Wine shop planned for historic farm in Jamesport

A view of the Jamesport property whose owner hopes to start a retail wine shop. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A view of the Jamesport property whose owner hopes to start a retail wine shop. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A farm property dating back to 1840 that was added to the National Register of Historic Places two years ago is now being proposed as the site of a retail wine shop in Jamesport.

Jayna Corlito of Hampton Bays purchased the former Daniel and Henry P. Tuthill farm at the northeast corner of Main Road and Tuthills Lane in 2013 with the goal of opening a retail wine store there.

“It was just something I always wanted to do,” she said. “Just from traveling. I went to Italy a bunch of times and I just loved the feeling of the wine shops there, and I loved the concept of being able to go somewhere that was casual but historic, and having it be an experience of learning about the wines.”

The building that houses a real estate office is believed to have been built by a cousin of James Tuthill, for whom Jamesport is named, said Richard Wines, chair of Riverhead’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Tuthills Lane is also named after the family, who were among the earliest settlers of the area.

“Certainly that is a very significant historic property,” Wines said in an interview Tuesday.

Corlito originally had a career in finance and she began taking wine education classes a few years ago.

The 2.5-acre Tuthill property is “perfect,” she said, “because you’re right at the beginning of wine country.”

Corlito had gone before Riverhead’s planning and building departments previously, but her proposal was rejected on the grounds that it didn’t fit the property’s Rural Corridor zoning, so a public hearing before the town Zoning Board of Appeals was set up to consider a variance that would permit the use.