Sivas-Sonoma is an homage to our family founders who paved the way for our generation of winemakers.”
My grandfathers were pioneers in Sonoma, paving the way for this area to become known as Wine Country. Sivas-Sonoma is my way to pay homage to their legacy. By staying close to home, and by working in partnership with Sonoma's most skilled grapegrowers, Sivas-Sonoma wines embrace Sonoma's historical appellations and winemaking spirit.
1895 - 1938
SAMUELE SEBASTIANI emigrated from Farnetta, Italy to America. After working in the artichoke fields in California he saved enough money to buy a cart and four horses, finding work hauling stones from Melani and Schocken Hill Quarries in Sonoma, that were used to pave San Francisco's burgeoning streets.
1904 Samuele saved enough money to purchase winemaking equipment from Mr. Milani and make his first 500 gallon batch of wine, employing techniques his parents used in their winemaking business in Italy. He carted the wine around Sonoma, selling bulk wine, coal and lumber to local farmers and larger wineries, and his business was born. He soon married Elvira Eraldi, the saloonkeeper's daughter. They had three children, Sabina, Laurence and August.
1909 Samuele purchases the current site of Sebastiani winery and adds a large addition to the winery building originally built by Franciscan Fathers.
1920 During the 1920's, Samuele put his growing wealth to use in the community, doing his best to stave off the effects of the Great Depression and Prohibition. Samuele continued to produce sacramental and medicinal wine, shipping his grapes in refrigeration cars back East. He opened the Sebastiani Cannery and began to develop the town of Sonoma, creating jobs and building a church, theater, hotel, apartments, and even a skating rink.
1938 Samuele brought his son, my grandfather August, the youngest of his three children, into the winery. It didn't take long for August to quickly gain a reputation as one of America's most skilled and innovative winemakers.
AUGUST SEBASTIANI and his wife, Sylvia, purchased the family's winery from his father's estate. During this time, August expanded the winery and began to sell name-branded wine to the general public, becoming the first vintner to market premium varietal wines in popularly-priced magnums.
1944 Shortly after Samuele's death, August and his wife, Sylvia (Scarafoni), purchased the family's winery from his father's estate. During this time, August expanded the winery and began to sell name-branded wine to the general public, becoming the first vintner to market premium varietal wines in popularly-priced magnums. He was an enormous support for major growers in key wine regions. August played a major part in the economic development of the town of Sonoma, and was a significant philanthropist whose charitable gifts included the property for the Sonoma Valley Hospital.
1970 My grandmother Sylvia publishes the Sebastiani Family cookbook
1980 August passes away and ownership of the wine company goes to his three children, Sam, Mary Ann and Don. At the time of his death he had grown Sebastiani Vineyards into the 6th largest winery in the U.S.
DON SEBASTIANI takes over running the 100-year-old family company, moving from lawmaking and politics into the winemaking industry. Don Sebastiani increased the winery's production volume three-fold by focusing on a full range of varietal wines and helping to introduce consumers to individual varietal flavors.
1986 After a short period with Sam Sebastiani at the helm, my father Don Sebastiani was tapped to run the 100-year-old family company, moving from lawmaking and politics into the winemaking industry. Don Sebastiani increased the winery's production volume three-fold by focusing on a full range of varietal wines and helping to introduce consumers to individual varietal flavors.
DONNY SEBASTIANI with his father and brother established Don Sebastiani & Sons, as a négociant wine company with a dependable reputation for value, focusing on appellation driven wines.
2001 My father, brother and I established Don Sebastiani & Sons, a negociant wine company with a dependable reputation for value, focusing on appellation driven wines. My aunt Mary Ann assumes control of Sebastiani Winery (Vineyards).
2005 Don Sebastiani & Sons becomes the 14th largest winery in America
2009 My Grandfather Sebastiani Vineyards is sold to Bill Foley. Donny Sebastiani takes over as President and CEO of Don Sebastiani & Sons
2010 August Sebastiani is inducted into the Winemaker's Hall of Fame.
2011 Launch of Sivas-Sonoma
Today, I live in Sonoma and lead Don Sebastiani & Sons and Sivas-Sonoma, a collection of small-lot, Sonoma wines that pay homage to the line of Sebastianis who have paved the way for our current generation of winemakers.
The name Sivas (SEA-vis) is the modern-day Turkish derivation of "Sebasteia," the city named for Emperor Augustus two thousand years ago, and the historical origin of our surname.
Our inspiration comes from my grandfathers' can-do spirit. My family passionately continues this heritage into our second century of winemaking in the Sonoma Valley. In every bottle of Sivas-Sonoma, we pay homage to our family founders who paved the way for our generation of winemakers.
My great-grandfather, Samuele, began with bulk wine, my grandfather August produced and bottled jug wines. My father, Don, championed individual varietal wines. Today, we focus on highlighting a specific appellation – Sonoma.