Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
In the center of Sonoma, just off the plaza, lies quintessential tasting room: Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery. Their tasting room, winemaking facility and Cherryblock vineyard, all of which were developed over 100 years ago by the pioneering Sebastiani family, still sit in the heart of Sonoma. The tasting room offers a rustic, Tuscan-style feel and exceptional hospitality experiences. The Sebastiani family’s entrepreneurial spirit served as a cornerstone to Sonoma’s wine industry. Today, it is considered a must-see destination for a visit to Sonoma.
Samuele Sebastiani emigrated to Sonoma from Tuscany, Italy in 1895. A stonemason by trade, he quarry-mined the Sonoma hills for cobblestones that were used to build the streets of San Francisco. He worked long hours and saved carefully to buy land in Sonoma County. For over 100 years the winery gained recognition for producing exceptional wines at a serious value. In 2008, the winery was purchased by Bill Foley, and since then, the wine quality and operations have only improved. Today, Sebastiani is earning the highest scores in its history, and its tasting room is one of the most popular in Sonoma.
Quality Winemaking from Start to Finish
The winemaking team at Sebastiani has taken a number of steps to produce world-class wines that showcase the great terroir and versatility of Sonoma County. Led by winemaker David Nakaji, Sebastiani follows focused winemaking efforts with fruit from exceptional vineyard sites.
The estate vineyards, which were recently replanted, were carefully matched to clones and rootstocks, and the farming protocols to geography, topography and climate. Yields are limited at all properties and each site is farmed on a vine-by-vine basis. As for contract vineyards, they work exclusively with growers who not only farm for quality, but who are situated in the sub-appellations of Sonoma County best-suited for each grape variety.
Winemaker, David Nakaji, brings a wealth of experience to the winemaking team. He obtained his undergrad degree in Chemistry from University of California, Santa Barbara, and went on to receive his PhD in Chemistry from Yale University. He received his final Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis and went on to work for wineries V. Sattui, Acacia, and most recently, Beaulieu Vineyard. With David Nakaji at the helm of winemaking, Sebastiani is making concentrated, complex wines across all tiers – from the Sonoma County Selection to the Proprietor’s Selection.
Experience the Sebastiani Tasting Room
The Sebastiani tasting room, which resembles a Tuscan Villa, is warm and inviting from the moment you enter. Upon walking through the large wooden doors at the main entrance, high curved ceilings, ornate pillars, a lengthy tasting bar and wooden accents adorn the room. The tasting room is expansive, welcoming and grand, with seating areas and private rooms, offering plenty of tasting options and experiences for guests.
Their standard tasting includes six wines at their main walk-up tasting bar. Your winery host will share the history of Sebastiani while explaining each wine’s sensory profile. The best way to receive the full Sebastiani experience is their daily historic walking tour. For only $5 a person, your winery host will delve into the Sebastiani history, and take you through the barrel room with large, hand-carved redwood tanks.
For an intimate, elevated experience, Sebastiani offers several tastings in private rooms just off the tasting room, available by appointment. Their Cab Corner Sessions is a side-by-side tasting of Cabernets where guests learn about the diversity of the Sonoma AVAs, the impact of oak and the range of tannins ($50 per person). The Sip & Savor is a communal tasting of a flight of six wines accompanied with a charcuterie plate with likeminded wine lovers ($50 per person). Their Tour Tasting & Vintner’s Picnic Box Lunch includes a tour through Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, wine flight, and casual picnic lunch ($50/per person).
As one of the most popular tasting destinations in Sonoma, Sebastiani offers a variety of interactive, personalized opportunities to sip and learn. They can accommodate small groups, and large groups by appointment.
Visit the website for more in-depth history of Sebastiani Winery, for upcoming events, and all that a visit to Sebastiani has to offer: www.sebastiani.com.
Sebastiani Fun Facts:
• Samuele Sebastiani learned winemaking from the Monks in Tuscany.
• During prohibition, Sebastiani was the only winery in Sonoma County making wine, having secured a permit to make wine for sacramental and medicinal purposes.
• Sebastiani Cherryblock is one of the highest rating Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignons, with a staggering 98+ points and 97 points from famed critic, Robert Parker (2013 and 2014 vintages, respectively).
• Carvings on the oak barrels were by master carver Earle Brown, and took over 17 years to complete. Each represents a specific story of the winery.