Local News

Farmer and Frenchman discuss plans after latest hangup

After determining the Farmer and Frenchman is in a dry area of Henderson County, the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Board revoked the winery's retail drink license


In April the owners started a petition, and since then have gotten more than 6,000 signatures. In that time they've also been trying to get answers from ABC on how it will affect them. Just in the last few days they got those answers, but not what they expected.


They started the petition for two reasons: to be able to legally sell their product, and bring more clarity to their county.


"Kentucky laws surrounding alcohol are written pretty vaguely. It can be difficult to interpret,” said Henderson County Judge Executive Brad Schneider.


Katy and Hubert Mussat, Farmer and Frenchman owners were well on their way. They say they already had more than enough signatures to put a countywide wet dry vote on the November ballot in Henderson County.


It was their understanding tha such a vote would make all of Henderson County, outside the incorporated cities, either wet or dry, but the Mussat's attorney and Schneider wanted extra clarification from the ABC, given the previous confusion that led to the winery's license being revoked.


"They came back with an answer that really surprised us. Apparently county-wide is not countywide in some respects,” Schneider said. “The precincts, the small towns, the magisterial districts, take precedent over the larger government units, so a county can't force a precinct that's already voted dry to go wet."


That vote, for the Anthoston precinct to go dry, happened back in the 1940s.


"At this point, I’m not surprised. Here we go again,” Katy Mussat said. “You know, the first reaction is gosh, what a waste of time and energy that we and all of our supporters and volunteers, but a split second later I just said I got to visit, and meet with so many new people.”


Now the winery has a few options. The owners can continue their appeal of the ABC’s decision in circuit court.


They can also start over with two different petitions: one to have a precinct wide vote, and one for wet dry vote specifically on the winery property. Both would require a number of signatures of registered voters in the Anthoston precinct equal to 25 percent of Anthoston voters in the last general election.


The Mussats say the process has been exhausting, but they're not giving up.


“We saw what a huge power Henderson can be when united on something,” Katy Mussat said.


If they do decide to go forward with either of two petitions, they would need to get the signatures by August, which would put the vote on the November ballot. Or they could have a special election.


For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

(This story was originally published May 24, 2018)

More Stories

Trending Stories

Video Center