Two experienced winemakers plan to open a winery, minus the vineyards, in a former downtown Roseburg car dealership that has been vacant since 2009.
“Our vision is in the heart of Roseburg, and our concept is an urban winery,” said Scott Kelley, who is the general manager of a winery in Paso Robles, Calif.
He and Dyson DeMara of Roseburg are partners in Umpqua Wine Works, which will be in the former Hansen Chevrolet, 606 S.E. Stephens St.
DeMara and his family have owned the HillCrest Winery and Distillery in Roseburg since 2003.
The business will have a tasting room, bottling area, distillery, restaurant and retail shop. Beginning in the fall, wine will be made in the building.
“We will be a fully functioning winery in the historic Hansen building,” Kelley said.
“The public will realize the vision in the spring,” he said. “That’s when, from the public standpoint, we will be open for business.”
Because the building is within the city’s historic downtown district, the city Historic Resource Review Commission reviewed Kelley and DeMara’s plans for the building.
“They thought it was a great idea,” a city planner, Teresa Clemons, said. “They were thrilled (Kelley and DeMara) wanted to take something downtown and make it better.”
Kelley and DeMara outlined for the city remodeling plans that will not change the building’s footprint. A roll-up garage door will be replaced. The west side of the building will be remodeled to provide a public entry.
Kelley and DeMara met at a Napa Valley vineyard some 15 years ago. Kelley said he will move to Roseburg this month.
They said they think Roseburg will see a resurgence of its downtown and that they want to be a part of it.
DeMara said their idea is to provide a place to make and sample wine in the city, rather than have customers travel to a vineyard.
“It’s a brand-new idea for Roseburg, and we believe it is part of a catalyst for Umpqua Valley,” DeMara said.
DaMara said the response from City Hall and downtown businesses has been positive.
“They like that it’s something new and bright for Roseburg,” he said. “It’s awesome knowing everybody is excited about this.”
•You can reach reporter Christina George at 541-957-4202 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.