From the outside, it would look like a restored historic barn perched on a hill. But underneath the structure at McCall Wines in Cutchogue would be a sprawling underground wine production center, capable of producing 10,000 cases per year, if the winery owners’ latest plans come to fruition.
The winery has proposed building a multi-level, 17,100-square-foot facility set back on its property on Main Road, according to co-owner Brewster McCall.
The vineyard now makes its wine — about 3,000 cases per year — at the facilities of three nearby wineries. Building this facility would let McCall Wines press and bottle its product — which includes its much-lauded pinot noir and award-winning reserve chardonnay — on site.
In a Southold Town planning board meeting on Monday, McCall said his family set aside a 1.8-acre area on the property in the hopes of someday building a production center.
“We’ve been saving that space for ‘once upon a time’ and here we are,” he said.
The underground area would be 11,000 square feet, with an opening at ground level to allow trucks access to the storage area. The building would be closed to the public, though it may be opened for an occasional educational tour.
On top of the production area would be a grass-covered hill with a renovated historic 40-foot-by-80-foot barn from New Hampshire installed on top. McCall said a friend located the barn for the family, adding it will be used to store agricultural equipment or extra barrels.
“It’s beautiful and we’re going to restore it,” McCall said. “We want it to look like a 250-year-old barn on the top of the hill. Looking at it one way, you’d never know there was a modern winemaking facility there.”
The winery will also keep the nearby woods intact.
“We want to save as many of the indigenous trees as we can,” he said.
The town’s planning department said the facility met all the necessary requirements for being far enough away from other properties under the town code.
A public hearing will now be held on Dec. 7 for residents to weigh in on the plans before the planning board decides whether or not to approve them.