Plans for a new winery in Wrightstown that hosts tastings and events are continuing to grow on the vine.
The Rienzi family, the would-be proprietors of the envisioned winery, were in before the Wrightstown Board of Supervisors for a preliminary discussion on the plan at the board’s Monday, July 12 public work session meeting.
The family is planning the viticulture venture for their property on the 500 block of Swamp Road, where grapes have been planted and a limited harvest this fall could occur, according to township officials.
Monday’s conversation, which followed an April discussion, centered on potential zoning issues surrounding the use of a tent or alternatively a permanent building to host various events, such as weddings.
Since zoning limits the number of outdoor events in a year to 24, it appears the Rienzi family will look to build a permanent structure for hosting happenings.
“They wanted to get clarification that there was no limit on the number of events which could take place if these were indoors, which the township solicitor confirmed was correct,” Supervisor Chairman Chester Pogonowski explained.
There are also benefits for nearby residents to an enclosed building for event-hosting, Pogonowski pointed out. “Moving from a tented venue to a permanent structure means that sound can be substantially deadened so as not to impact the community,” he said.
Still, it remains to be seen what exactly will be proposed, as a formal land development plan has not been submitted.
In addition to the events building, there could be another building for housing production, as well as a tasting room and a retail store, according to an earlier sketch plan.
Attorney Ed Murphy, representing the Rienzis, has previously stated that the winery intends to be a good neighbor. It will provide sufficient buffering and also wants to use low-impact lighting to prevent light pollution, he has said. Specifics will be worked out and discussed with the township as the plan is formally engineered.
It’s anticipated that Joseph Rienzi will be running the production side of the winery operation. He has been a viticulturist at Karamoor Estate Vineyard & Winery in Fort Washington since 2016. Armando Rienzi and Angela Rienzi are also principals.
Ultimately, Rienzi winery will need approval from supervisors to proceed with its plans.