[caption id="attachment_30841" align="alignright" width="366" caption="Santa Rosa Vintners Square current and coming vintners (from left) are Mia D'Argenzio, Dino and Maria D'Argenzio, Dylan and Tobe Sheldon, Patty Flocchini, Raymond D'Argenzio (front), Patrick Krutz, Andrew Flocchini, Breanna D'Argenzio with Charlie the dog, Coal Krutz, Nicholas Flocchini, Matt Trulli, Kathy Flocchini, Jared Souza and Andrea Flocchini. (Jeff Quackenbush photo)"][/caption]
SANTA ROSA -- Another cluster of urban wineries is forming in Santa Rosa, this time in an industrial area just north of Railroad Square and soon to include a collaborative tasting room and culinary center.
The D'Argenzio family is renovating 15,000 square feet of industrial space in a winemaking district of many years ago. Their vision for the property, called Santa Rosa Vintners Square and located at 1301 and 1305 Cleveland Ave. about a half-mile north of Railroad Square, includes four production wineries, a collaborative tasting room called The WineYard for up to 10 wineries and a catering kitchen called Cibo, Italian for "food." That would make dishes and appetizers from local foods and offer demonstrations for the public by visiting chefs.
"We're all about cooperating and collaborating in direct-to-consumer sales," said Dino D'Argenzio, a longtime local commercial real estate agent. His wife, Maria, and he are overseeing The Wineyard part of the project in the 10,000-square-foot 1305 Cleveland building.
It’s a scaled-down version of the food and wine center the family wanted to create at the gateway to the business parks near Charles M. Schulz--Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa several years ago, according to Mr. D'Argenzio. The expanding footprint of the redesigned Highway 101 interchange at Airport Boulevard made that project infeasible, he said.
Several clusters of urban wineries have formed in the past several years as proprietors look to invest available resources in fine wine rather than in rural estates. A well-known Santa Rosa urban winery is Siduri Wines of Santa Rosa.
The family acquired the Cleveland Avenue property in 1979 and constructed the buildings in the early 1990s, partly to house the family cabinetry business. In 1996 twin brothers Raymond and Richard "Ricci" D'Argenzio started the winery in 1301 Cleveland.
From the first 100 cases of wine made the first year, the brand has grown to 3,000 cases annually made by Raymond D'Argenzio. Six years ago Ricci D'Argenzio and his wife, Kathy, opened a tasting room in Burbank near the major movie studios.
The other major tenant in Santa Rosa Vintners Square is Squire Cigars. Owner Linda Squires moved the business there 11 years ago from Coddingtown and is excited about having wine and food purveyors next door to bring more traffic to her store.
"We share the same type of customers," Ms. Squires said. "The only thing that is missing is food, and that's on the way."
She has had to manage and operate the store herself for a couple of years because of the economy.
D'Argenzio winery has built connections with hotels in Railroad Square and county tourism officals, who refer visitors to the property.
The production winery stage of the D'Argenzio family wine center plan is complete. The 5,000-square-foot warehouse building at 1301 Cleveland was renovated last summer to add floor drains and extra insulation for a production winery and tasting room for three boutique brands.