Big Rick Stuart
Production to cease at Sebastiani Winery in downtown Sonoma
It is the end of an era for Sonoma’s largest downtown winery. Foley Family Winery plans to lay off most of its workers at the Sebastiani Winery and close its winemaking operations at the eastside facility. The winery’s tasting room and administrative offices in Sonoma will remain open. according to Foley President Shawn Schiffer.
Sebastiani is located on the east side of Sonoma’s downtown, occupying the equivalent of two city blocks on either side of Fourth Street East. Its production and storage buildings run along the town’s bike trail. A multi-million dollar remodel of its tasting room and hospitality center was completed in 2001. There are about 32 acres of vines situated around the winery.
“This is not a spot that anyone would choose to locate a modern winery,” Schiffer told the Index-Tribune about the Sebastiani production facility. “A variety of factors (have) led us to the conclusion that the Sebastiani site is not the right place to bear a large share of our manufacturing needs. The size and layout of the facility as well as environmental concerns like the encroachment of the surrounding residential neighborhood and public access trail all played a part in our decision.”