A palatial French chateau of the Entre-Deux-Mers, flanked by the Dordogne to the east and the Garonne to the west. Not so much.

D’Argenzio Winery is a classic Italian American winery of Santa Rosa, flanked by Highway 101 to the east and an abandoned railroad track to the west. It is urban wine country at its finest.

If your wine country dream was to see impressive architecture, then go to Napa and stare at the walls. If, instead, your dream was to experience handcrafted artisanal wines of distinction and quality, then D’Argenzio Winery is the place to start.

paigegreenSantaRosa82213-0053There’s something about this place that harkens back to the days when this area, just down from the Santa Rosa Depot, was known as “Little Italy”. The welcoming is warm, the wines are as fun to talk about as they are to drink, and there’s the sense that the tasting room crew (many of whom are D’Argenzio family members themselves) would be heartbroken if you didn’t leave happy. In a nutshell, it’s pure Italian hospitality.

paigegreenSantaRosa82213-0049Even though the setting is decidedly urban, the winery is nothing to shrug about. It’s a spacious and beautiful working winery, with tables inside and out if you want to relax and enjoy pizza and antipasto served by Cibo Rustico Pizzeria just across the way. On the back patio, surrounded by olive trees, is a bocce ball court where they host their weekly “Wine Down Thursdays” with live music and bocce ball, and serve wood-fired pizzas with some of the more exclusive wines from their portfolio.

paigegreenSantaRosa82213-0043And then of course there is the wine. The family is as committed to making world class wines as they are to playing hosts. The wines at D’Argenzio are the kind that would be impossible to make at a large scale winery. It’s obvious these wines are carefully and meticulously nurtured from vine to bottle into something displaying true handcrafted character. Each of their wines has its own unique complexity and structure, and yet they all share a common rustic elegance. Despite their micro-winery level of production (just 3000 cases a year) the wine list ranges from Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc, vineyard-designated Russian River Pinot Noirs, and old vine Zinfandels, to classic Italian varietals like Sangiovese, Barbera, Aglianico, and Sagrantino. When you visit, plan on staying awhile.

paigegreenSantaRosa82213-0038For more details on wines and happenings at the winery, check out their website at DArgenzioWine.com