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Voters in the Southville precinct will go the polls Tuesday in a special election to determine whether two residents can open a winery on their property.
Ferenc Vegh and Lisa Davis, who have Vegh-Davis Vineyard at 5916 Hempridge Road, want to expand that business to include an outlet for selling their wine.
To do so, a special local-option election will be held in Precinct B-101 at fire station on Southville Pike to conform to state statutes that say voters in a district must approve the sale of wine in that district.
This is an identical process to that Talon Winery completed in 2008. Talon earlier this year opened the county’s first winery, on Gordon Lane near Shelbyville.
There are no requirements on how many voters or percentage of registrants for this election, but there was a process to create the special election.
Shelby County Clerk Sue Carol Perry said that a petition had to be submitted before the election could be approved.
"He had to have 146 names on it of the people who voted in the last presidential election," she said. "That's equal to 25 percent of the registered voters [in that precinct]. He had 149."
Vegh said he and Davis planted 3,500 plants on 5 acres last May. He said they wanted to get permission to start a winery to continue an immersion into what has been, for him, an old family business.
Vegh's family is from Hungary; his father came to the United States in 1956.
"Our family vineyard is still in operation over there; we have been making wine for over a thousand years, ever since the year 970," he said. "We have barrels that are hundreds of years old."
Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger said he is hopeful that the vineyard will get enough votes to permit the venture.
"What we would really like to do is to create a community of vineyards and wineries to increase tourism opportunities, because that is a huge industry," he said.
For more information about voting on the absentee ballot, call the county clerk's office at 633-4410.
Lisa King of The Sentinel-News staff contributed to this report.
Who: Voters in Southville Precinct (B-101)
When: 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday
Where: Mount Eden Fire Station, 450 Southville Pike
More info: 633-4410.