Purple Toad Winery petitions for Sunday sales

Fancy Farm Vineyard and Winery’s business is growing, and that business will soon include Sunday sales. Now, a competing winery in McCracken County is passing around a petition, because it also wants to be able to sell wine on Sundays.

Dirt is moving, making room for a cellar for what will soon be the Fancy Farm Vineyard’s winery.

"There’s a Lot of first that come with this," Tom Curtsinger said.

Curtsinger started growing grapes eight years ago. In a special election in September, voters legalized alcohol sales at the winery, and now Curtsinger is expanding business.

"The first big hurdle is over," he said.

Last month, county commissioners passed an ordinance to allow Sunday sales at the winery.

"This is going to nearly double what you get from the rest of the week, so Sunday sales are that important," Curtsinger said.

Now the Purple Toad in McCracken County wants to be able to sell wine on Sundays too. The owner is sending around a petition and needs 70 signatures.

"We were waiting for this election to clear to know how many signatures were needed," said Purple Toad Winery Owner Allen Dossey.

Dossey says petitioning for a vote wasn’t an option when he opened his vineyard in 2009, so his winery opens up six days a week. He says an extra day would be a plus.

"That’s the main day couples are off together. Usually one works or the other one works Saturdays," Dossey said.

It would also help him keep with up with a competition.

"It’s business. Southern Illinois has it. Almost all of those are open on Sundays," Dossey said.

The competition between Dossey and Curtsinger is a friendly one, dedicated to boosting business.

"The more of them you get in an area, the bigger the crowd you draw in," Curtsinger said.

Dossey has to wait 30 days from the election to take the petition to commissioners.

He needs to get signatures from 25 percent of people who voted in the last general election. Commissioners can decide to just pass his request to save the cost of an election. If they don’t pass it, it will go to a vote.Only voters in the Lone Oak 1 precinct could vote.

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