Nokesville’s Effingham Winery Receives County Special Use Permit

| March 6, 2018 | 0 Comments | Bristow Biz

Effingham Manor, the newest winery founded by Chris Pearmund.

By Jamie Rogers

A Nokesville winery once met with ire and speculation cleared another hurdle this month, paving the way for the property owner to offer patrons more options while visiting the estate.

Prince William County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Effingham Winery’s request for a special use permit (SUP) on Feb. 13, granting it permission to use the centuries old Effingham Manor house on the property for the sale, tasting and consumption of wine and food.

The permit also allows events such as weddings or meetings with 150 people or less to be held inside the home. Music, art and cultural activities are also permitted as accessories to special events, according to county documents.

A special use permit to allow the adaptive reuse of historic buildings is needed because the home is a County Registered History Site, Chris Pearmund, the winery’s owner, said.

Pearmund, obtained a farm winery Class A license for Effingham Manor from the Virginia Alcohol and Control Board in September when the winery opened, but wine and food tastings and sales weren’t allowed inside the actual home, built in the 1700s, until now.

Pearmund said so many historical properties fall into disrepair because the owners or the government can’t care for them, but this is not the case with Effingham Manor.

His vision for the historical property is to make it a place the public can enjoy, Pearmund said. So far that is happening, he said. If you look at Google and Yelp reviews, it is already a highly ranked winery, even though it’s been open less than six months, Pearmund said.

In December, the county’s planning commission held a public hearing regarding the SUP, but actions was deferred until January so the owner could have time to work on an agreement with the Effingham Farms Homeowner’s Association.

Some Effingham Farm  residents long questioned the impact the nearby winery would have on their quiet community nestled on the private drive Trotters Ridge Place—which is also the only way to access the winery by vehicle. Alexander Lake residents in Nokesville also had their concerns.

Residents worried the winery would increase the likelihood of drunken drivers and noise.

Dr. Marvette Thomas’ isn’t one of those homeowners. Her home is one of the closest to the property; she liked the idea of the winery from the beginning so much that she invested in it.

Effingham Winery will generate money for the county through taxes and the exposure is good for Nokesville, Thomas said. People who wouldn’t otherwise get to experience Nokesville are brought there by the winery, she added.

As for the noise concerns, nearby Quantico generates more noise than a winery would, Thomas said.

Drinking wine is for people with a more refined taste, she said. “They aren’t part of a rowdy bunch,” Thomas said.

Nearby homeowners who were less enamored with the winery’s location brought legal suites against the property. However, Pearmund and Effingham Winery won those disputes, allowing Effingham Winery to open on the historic site.

Jeanine Lawson, county supervisor for the Brentsville District, said she is pleased that the homeowners were able to come to an agreement.

“The property is absolutely beautiful. There’s a lot of history and it is completely in line with the county’s promotion of the agribusiness,” Lawson said.

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