The owner of a property in New Castle who is seeking to add a winery promoted his idea at a town board work session on Tuesday.
“We just want to make something really nice, really beautiful," said Steve Sabba, a Yorktown resident and tax accountant who bought the property two years ago.
Sabba, who has already been working with town officials to construct a house on the upper part of the side that he will move into, is teaming up with friend and vintner John Vuolo for the plan.
The proposal involves planting hundreds of grape vines, growing grapes, crushing, pressing and bottling them, all of which would be done on site. An existing cottage would be used for the processes for turning the grapes into wine.
The site is located at 35 Quaker Ridge Road, near the border with Cortlandt, and is almost 28 acres.
Sabba plans to use a portion of the site that has trees damaged from major storms in recent years, with his home on the upper portion of the property. The site, which is near the Hudson River, is viewed as potentially having a favorable microclimate, with an elevation well beyond 300 feet above sea level.
Initially, grapes from other parts of New York State, such as the Finger Lakes and possibly Suffolk County, would be brought in for processing before the vines reach maturity, a process that could take about three years, Vuolo explained.
Sabba believes that his winery would be filling a void, in that there is a dearth of local wine.
“We just want to make the wine there and then sell it to local restaurants and local markets and be able to say 'this wine was made one-hundred percent in Westchester County.'”
The town board, so far, is open to the idea. For example, Councilman Jason Chapin, who said he think it's a "very exciting" idea.
Supervisor Susan Carpenter asked for a more detailed plan and Town Administrator Penny Paderewski replied by noting that there will be an update. Sabba has already been in talks with town officials about the concept.