If you're a Connecticut wine enthusiast, you've probably been to one of the most beautiful Wineries our state has to offer, Watertown's Hawk Ridge Winery.

It's located along Rt. 63, North of the Taft/Main Street area of town, at 28 Plungis Road. If you don't see the signs, you have probably driven right by. It's off the main road by a few hundred yards and the views are incredible. Looking west, you can see miles of rolling hills, their vineyards, and beautiful residences.

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Well, the beautiful residences and their homeowners that surround Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown seem to have organized a campaign to try to force the business to change the way that they operate, and from what I've gathered from the statement that the owners of Hawk Ridge Winery have posted to their social media, it mostly stems from live music complaints.

Full disclosure, I am a patient of the owner of Hawk Ridge Winery, Dr. Jack McHugh, at his practice in Watertown, Dr. McHugh & Associates, P.C. I've known him for many years. He's been a leader and community activist in the Watertown community for decades, and I personally love the man. He's got a great sense of humor, and he treated, and saved my dad's toes after my dad had suffered a stroke.

Yesterday on social media, Dr. McHugh shared a statement on behalf of Hawk Ridge Winery, laying out their stance on the events that have recently occurred.

I won't regurgitate the statement verbatim, but basically it says that a letter had been recently distributed around Watertown residents, trying to rally them to sign a petition against the business. According to the statement, Hawk Ridge Winery has made numerous changes to the location, direction and volume of the live musical entertainers that they've brought in to entertain the thirsty crowds. All of those changes reportedly did not appease residents who live nearby the Winery, and the next battle seems to be in the court of public opinion.

This area of our state seems to have a problem with live music. South Farms in Morris is literally right up the road, Rt. 63, and through the pandemic, they were one of the only venues in the state, if not the region, that successfully pulled off live events. That is, until the neighbors had enough of hearing Pete Davidson, Warren Haynes and the other national-level talent that chose to play a show on a beautiful farm in Litchfield County. Following the public hearings in Morris, South Farms unfortunately had to change the way they were doing things.

There's going to be a public hearing on the current issues Hawk Ridge Winery is facing this coming Monday, July 19, 2021, at 6:30 PM at the Watertown Town Hall at 61 Echo Lake Road. Hawk Ridge Winery is asking for your support by attending, if you agree with them.

On the outside looking in, Hawk Ridge Winery states that they've already moved their live performances to two specific windows - 3-6 PM on Saturdays and 2-5 PM on Sundays. I can't see how the nearby residents are bothered by some beautiful music during the daytime on the weekend, unless they're vampires or insomniacs? But, I don't have a say in it, you do.

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