Proposal by Winery in Waconia Draws Support, Skepticism

Updated: 08/19/2014 11:11 PM
Created: 08/19/2014 10:47 PM
By: Beth McDonough

A proposal by the owner of a winery in Waconia is attracting both support and skepticism.

Terri Savaryn owns Sovereign Estate Wine. She's asking for things she says other wineries in the state get. Savaryn wants to update the winerie’s business permit from when the business started in 2011, so the business can grow for years to come.

The request was the topic of a town hall meeting in Chaska Tuesday night. 

Savaryn says her business has grown so fast, so soon, she needs to stay open for more hours every day and more months every year.

"If we close at 6 p.m. we lose a third of our business, we would not be able to host a wedding beyond that time," she said.

She pleaded with the Carver County Planning Council and residents attending the meeting to let the winery close at 8 p.m. on weeknights and 10 p.m. on weekends. She wants the extended hours to handle special events like weddings, receptions and reunions.

She insists what helps her million-dollar business will help others around the winery, "we've brought people to Waconia to increase the tourism area, we've added a lot to the community," Savaryn said.

The proposal attracted complaints about increased traffic and other issues, according to the Chairman of Waconia Township Phil Burandt.

"There are people complaining about noise, there's a disregard to the hours they're supposed to remain open," Burandt said.

However, Jack Marvin disagrees, "it's not loud, it's not wild like they're making it sound."

Carol Eckstein, a longtime resident says, "it's change, as ugly as it can be sometimes, it's change."

If the permit isn't updated, the winery owner says she stands to lose more than $100,000 in contracts already booked. Plus, she says the winery supports 54 local jobs.

The planning commission is giving neighbors and the winery more time to work through their differences. The next meeting on the proposal will be held in October.

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