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By LORRIE KINKADE
The Trimble Banner
For the first time in several decades, adult beverages may be manufactured and sold legally in Trimble County.
Turnout was low at last week’s special election, however the majority of those braving the cold to cast their ballot Dec. 16 agreed that Little Kentucky River Winery, LLC should be allowed to sell wine at the facility to be operated on Hwy. 421 South.
Only 79 voters turned out to decide whether a winery was right for Trimble County, compared to 329 in the precinct who voted in the November presidential election.
But by a vote of 52-27, residents in the East Bedford precinct opened the door for winery entrepreneurs David and Teresa Weyler to manufacture the beverage, as well as sell it by the bottle or glass, in Bedford.
Per state statute, only voters in the precinct where the winery would be located were allowed to voice their opinion via ballot.
“We were very pleased,” Teresa Weyler said of the election outcome. “Everything hinged on this vote.”
Weyler said the couple will now proceed with filing applications for state and federal small farm winery permits, which she said could take up to one year for approval. Until those are granted, wine may not be created or sold on the premises.
But while they wait for the government paperwork, she said improvements will continue on the property in the 3200 block of Hwy. 421 South.
“We want to have the house and grounds finished by May,” she said. “Then we can go ahead with special events on the property while we wait to open the winery.”
Weyler said it will be three years before vines planted this coming year can be harvested, though grapes purchased from other growers may be used to produce wine until that time.
She said if all goes as planned, the winery will be open for business next year.
“We are very excited and looking forward to being in Trimble County,” she said.
Trimble County Clerk Jerry Powell said the special election, which drew approximately 11-percent of eligible voters from the precinct, cost the county $2,000.
“I don’t know if better weather would have brought more people out; and who knows if that would have changed the outcome,” Powell said. “You never know.”