MILTON, Ga. — Some neighbors in Milton are fighting a homeowner’s plan to open his home to wine tastings.
They’re concerned about safety on their streets, saying a winery offering tastings doesn’t belong in a residential area.
The at-home winery, called D’Rose Vintners, is located along Blakmaral Lane in a gated subdivision called Boxwood Estates.
To reach the vineyard, guests would have to follow Providence Plantation Drive, past the home of Sarah Moen.
She told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims that drivers already blow past the 25-mph speed limit on the hilly road.
“We don’t need to add anything else to the traffic issues, the speeding, the disobeying the laws,” she said.
Moen said if D’Rose offers wine tastings, that would pour more traffic onto the road. She’s worried not only about speeders but the potential for drunk driving.
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“It’s a risk, and it’s a risk no one in this neighborhood is really willing to take,” she said.”
Jim Rosenberger and his wife Daryn own the winery on their 18-acre property. More than two years ago, Milton rezoned their land, allowing them to grow a vineyard and eventually sell their own wine.
But the city restricted them to no more than five appointments per day – with a maximum of 10 guests at any given time. They’re also allowed to operate only between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“The tasting component is just a small piece of it,” Rosenberger said. “The idea is to come here over an hour, an hour-and-a-half period, taste two, three, four of five wines maybe, and then potentially sign up for one of our wine club memberships.”
He said each wine tasting would be strictly limited to one ounce.
“Our idea is to have limited alcohol consumption during a brief amount of time and not put any drunk drivers on the road,” Rosenberger said.
A sign posted outside the gate to his subdivision gives notice of Rosenberger’s application for an alcohol permit.
Moen said she’s gathered signatures from 33 homeowners in hopes of putting the brakes on the permit.
“And we don’t begrudge him a business,” she said. “No one in this neighborhood begrudges him a successful business at all. This is just not the appropriate place for wine tastings. That is our sole concern.”
Rosenberger said he’s surprised by the opposition.
“The idea is to really give people an opportunity to embrace and be engulfed in a park-like setting while enjoying some delicious wine,” Rosenberger said.
The city of Milton has a hearing on the alcohol permit scheduled for Dec. 18.
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