On Tuesday night, Northville's city council unanimously approved a proposal by cider mill owners Robert and Carina Nelson to expand use of the 5-acre property on Baseline Road. They told Northville Patch that all that awaits is the processing of paperwork for the liquor license.
Although wine is currently sold at the main cider mill building, the new building would offer a wine bar and wine tasting room. It would be served by the glass and would be open year-round.
The Nelsons previously appeared before the city council with a similar request. One of the key differences in the revised request, presented Tuesday, regards a 10,000-square-foot open area. Last year, the owners asked that the city approve that area for events that could include the playing of acoustic music. It has since been removed from the proposal. The owners said that use of that space will be so infrequent that they plan to apply for special event permits when needed.
What will the changes look like?
At the meeting, council member Nancy Darga asked if the wine tasting room – which will be housed in an existing building on the property – will affect the cider mill's operations. Robert Nelson assured her that it won't.
"It's a fabric of the city now," she said.
The hours of operation for the new wine tasting room, according to the documents submitted to the city, will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, the hours will be from 10 a.m. to midnight and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
The wine tasting room will offer the sale of wine by the glass, appetizers, the sale of merchandise and outdoor seating, according to documents submitted to the city.
Residents living near the cider mill to some of the proposed changes, namely because concerns about noise.
"We don't want to have a lot of events outside," Carina Nelson said. "Just a couple events a year."
Mayor Pro Tem James Allen asked about whether the music was going to be amplified. The owners said it would not.
The first outdoor seating area will be outside of the main building and spans 483 square feet. The second are would be outside the wine tasting building and measure about 2,500 square feet, according to city documents.
About the winery
The Northville Winery has been in operation since 1983. According to its website, "It was started by Vern Bodker and his son Chris as a small supplemental income to the cider business. It was sold to Cheryl and Rob Nelson, and Diane and Mel Jones along with the Cider Mill in 1991."
"Robb and Carina Nelson took over running the winery five years ago and have been expanding the winery ever since. The winery produces several alcoholic wines, two hard cider flavors and one non-alcoholic, sparkling cider."