In recent months Vetro Winery, long situated in Concord (near Sullivan), in Jefferson County, relocated to a new building on the outskirts of Jefferson.
If the new street address doesn't already seem perfect – the new Vetro is at 1414 Vino Lane – the view from the parking lot and the expanded shop and tasting room certainly will.
Bill and LaVerne Vetrano's place, perched atop Sanctuary Ridge, gazes out to the east across the neighboring valley and its marshland and woods.
The winery was founded by the Vetrano's – Bill's Sicilian family has a tradition of winemaking – in 2002.
Vetro produces a number of wines, among them Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Moscato and "Nun On the Run," a blend of Wisconsin-grown grapes. It makes a range of fruit wines, too. All are available in the new shop.
The new place, says LaVerne, is a big step forward.
"We went from a 1,500-square foot building to 6,000 square feet," she says. "We needed bigger tanks to produce more wine and more room."
The new location has a large parking lot, a spacious tasting room and shop and plenty of room for production, from crush to crate. There is a patio that will be open in season, too.
Vetro says that the move is not entirely complete yet, but that Vetro 2.0 is up and running and welcoming guests.
"We have most of our tanks here; still a few at the old place," she says. "Our grand opening was Nov. 12 and the whole family was here for that. The City of Jefferson welcomed us with open arms."
Currently, Vetro feels a bit like a hidden treasure. If you head east out of Downtown Jefferson, you'll find a sign for the winery that appears to lead up a long driveway.
But that leads to a narrow wooded lane, which feels almost like a trip to a European country winery, that ultimately opens up to an area that has some older structures on the left and the shiny new Vetro on the right. (Directions are here.)
That secret vibe will come to an end soon, says Vetrano.
"In time to come at Sanctuary Ridge other business will develop into a marketplace," she says, " a microbrewer, little shops and arts (spaces) all should start shortly. We just happen to be the first ones here."
On Saturday Jan. 21, Vetro will host the "Women + Wines +Chocolate = Support for Special Olympics Wisconsin."
The event will bring together Vetro wines, specialty foods by Chef Earl Gesling of Bohdi Personal Chef and Catering, along with a number of vendors, including Vault Jeans and Pampered Chefs, to raise money for Special Olympics.
"With this larger place we will be able to have more things on that order," says Vetrano.
Vetro is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 to 4. Tastings are free but donations to Special Olympics Wisconsin are encouraged.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.