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commercial development

Altamura proposes wine center on Silverado Trail

Napa developer George Altamura has filed a development pre-application with the city to build a large event center and winery at the northeast corner of Silverado Trail and Trancas Street in Napa.

The proposed Altamura Wine Center would become home to a three-story building and winery offering wine tasting, a deli, gift shop, restaurant, offices, meeting rooms and a wedding site. The plan also includes extensive outdoor areas for public gathering.

This is at least the third time Altamura has proposed a development at the 5-acre site. In 2001, Altamura floated plans to build a hotel of up to 121 rooms, a 120-seat restaurant, a winery tasting room and a wedding chapel.

In 2003, the City Council rejected Altamura’s plans to build a 90-room hotel and 180-seat restaurant at the site, saying it did not make sense to allow the project in an agricultural area where Silverado Trail begins its run into the Upvalley.

In his latest submittal to the city, Altamura said the property, which is currently undeveloped, is an “ideal location” for a winery and tourist-serving facility.

The corner is a “gateway” to Upvalley for wine country visitors, but within the city limits and close to other amenities such as shopping and hotels. It “would take some of the demand away from Upvalley venues” offering similar activities, the application states.

"This is going to be a challenging project based on its location alone, which many people have become accustomed to seeing as a field adjacent to the Napa River and therefore it feels as though it is open space when in fact it is a privately owned parcel zoned for potential development," the city's Napa Community Development director, Rick Tooker, said in an email.

Tooker said the property had other challenges, such as its potential for flooding. At this stage, the city will be determining what it will need to know about such issues as drainage, traffic, parking and river impacts, he said.

Altamura is proposing a 66,000-square-foot event center covered in stone “to evoke feelings that remind us of the history of the valley." The center will have a “grand entrance hall” with access to the 100,000-case winery and other amenities. A 34,334-square-foot outdoor event area will include large landscaped areas that could accommodate tents and patio areas.

The pre-application, filed in early October, proposes hosting outdoor entertainment, including music and dancing, until 11 p.m. A total of 179 parking spaces are proposed.

Altamura could not be reached for this story.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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