Samuele Sebastiani’s first job in his new country was hauling stones in a horse-drawn cart from Sonoma to San Francisco, using the ferry to cross San Francisco Bay before the Golden Gate Bridge had been built. Sonoma’s stone quarries provided much of the raw material for the streets of San Francisco. After nine years of saving his money, Samuele invested in making five hundred gallons of wine. The grapes were from local farmers in Sonoma, and the winemaking techniques were those he had seen his parents use when he was a boy. “He carted that wine all around Sonoma,” says Donny Sebastiani. “He sold it to the people he knew: local Italian farmers and stonecutters. That’s how his wine business was born. In a way, it was not only the beginning of our business, but also the continuation of what our family had done in Tuscany for generations.”
From such humble beginnings a story was born of a wine family who, in four successive generations, has become a cornerstone of Sonoma County wine. The Sebastiani family is truly a force of nature in Sonoma, and the portfolio that Donny Sebastiani has created is a testament to their place in the history of California wine.