Proposed Plattville winery clears crucial zoning hurdles

Gilted Edge Winery set for August 2021 opening pending Kendall County Board approval

Plattville is one step closer to having a winery.

A petition by resident Laura Denges to produce and sell wines on her property at 9396 Plattville Road south of Yorkville got the green light from two county zoning bodies this past week. Denges said she plans to import her red grapes from the west coast, with homegrown white wines planned for harvest and for sale on the property in the coming years.

“We want to be simple and small-town,” Denges told planning officials during a meeting last Wednesday, April 28. “Our wine is 100% done with the grape we place on the bottle. We don’t blend any of our wines to create volume.”

The Gilted Edge Winery would be housed in a 1900s-era, 2,700-square foot red barn on Denges’ property. The site will host up to 40 people, per its zoning petition, with hours of operation on Friday evenings, from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The winery is set to begin operations in August.

“We have no intention of making it into a party space or venue,” Denges said. “We do want to keep it small to the extent of come and go, please have glasses of wine, purchase stuff. But we’re not trying to rent it out for more of a venue style.”

Kendall County zoning officials have been supportive of the proposal. Members of the Regional Plan Commission asked Denges if she would be willing to allow Plattville to collect sales tax from the winery since it is not in the village’s formal zoning jurisdiction, a request the petitioner said she was willing to consider.

“I think it’s a great project,” said local radio station owner Larry Nelson, who sits on the commission.

Although the Kendall County Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously in favor of the winery, members wanted the exterior of the barn maintained. Denges said her objective was “to preserve the rustic atmosphere of the property,” although no formal requirement to maintain the barn’s condition is listed in her zoning recommendation.

“If they’re not going to request she put it on the list of historic buildings, I don’t know why she should have that restriction on this,” said Regional Plan Commission member Claire Wilson.

The Regional Plan Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals have unanimously approved the project. The winery now faces a final vote by the Kendall County Board.

Lucas Robinson

Lucas Robinson

Lucas Robinson covers politics, courts, schools and the pandemic in Kendall County and Yorkville for Shaw Media. His work has previously appeared in the Chicago Reader, the Buenos Aires Times, Open Secrets and USAToday. He grew up in Muncie, Indiana.