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Business and Economy

Oxford County town will vote on allowing liquor sales to assist local winery

Voters in the Oxford County town of Hartford, just north of Lewiston, will vote Tuesday on whether to allow liquor sales and consumption.

A local winery wants to be able to sell its products and open a tasting room, but when the owners started the process of applying for their liquor license, they discovered that Hartford is a dry town.

Jen Bonaventura, co-owner of Bonaventura Vineyards, says she and her husband have been growing grapes and building their business since they bought their property in 2015.

She says they told a code enforcement officer about their plans at the time of the purchase, but didn't find out that Hartford doesn't allow liquor sales and consumption until about a year ago when they pursued their state and federal licenses.

"It really would be devastating if we are not able to continue with that. I mean, we'll start pursuing other options I guess if we need to," Bonaventura says.

Bonaventura says theirs is a small operation and the best way to sell their products is through their own tasting room. She says the community has been supportive and she's hopeful for the outcome of Tuesday's vote.