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Much Richer Tasting Experience

By Fran Endicott Miller | Photos by Los Heffernans Photography

Named for the Anabatic winds that sweep over Sonoma’s Carneros region, Anaba

Wines was founded by Chicago-born John Sweazey, who desired to craft Rhône-style

blends and graceful chardonnays and pinot noirs that had once captivated him during

a European sojourn long ago. Opened in 2006 on 16 breezy acres, Anaba recently

unveiled its stunning new Vintners House tasting room and visitor center, a space

befitting the delectable varietals in its portfolio. Fans of Anaba Wines can now enjoy

their favorite pour in the manner the Sweazey family always intended—surrounded by

gracious, uncomplicated hospitality.

Comfortable and elegant, the Anaba Vintners House is a reflection of the Sweazey

family’s relaxed vibe and commitment to land and resource stewardship (the goal

is for the winery to use 100 percent renewable energy this year). There, guests can

escape and unwind, viewing the estate vineyards and the distant hills. Private seating

areas allow for leisurely, personalized wine exploration. The space also includes a long

communal table and bar for casual tastings and a light-filled room with cozy, intimate

seating areas for in-depth wine education. The color palette takes inspiration from

nature, evoking fog, water, earth, and even the Anabatic winds.

Designed to harmonize with its rural surroundings, the building is an amalgam of newand old-world design that complements the 120-year-old farmstead that originally

served as Anaba’s tasting room and administrative offices. “From the beautiful custom lights to the raw metal fireplace, to the richly-textured sofas, we were very intentional about every design element,” says Sweazey’s son, John Michael, who serves as general manager of the winery. “My parents even added artwork from their own home. We wanted the room to echo the beauty of our natural agrarian surroundings and to be

very personal.”

Beyond the landscaped courtyard, a bocce ball court encourages lighthearted

competition, and an adjacent soon-to-be-completed paddle tennis court will become

a focal point for club member gatherings. “We’ve long desired to create a place for

visitors to completely relax and escape,” says Sweazey. “This is an extension of our

family home, and we want everyone to feel that same warm, inviting atmosphere.

We’re now able to offer a much richer tasting experience and create lasting memories

for our guests.”

Anaba’s wines are crafted by collaborative and exacting winemakers Ross Cobb

and Katy Wilson, who joined Anaba during its 2014 harvest. The duo sources grapes

from the Anaba estate and from exclusive, preferred vineyard partners. Meticulously

farmed rootstocks and grape clones are carefully selected, based on each vineyard’s

soil to assure that each variety is suited to its environment and yields exceptional fruit.

Visitor experiences include the Classic Flight, an introduction to Anaba Wines, the

Estate Flight, featuring six single-vineyard selections, and the Vintners Reserve Flight,

an educator-led comparative tasting of Anaba proprietors’ favorite small-lot wine

selections, each of which was inspired by their travels throughout the wine regions

of the old world, particularly Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. Reservations are

encouraged and are required for parties of six or more and for the Vintners Reserve


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