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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Bladen County has long been a dry county, but with muscadine vines now growing in fields that used to grow tobacco, some are calling for the sale of alcoholic beverages to become legal.

“It’s hard for me to explain to my friends that I meet from outside of the area why we can’t even sell our own product in our own county,” said Ron Taylor, who owns Lu Mil Vineyard in Dublin.

Taylor recently approached county commissioners asking for a countywide vote to allow the sale of beer, wine, and liquor. It’s a decision he says won’t be popular with everybody.

“My mother was a teetotaler, and I’m sure that she would ball up her fist every time that anyone mentioned alcohol,” Taylor said. “She was a very strict Southern Baptist.”

But Taylor argues that even his late mother could see the benefits of allowing liquor sales in a county that is branching out to rebuild from the collapse of the tobacco industry.

“There’s an overwhelming demand on taxes that are collected in our area now,” he said. “I think it would be a great revenue boost for our county to be able to collect the revenues off of products that are already being consumed in our county, and yet they’re bought somewhere else. I think it would be in some way for bladen county to be accepted more widely from the traveling public.”

We tried to speak with county commissioners about this topic, but were told that County Manager Greg Martin told them not to comment to the media.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest2020

    He doesn’t care about Bladen County. He just wants an easier way to sell his product.

  • Martin Smith

    Surely you have to see the benefit of allowing sales of wine in the county. Parochial views supported by preachers and bootleggers are something that belong in the last century and not in the present. It is not much the issue of alcohol consumption but the attitude reflected by it that is the problem and the sooner the residents see that the better.

  • Guest Vader

    When Mr. Taylor planted his grapes, he knew he was doing it in a dry county. I am not religious, but have and do see the effects of alcohol. Sure, like a gun, if somebody wants it, they will get it, but he does not seem to care about anything but the money he might make. Pure greed to sell out like this. Not much character, in my opinion.

  • Guest77

    My wife and I, on our way back from Lumberton, drove through Bladen County to Lu Mil Vineyard. If there ever was a place less suitable for a vineyard, it’s Bladen County.

    You would expect a vineyard to be in a clean, attractive environment. Not so for Lu Mil. The drive to the vineyard was down roads littered with trash and run-down, ill-kempt properties.

    Bladen should focus on plans to clean up its environment. A clean environment might attract clean industry, and give its poor people desperately-needed jobs.

  • RSimmons

    Pictures of vineyards is like internet dating, they never look as pretty in person as they do in a picture. I went to visit the winery that makes my favorite wine when I was in NY last year. The vineyard is in the middle of a suburb with ticky-tacky vinyl sided homes surrounding it. The picture on the bottles don’t include that scene.

    The only really trashed road I came upon when my wife and I went to visit Lu Mil was SR 41 coming off of SR87( what is up with all the trash in that one stretch?). I didn’t see that much trailer trash either. There were trailers but 95% were well kept…….. BTW,Grapes don’t care about aesthetics they care about the soil composition.

  • Wilmington Guy

    Nothing new here for this company/owner.
    Old habits of working the back door angles and illegal angles of local and state goverments come easy to the owners. All one has to do is look at the history.
    Wait I hear the chuech bells ringing on Sunday morning in a very faith based county. Will we see you in the pew praying for passage for this….. oh one of faith my way.
    Let the money changer rejoice.
    You mother taught you well…. but you never listened esp. if it lined your pocket.
    Some do not forgive…or forget…history

  • Fire the DA’s

    I don’t think Mr. Taylor needs county wide alcohol sales to be able to sell his wine. He can sell all he wants at his vineyard. Maybe he really has the counties interest in mind.

  • Guest2020

    I didn’t say anything against alcohol. But, since you brought it up, I will express my views. I am now a teetotaler. That is my choice. I can count on my fingers how many alcoholic beverages I have ever had. I do not like the taste of it. More importantly, there have been several members in my family who were alcoholics. The propensity exists, so I choose to avoid it. I personally think that the world would be a better place if people didn’t get drunk all of the time. There are a lot of bad things that have happened because of people drinking to excess.

    Preachers are entitled to their views on alcohol. And they are free to act on those beliefs. That is doubly covered in the Constitution under the first amendment. I don’t think bootleggers have the same views as preachers since a bootlegger is someone involved in the illegal sale of alcohol. Maybe you meant revenuers. I don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter.


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