Vineyard Neighbors Annoyed by Loud Music

Keswick Vineyard’s neighbors are no fan of their noisy events, Sean Tubbs writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow, but the winery wants county law amended to change the language of the noise ordinance. Like many wineries, Keswick Vineyards rents their place out for special events, frequently weddings—it’s something that state law actually encourages, as a means of wineries generating extra revenue. But since most vineyards are located in semi-rural areas, loud music can constitute a heck of a rude surprise for neighbors who may have been accustomed to hearing nothing more than barking dogs, braying donkeys, the odd tractor, and the sounds of nature. That’s just what happened in Keswick, leaving neighbors happy to see the county amend the noise ordinance last spring. The vineyard complains that the language of the law is too vague—it requires that amplified music not be audible inside any neighboring structures—and wants a decibel-based measurement, since that’s something that they can measure. Neighbors complain that Keswick is just trying to change the law to favor them.

The Planning Commission plans a public hearing, after which they’ll decide if further action is necessary.

5 Responses to “Vineyard Neighbors Annoyed by Loud Music”


  • Count me among the old farts that do not really understand the need of music so loud that it can be heard a quarter mile away while being played inside…which of course ends up with the still ringing eared participants going outside and shouting so they can be heard above the buzzing in their ears.

  • Several BOS members came out to the last wedding and did not hear any amplified music at the property line let alone inside of anyones dwelling. That is why an objective measurement is needed, Anyone can say anything without providing any proof. There is a lot of misinformation being spread around that is incorrect. This isn’t about sound, look deeper.

  • To have a sound ordinance without a decibel level would be like having a speed limit but not posting it, anyone with a hidden agenda could accuse you of speeding without any proof …

  • I’m wedding planning right now and visited the vineyard yesterday. There have been three weddings there so far, but the owners (lovely people!) have already invested in a special sound system and sound dampening tent walls to prevent noise from traveling north, which is the direction where I assume there’s a neighbor (we could see a beautiful, huge barn in the distance). We were impressed by how thoughtful they had been about their impact.

    I believe the cider works up the road is going to start having weddings soon, so having a more specific ordinance is going to be a necessity.

  • @danpri, The music at vineyards typically isn’t being played inside. At most, it is being played inside a tent. Without walls to dampen sound waves, the sound is going to travel further. I am impressed with what Keswick has invested to limit that.

    I live in Waynesboro, about 4 miles from the high school, and I can hear the football games. I can hear the music that the City has at the festivals. It took a while for us to believe it, there was no way we could be hearing something at Ridgeview Park – on the other side of town from us. We consulted the “Summer Extravaganza” events and it matched up, the style we heard and what time it was.

    But the restaurants between us and the Park? No, we can’t hear when they have a live music at our house.

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