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Winery breaks ground next to elementary school

Construction on Del Vino Vineyards’ winery and tasting room began on Friday in Northport.

Frederick Giachetti, owner of the Norwood Road property that abutselementary school grounds, said the existing farmhouse will be lifted up, its foundation will be replaced and it will be set back down. Then, renovations on the 7,189-square-foot structure will begin. He expects the work to be complete by the end of the year.

The structure will be used for both processing grapes, and a tasting room that will host events.

The land is also being prepped to adhere to stormwater management requirements, he said.

Approval for the winery was an uphill battle for Giachetti, who faced concerns from the town, Northport-East Northport school district officials and local residents, but also gained public support from others. Concerns partly centered on the property’s proximity to the adjacent Norwood Avenue Elementary School.

The county and state eventually classified the property as farmland, limiting the town’s say on what Giachetti could and could not do.

The town signed off on the winery plans last November, when the planning board gave conditional approval with a set of 25 covenants and restrictions, including limits on the number of people who can attend events at the winery, and certain hours of operation.

Across the street from the property, Anne and Tom Ryan, who have lived there for seven years, said they aren’t looking forward to the planned events at the winery. They said they might shrub one end of their property to block their view of the winery.

Anne said, “We don’t know how it’s going to impact traffic... music, noise, what the weekends are going to look like in the summertime.”

Around the construction, grapes continue to grow as they have since last year.

They’ve been “growing terrifically,” Giachetti said.

He’s already bottled his 2015 vintage — which was made with grapes from California. He’s currently working with Mattituck-based production facility, Premium Wine Group, to produce Del Vino Fine Wines.


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