her parents, Donna and Jim, who own the property adjacent to hers, to create the winery. It has been in the planning for about two years, though the family planted its first vines in spring 2009.

“My family loves wine. We started just to grow the grapes, and that was what we wanted to do, (but) a hobby turned into a passion, and now, a business,” Trombino said.

The winery will consist of a 2,000-square-foot structure containing a small office, production room and gift shop. Wine tastings will be offered on-site for $15 to $20. There will be a five-sample maximum, or about one glass of wine per tasting. Five varieties of red and white wine will be served.

Because Debra Trombino works two jobs and is also a third-year student at Missouri State University — double-majoring in oenology, the science of wine and winemaking, and viticulture, the study of grape cultivation — she said hours will be limited. They will likely be during the day on weekends and early evenings on weeknights, she said. In the winter, visits will be by appointment only, a winery norm, she said.

Trombino also said there are six or seven area restaurants that have shown interest in selling Vigneto del Bino wine to customers.

“They like that it has a local feel. It's not only a local company that produces wine but also (the wine) comes from local grapes; we aren't shipping juice in from California,” she said. “We're going to make local wine — period. ... They don't have that option right now.”

Some residents had expressed concerns in the past about traffic and water drainage, but Dustin Nilsen, community development director, said these have been assuaged. No one from the public was at Monday's meeting to comment on the winery.

“There's no basis that this use will create a liability or cause environmental consequences for the property or neighboring properties or become a nuisance,” Nilsen said.

Mayor Lawrence Hanson said he is hopeful the winery will help attract visitors to Antioch.

“It'll be a good addition to the community,” Hanson said. “It fits into the whole spirit of what we're trying to do.”

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