A new tasting room for a dozen California wineries is slated to open on 12th & K streets in October. Downtown & Vine, which will be located next door to Blush Ultra Lounge, is the work of Gregg Lamer - an Amador County resident - and business partner Kate Chomko. Lamer's a certified sommelier who's worked as a consultant for Sierra Foothills wineries, served as wine education manager for Robert Mondavi Winery, and worked at Domaine Carneros, among other stints.
Unlike the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, which features eight local wineries under a single roof, Downtown & Vine will be set up more like a traditional wine bar.
"This will be more about sitting down and having a menu to choose from," said Lamer. "You can order by the glass, flight or bottle. We'll also have artisan cheeses, charcuterie plates and small bites."
Downtown & Vine will accommodate just under 100 patrons: 30 on the patio and about 70 more inside. The space will also feature private and semi-private areas for special programs and winemaker tastings. Downtown & Vine will also feature photographs from Daniel D'Agostini, the Plymouth resident who also produced the book "Into the Earth: A Wine Cave Renaissance."
Many of the featured wineries will hail from the greater Sacramento region, but other California wineries will be fair game, too.
"We are really trying to give an overview of what California has to offer," said Lamer. "We're hoping that it's just a fun, comfortable place to come and try lots of different wines. We're trying to bring wine country to the city."
Look for more updates as Downtown & Vine's opening nears.