SOURCE: Anaba Wines

February 25, 2009 19:03 ET

Newly Launched Anaba Wines Garners Five Medals in First Competition

SONOMA, CA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) - Much like the winds for which they are named, the newly launched Anaba Wines took a dramatic upward trajectory by snaring five medals at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

"It's a heady experience your first time out," said John Sweazey, Anaba's founder. A former real estate financier, Sweazey purchased vineyard land in western Carneros nearly three years ago and has been working since to develop a portfolio of wines that emulate the fine Rhone blends and Burgundian varietals that he's admired since his first visit to France, decades ago. The wines made their debut late last year and the Chronicle competition was their first official showing.

The Anaba label derives its name from the unique air currents, called anabatic winds, which bring cooling breezes inward to Sonoma from the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay. The inaugural release includes both red and white Rhone-style blends from the Sonoma Valley, under the proprietary name of Coriol, plus a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, a Carneros Pinot Noir and a Sonoma Valley Viognier.

The Chronicle competition awarded gold medals to Anaba's 2007 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Coriol White Rhone Blend. The 2006 Anaba Coriol Red Rhone Blend garnered a silver medal, while the 2007 Anaba Viognier, Landa Vineyard, and the 2006 Anaba JMcK Pinot Noir won bronze medals.

The wines are handcrafted by Jennifer Marion, Anaba's director of winemaking and vineyard operations, using the finest Rhone and Burgundian grape varieties grown both on Anaba's Estate vineyard and at selected outstanding vineyard sites throughout Sonoma County. Before joining Anaba, Marion most recently was the assistant winemaker at MacRostie Winery in Sonoma and previously worked for Crop Care Associates, one of California's largest independent agriculture technology consulting firms, which is headquartered in the Napa Valley. She earned a degree in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California at Davis.

Anaba currently utilizes a small winemaking facility in Sonoma, but will eventually build a state-of-the-art winery on its vineyard property, located at the northwest corner of Highways 121 and 116, on Bonneau Road in Sonoma. An old farmhouse on the property is being renovated and will open as the Anaba Tasting Room later this spring.

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