Special election to decide Fancy Farm wine sales

In the midst of talks centered on races for governor and president, one local town will hold a special election.

Tom Curtsinger turned in more than 200 signatures on a petition to legalize his wine sales, and the election will be open to the 964 voters in Fancy Farm who will determine the vineyard's future.

Curtsinger says it's been in the works for years. He says he's trying to make Fancy Farm a bit fancier with a vineyard.

"Only in a Fancy Farm could you grow wine grapes," Curtsinger says.

His vineyard, Fancy Farm vineyard and Winery L.L.C., sits on six acres. Among the acres of vines and grapes, he grows many different varietals, from Cabernet, to Riesling, to Malbec and Merlot.

But growing is as far as Curtsinger can go. He says different state, federal, and local regulations stop him from selling and bottling his award-winning wines.

"I can't even give you a bottle away without a license. I can serve you a glass as long as I'm right there on your place," says Curtsinger.

So he's turning to his neighbors to help him legalize the local libation. Graves County Clerk Barry Kennemore says yesterday's petition took him by surprise. He says Curtsinger has been collecting signatures since the middle of June.

Kennemore says the question on the ballot will read, "Are you in favor of the sale of wine at Fancy Farm Vineyard L.L.C.?"

Only the Fancy Farm precinct will answer yes or no to the question.

"I realized more and more everyday: This is Fancy Farm's Vineyard and not just mine," Curtsinger says.

The county judge just recently signed off on the special election. It will take place Sep. 15, so not in time for the Fancy Farm Picnic.

If the question passes, Curtsinger will only be able to sell his product on his property.

We reached out to the local churches in the area. They so far have not responded about the special election.

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