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
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
Learn more at www.anabawines.com.