The winery made headlines in 2012 when it became the first tasting room in downtown Santa Rosa. But after nearly three years in Corrick’s Stationery Store on 4th St., the tasting room has new digs down the block in the Downtown Deli.
Ancient Oak Cellars purchased the deli at 621 Fourth Street, and this weekend is the tasting room’s grand opening.
This Friday, Saturday and Sunday the tasting room will be open until 9 p.m. and it will serve small plates, as well as wines by the glass, flights of wine, and even brews.
“The biggest reason for the move was that we wanted to have outdoor seating,” said vintner Melissa Moholt-Siebert. “We’re committed to towns and urban settings. We just love being a part of it. I love the interaction with other downtown merchants.”
Moholt-Siebert said a licensing issue made outdoor seating at Corrick’s cost prohibitive. But the vintner said she still has an office at Corrick’s, and she has invited co-owner Keven Brown to put an exhibit on a wall in her building.
“It was a great launch at Corrick’s,” Moholt-Siebert said. “There aren’t that many places to open a tasting room downtown.”
The vintner said the new business is called Ancient Oak Cellars and Downtown Deli, a nod to the great sandwiches initially sold at the former Traversos wine shop.
Moholt-Siebert said she’s happy to be working closely with Bill Thompson, the former owner of the Downtown Deli, who will stay on to keep some of the traditional Traversos sandwiches alive and well.
The vintner said the sandwiches and the wine flights have a strong draw. Recently a group of woman in town for a bachelorette party stopped in and stayed two hours to nosh on sandwiches and partake in a tasting.
Ancient Oak Cellars is a boutique winery that produces about 5,000 cases of wine a year. The winery farms 45 acres of vines in Sonoma County.