Rome entrepreneur Billy Newby hopes to have a new wine tasting room open at 411 Broad St. sometime around Christmas.

Newby Farm & Vineyard in West Rome won approval from the Floyd County Commission for his winery earlier this year. Construction at the farm won’t be ready for at least another seven months so he’s planning to give the business a boost by opening a tasting room downtown.

“I’ve got two years’ harvest waiting on the sidelines,” Newby said.

He said that once he gets all of the necessary permits he will be open pretty quickly.

“If they gave me a permit today I’d be ready to open next weekend,” Newby said.

Floyd County Commissioners approved a rezoning in July of the 58-acre Newby property off Billy Pyle Road, from suburban residential to agricultural residential, with a special use permit for the winery and tasting room. His father, Dennis Newby, said the first project at the farm will be construction of the wine processing building.

He expects to have that building completed in time for the 2021 harvest. He grows five varieties of grapes at the farm and produces both red and white wines.

“Once we get some money coming in, we’ll do the barn,” his father said. The existing barn could potentially become the tasting room at the farm.

Newby and his father are doing most of the work themselves on the building they are leasing at 411 Broad Sr. downtown.

“It sounds like its going to go over pretty big because people have been stopping by constantly,” Billy Newby said.

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