Thursday, May 27, 2010


  • Wine tasting classes begin Fall 2010 – Class will meet once a week for 5 weeks if interested, please get on the waiting list: send an e-mail to

  • Wine Cruise on the Hudson River September 2010– Join us on a private yacht for great food and wine as we sail around the Hudson River – Departs from New York City – Bus transportation from the Winery – Limited availability – Send an e-mail if interested

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



While I believe a great majority of the Yorktown employees and voluntary board members try to work efficiently, they are hampered by the current procedural process. I propose that we film a documentary, at my cost, using the Winery project as case study. We can video tape every meeting and every detail and every correspondence as the project progresses. When the documentary is competed, we will share it with the public and the town can use this material to initiate a business process reengineering effort to streamline the processes of the town. I will formally make this proposal to Susan Siegel and the Yorktown Town Board. Susan has championed transparent government and has expressed a desire to make Yorktown more efficient.

Let me give some specific examples of why this needs to happen:

This past November, I submitted two applications to the town of Yorktown. One was for a Zone Change, and the other for a Special Use Permit as allowed under the town code. I retained Chris Sciarra, from CS Construction, Inc., as my project manager. Chris has over 20 years experience with getting projects completed in Yorktown and he understands the challenges property owners face. Both applications are unfortunately progressing very slowly. The applications have been referred to the various boards (Planning, Building, Conservation, Engineering, Architecture Review, etc.) each of which meets only once or twice a month. This is one of the main reasons why it usually takes a minimum of six (6) months to make any progress in Yorktown. If you get bounced around to the various boards several times, it can take over a year to finally accomplish anything. In addition to the town approvals, state approvals can add an additional six months. Now you can understand why we are seeing a decrease in investments in new businesses and why Yorktown has a reputation of being business UNFRIENDLY.

As an example, please view the latest meeting we had before the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board would not make a determination on a simple interpretation of the word “dwelling” despite the vast amount of information and research we presented at the meeting. Chris spent the better part of 60 days at town hall and in White Plains in order to provide our research to the zoning board. In addition, the parking plan was re-referred to the planning board even though the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation gave the “OK” in writing. It is also customary for the board to introduce a new issue at the board meeting. They do this without sending any communication to the applicant in advance. If we had received the issue in advance, we may be able to address the issue at the meeting. However, these new issues typically bump you to the next month’s agenda and hence another month of delays.

You can watch a video of the meeting at the Winery website:

Another example involved the request for new traffic studies and updated wetlands flagging. While a property owner must complete these items in order to get final approval, they should NOT be required before the developer knows that an approval is forthcoming. Otherwise the town imposes large financial burdens on the property owner before they know if the project has any legs. For example, I’m trying to get the planning department to confirm that my parking plan meets the town code. They are refusing to review the plan until I complete a traffic study. I have a quote for the traffic study and I’m prepared to complete it. So why can’t the planning board review the parking plan first? A property owner shouldn’t be asked to spend money on studies until the main hurdles of the project have been review and approved. Chris has sent numerous written correspondences to the Supervisor and planning department asking for a meeting with the management from each department in order to layout a concise roadmap. To date, the town has not responded to these requests.

In summary, government process and regulations across the entire spectrum of Local, State and Federal Governments are stifling innovation and small businesses. This big government approach gives more power to government officials and boards and takes away the rights of individuals, landowners and businesses. It is the small businesses that create most of the jobs and pay most of the taxes in our country. If we don’t start to encourage innovative new and small businesses, we will continue to see an increase in empty storefronts, empty office space and unemployment.

In the near future I will be expanding the wine industry in northern Westchester and Putnam counties and the economic value to our local community can be very beneficial.

I welcome your feedback on this proposal. Let’s help Yorktown government by supporting the filming of this documentary.

Thank you
Thomas DeChiaro
Owner – The Winery at St. George

Saturday, March 20, 2010


The Winery in April 2010 Wexhester Magazine

Preview the WINE SHOW - Produced by Terra Verde Vineyards & The Winery at St. George
Coming April 2010

Zoning Board Meeting - March 25th, 2010 - Yorktown Town Hall - 7PM
Come and support the Winery!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Battle of Yorktown, Again!

Yorktown Virginia 1781 -- General George Washington defeats General Cornwallis in the battle of Yorktown which proves to be the turning point of the revolutionary war. Today the Battle of Yorktown, New York parallels with that infamous battle. Our local government is practicing the same injustices that we saw in 1776.

Let me quote an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence:

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”

Let me explain these abuses, usurpations and absolute Despotism that the current Yorktown Board has thrust upon its inhabitants:

The proposed Comprehensive Plan strips property rights from Yorktown citizens without any regard for the owner’s investments in time, money and personal sentiment.

The proposed Tree Ordinance, albeit good intentioned by the environmentally responsible, still removes property rights from our citizens.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has utilized studies from the Army Core of Engineers to establish the NY State wetlands laws. Why is it then, that the Town of Yorktown instituted more restrictive, yet unconstitutional, wetlands laws? Is it to protect the environment? No – It is to exercise control over the citizens of the town. It is one thing to protect habitats and species; it is another to call a puddle a wetland area just to exercise power over the town’s people.

Power breeds corruption and absolute power breeds absolute corruption. Our elected officials have been in office too long. We need New Blood, Innovative Thinkers, Business Men and Problem Solvers. Four of our current board members work for Westchester County. Isn’t this a conflict of interest?

We need to end wasteful spending and unnecessary legal expenses. For 2009, our town board has spent approximately $600,000. With overwhelming opposition to the proposed Comprehensive Plan, expect that number to increase in 2010.

I encourage all Yorktown citizens to watch or attend Town Board meetings & Work Sessions. You will see first hand how rude the Board treats its constituents.

We are slowly loosing the rights and privileges our forefathers died for! A Yorktown resident recently told me that his family has owned property in Yorktown for many years. When he approached the Town Board to discuss developing his property, he said “I was treated like a criminal”. This behavior must stop!

The Battle of Yorktown is again upon us…

During the primary elections on September 15th and during the general election on November 3rd, please vote for CHANGE in Yorktown.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Winery Update - The Winery at St. George - July 10th 2009

Dear Wine Enthusiast,

I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day.

Below, please find links to the latest Winery news:

  1. Read the Winery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page:
  2. Join the Winery Facebook page:
  3. Follow the Winery on Twitter:
  4. Yorktown Town Board uses taxpayer money to file lawsuit against Winery owner (Lawsuit filed in State Court on July 9th, 2009):

Yorktown Needs Political Change!

  • It is very important that every Yorktown Resident register to vote in the upcoming Primary Election (September 15th, 2009) and the General Election (November 3rd, 2009). Register to vote here.
  • Political Action Committee (PAC) formed. People for Honest Government P4HG


Tom DeChiaro
The Winery At St. George
PO Box 32
Baldwin Place, NY 10505-0032
(914) 455-4272
(914) 455-4273 - Fax

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Taste of Italy at the Winery - Saturday March 21st, 2009

Bourn giorno (Good morning)

This Saturday we will be featuring several wines from Italy. Regions include Sicily, Piedmont, Tuscany & Montalcino with our focus on a wonderful Brunello Di Montalcino available by the glass.

Guests visiting the Winery between 1pm & 6pm will have the option to select a flight of 3 to 5 of these exceptional Italian wines.

We will also be introducing a Carmenere by the glass. The Carmenere grape was originally grown in Bordeaux France and is one of the four grape varieties allowed in Bordeaux blends. Now, Carmenere is rarely found in France and the world's largest producer is in Chile. Characteristics include a distinct black pepper nose with a pepper and earthy finish.

I can’t stress enough how thankful I am for all your kind & encouraging words. I’m still hopeful we can come to an amicable resolution with the Yorktown board and I’m counting on your continued support to reach that goal.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

March Open House Dates:

Dates: Saturday March 21st & 28th
Time: 1PM until 2AM
Where: The Winery at St. George – 1715 E. Main Street –
Mohegan Lake NY (914) 455-4272
Today’s Quote: "Good wine is a necessity of life for me." - Thomas Jefferson

See the latest News and Updates -

Tom DeChiaro

Thomas DeChiaro
The Winery at St. George
PO Box 32
Baldwin Place, NY 10505
(914) 455-4272
(914) 455-4273 - fax

Monday, March 9, 2009

Winery Update & Newsletter + March Open House Dates

Hello everyone.

Thanks again for all of your support and well wishes.

We had a great mix of familiar and new faces this past Saturday and I greatly appreciate all the positive comments about this wonderful building. I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me feel. J

Many of you have expressed interest in helping us open permanently. Here are some suggestions.

Write letters to the Newspapers

  1. North County News (Include Name, Address, Phone) – To Editor –
  2. Journal News – Report Brian Howard

Send e-mails to the Yorktown Town Board:

Feel free to copy me on your e-mails at

March Open House Dates:

Dates: Saturday March 14th, 21st & 28th
Time: 2PM until 2AM
Where: The Winery at St. George – 1715 E. Main Street – Mohegan Lake NY (914) 455-4272
Today’s Quote: "In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it."
Napoleon Bonaparte

I look forward to seeing you again and please pass this on to your family and friends.

Later this week, I will be updating the Winery website with new information. Please check it often.

Tom DeChiaro

Thomas DeChiaro
The Winery at St. George
PO Box 32
Baldwin Place, NY 10505
(914) 455-4272
(914) 455-4273 - fax

Monday, March 2, 2009

No more Whining from the Winery :-) + New Open House Dates

Hello everyone.

As the Spring Equinox approaches and we welcome the early blooming crocus, the season of Lent and the upcoming Passover, I have decided to stop Whining about the Winery issues and focus on a positive future, and of course the wine . After all, “It’s all about the Wine…”

Many of you have been an inspiration to me and I welcome your continued patronage and feedback.

During our next open house, you will experience new wines that I have meticulously selected and I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Dates: Saturday: March 7th & 14th
Time: 2PM until 2AM
Where: The Winery at St. George
1715 E. Main Street – Mohegan Lake NY

Today’s Quote: “In Vino Veritas” – “In Wine (there is) Truth”

I look forward to seeing you again and please pass this on to your family and friends.

Send an e-mail to to subscribe to future Winery e-mails.

Tom DeChiaro

The Winery at St. George
PO Box 32
Baldwin Place, NY 10505
(914) 455-4272
(914) 455-4273 - fax

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winery Open House Sat. Feb. 28th

Open House - The Winery at St. George
Saturday February 28th 2009 from 2PM until 2AM

It was great seeing familiar and new faces this past weekend. I’m so appreciative and want to wish my sincerest thanks to all of you for the great outpouring of support and well wishes. Together we will prevail and soon the Winery will open permanently.

To date, all my efforts to resolve the issues with the town amicably have fallen on deaf ears. It is troubling that the Yorktown leadership ignores it constituents and continues to spend our tax dollars on legal fees.

The upcoming election in November is a pivotal time for all of us. I implore you to send a strong message to our politicians and vote out the incumbent councilmen.

Check the survey on the winery blog at: where over 90% of respondents believe we have corruption within our local government.

I welcome your comments & I look forward to seeing you on Saturday February 28th, 2009.

The Winery at St. George
1715 E. Main Street
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
(914) 455-4272

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winery Update - Feb. 21 2009 Open House

Open House - The Winery at St. George
Saturday February 21st 2009 from 2PM until 2AM

I would like to thank the residents of Yorktown and surrounding towns for the overwhelming show of support and for your prayers.

The town continues to ignore my requests for a meeting to resolve the open issues & the lawsuit with the winery. They have hired four (4) outside law firms to defend this lawsuit, all at the taxpayer’s (our) expense.

How can we trust the current leadership to guide us through these challenging economic times when they can’t even solve a simple problem with one local business owner?

In November, we need to change the leadership in Yorktown. Vote out the incumbents!

I welcome your comments & I look forward to seeing you on Saturday February 21st, 2009.

The Winery at St. George
1715 E. Main Street
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
(914) 455-4272

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Invitation December 20th 2008

Please read the latest News:

Winery opens its doors for a day as lawsuit drags on - Brian J. Howard

IN MY OPINION: Winery issue leaves a bad taste - Andy Bazzo

Dear Winery Supporter,

Please join me on Saturday December 20th, 2008 for an update on the Winery project, the lawsuit filed against Yorktown and a Question & Answer session.

In addition to the update we will be showing a preview of artist Joseph Frazola’s work. Joe is the artist who painted a rendition of the original St. George window and the fresco on the ceiling in the powder room.

I hope you can come to enjoy this wonderful building with family & friends and taste some great wines.

I look forward to seeing you.

Dates: Saturday December 20th, 2008
Time: 2PM – 2AM
Location: 1715 E. Main Street - Old Stone Church
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

Please RSVP: (914) 455-4272


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Winery Lawsuit

Have you seen the latest news:

Former owner of Old Stone Church alleges bribery

Some officials say DiBartolo’s raise was pulled, not refused

Link to the latest documents filed in Federal Court

Take the Survey (Under the picture of the Winery) to the right - Is Yorktown Corrupt? -->

Dear Winery Supporter,

The Winery lawsuit continues to move forward, albeit very slowly.

In the interest of trying to move this process out of litigation and save both the Yorktown Taxpayer and myself legal expense, my attorney and I have contacted the town and the town attorneys to see if they were interested in talking. As I expected, the Town refuses to meet. We have a serious problem with the Yorktown leadership. They are currently over budget by $100,000 just on legal fees and they clearly don't care much about the cost of this litigation to Yorktown residents.

This is an excerpt from the Citizens for an Informed Yorktown web site:

“Town attorney John Buckley reported an unanticipated “triple play” that has caused the town to overspend it's $20,000 2008 budget line for outside legal services. To date, $117,000 has been spent and there are substantial additional bills that will have to be paid by the end of the year. Mr. Campisi noted that if the town wins the winery/old stone church case, it could get some money back. Some of the money spent for tax certiorari cases were for preparing for trials that never opened because the cases were settled.”

I am planning to have a question and answer session on the Winery and the lawsuit in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you would be interested in attending.

In the meantime, I have updated the Winery website with the latest filings in the Federal Lawsuit. I have also created a Blog for residents to post comments and feedback. Please visit both sites and let me know what you think. Also, please pass this e-mail on to anyone who may be interested.

If you want to be included on our distribution list, please send and e-mail to:

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