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Commissioners approve county's first farm winery
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The DeNardo family wants to build the first winery in Forsyth County on their farm, Stoney J's Farm and Orchard, on Stoney Point Road. - photo by Ben Hendren

Plans for Forsyth County’s first farm winery will soon become a reality.

Forsyth County Commissioners approved a conditional-use permit for Sean DeNardo to operate a 1,598-square-foot farm winery on 7.2 acres on Stoney Point Road for Stoney J’s Farm, which he operates with his wife, parents and kids.

Asked by District 2 Commissioner Dennis Brown about concerns the farm could outgrow the area, DeNardo said the south Forsyth site would only have 20 parking spaces and an indoor capacity of 75 visitors. He said the family has another facility outside of the county capable of handling larger events.

“We do have a place up in Dahlonega where we’re expanding, which is 37 acres,” DeNardo said. 

In October, DeNardo told Forsyth County News plans for the development include a meeting space building, brick ovens for pizza, two kitchens – one indoor and one outdoor – and a tasting room for wines, in addition to the grapes, goats, chickens laying eggs and bees making honey already on the property.

Many of the wines produced by Stoney J’s come from muscadines, which are native to Georgia but have had something of an image problem – they’re known for very sweet wines – which the family is trying to challenge.

The farm is already home to more than 400 plants, which each produces 60-70 pounds of grapes each year, and is already known in the area for selling eggs, honey and berries.

DeNardo said at the time the new additions should be in place sometime later this year.

In the meantime, the family has been freezing and stockpiling grapes to keep up with the expected demand.