The harvest tables, tucked behind a wall of low brick arches, invite cozy conversation among groups, whether they came in together or are meeting for the first time.

The wide-open, sunken space topped with a stage seems perfectly suited for a dance floor.

And the high-ceilinged back room holds tall fermenting tanks among its concrete support columns, the smell of the wine inside perfuming the air.

A former Downtown nightclub, once considered a nuisance by the city, has been renewed as an urban winery, tasting room and event venue.

Via Vecchia opened at the end of last summer and quickly became a darling of the Brewery District, popular for events and weddings.

When not busy with private parties, owners Michael Elmer, Marty Huster and Paolo Rosi are open weekends for reservations-preferred tastings.

The self-taught wine-making trio has been crafting wine from whole grapes, crushed each fall, since 2006, when they operated out of Elmer's Powell-area cellar.

Here, they share more about their wines and new business.

Q& A
A chat with Michael Elmer

What did this move mean for Via Vecchia?
When we thought about having a permanent winery, we never thought about having an event space, too. We thought about selling wine to couples that want to have a wedding, but never doing a wedding. So it's really, really exciting for us. We're making roughly 10,000 bottles here, which is roughly double what we did before and we think we could do much more in this building.

What are the Friday and Saturday tasting nights like?
We've been growing by word of mouth. People can do a flight of our wine or buy it by the glass or bottle. And we don't have a full kitchen, but our menu includes an antipasto plate, a homemade bean salad and peppers stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella.

What do people like most about it?
The communal tables and historic architecture lend themselves to conversation. We had one couple come in, and they said, "You know, we want to tell our friends about this place, but we kind of want to keep it to ourselves." I thought that was kind of cool.