A winery in Beechworth has been refused the right to serve wine for 13 hours per day after councillors expressed worries about people being drunk in the vines late at night.
Haldon Estate Wines, located 100 metres from Beechworth's residential area, applied for a permit to extend its hours to 10am until 11pm and allow up to 19 people people to drink across most of the 7.5-acre property.
Cr Bernard Gaffney was one of the strongest opponents of the application at Tuesday's council meeting, saying it was "a massive drinking area".
"I just find it unusual that people would go to a wine tasting close to 11pm at night. What it means is the cellar door is open for 13 hours - you can go and drink there for 13 hours," he said.
"I wouldn't want to live next door to that."
Cr Barb Murdoch agreed, saying the winery had gone overboard with its proposed hours.
"Staying out that late to taste wine is more in line with a hotel than a winery," she said.
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Cr Larry Goldsworthy, also a police sergeant, pushed to allow Haldon Estate Wines to extend its hours, saying it was an example of a business trying to expand and make use of agricultural land.
"People could actually take a glass and go and sit somewhere within the vineyard. At the moment they can only consume that within that small area," he said.
"From a policing perspective, it may well be subject to offences if they do emit undue noise.
"They are just trying to expand their business and do it in a way that won't impact on the neighbours, despite the concerns."
Indigo Council received two formal objections to the application, the grounds that there would be increased noise and activity from an increase in patron numbers.
Other Indigo Shire wineries, such as All Saints Estate, have permits that allow alcohol to be served as late as 11pm because they were granted in the past outside of the council process.
Council staff recommended councillors grant the application, with the report from Planning Director Planning Ian Scholes saying the ongoing use of the land for agriculture should be supported.
The vote was tied 3-3, with deputy mayor Sophie Price excusing herself from the vote because one of her family members was a neighbour of the winery, so mayor Jenny O'Connor used her casting vote to go against the winery's application.
"I just think it's too excessive," Cr O'Connor said.
"I'm happy for them to extend the red line area further into their property and to extend the hours somewhat, but I think a carte blanche until 11pm every night of the year - with up to almost 20 people coming one time, maybe several times - is actually outside what you would see on a wine tasting."