DOUBLE SPRINGS - A license to manufacture wine and open Sipsey Vineyard and Winery in Double Springs has been granted through a mixed vote by the town council.
This marks the first known legal venue in the county officially established to manufacture alcohol, town officials said.
Acting on recommendation by the Double Springs Alcohol Board, the council voted at their regular September meeting to approve the license, with council member Hobby Walker making the motion, seconded by Adam Veal. Voting in favor were Walker and Veal. Council members Tim Cockrell and Brittney Tucker were absent from the meeting.
Not raising his hand to vote yes was council member Andy McSpadden.
“Are you going to abstain?” Mayor Elmo Robinson asked him.
“What if I vote no?” McSpadden responded.
The vote was then 2-1 to approve the license, at that time.
“I’ll vote yes,” Robinson noted, which made the vote 3-1 to approve the license.
Bart Crabtree had filed the necessary paperwork to open the winery in Double Springs earlier with the town. A cinder block building and area of land located off County Road 25 will be where the vineyard and orchard will eventually be located, according to Crabtree. The winery will also eventually be housed there, but that structure has not yet been completed, he added.
Until that building is completed, Crabtree is opening the winery, at one of the shops located in a plaza on Highway 195 just past the Winston County Courthouse.
“I think it’s the perfect spot for it,” Crabtree said. “That’s the reason why the winery is named after one of the most iconic areas in Winston County, the Sipsey Wilderness.”
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.