John Sweazey created Anaba Wines because, quite simply, he just loves the wine business. "I never personally wanted to be a winemaker," John explains. "My desire to get into the business was fueled by my long-time interest in production — making the best possible wine from the finest grapes, then marketing and selling it. To me, that's the romance of wine."
A native of Chicago, John headed west to Stanford University for college, where he earned a degree in economics. While at Stanford, John and his Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers decided one year to extend the annual "Big Game Weekend" between Stanford and Cal, and headed north to Napa Valley for a fraternity party at the iconic El Bonita Motel in St. Helena. With the sun setting over the Mayacamas Mountains, John offered a toast with a memorable glass of Charles Krug Vin Rosé — and his journey to the world of wine officially began.
He continued his wine research during the 70’s while earning a living in San Francisco. This research included becoming a home winemaker, attending numerous classes on wine and food, and visiting the French wine regions to learn more about the wine production methods of France. Over the years, he became enamored with the Sonoma Wine Country because it reminded him of his experiences in France. "Sonoma is more attuned to my personality — and is the best place to grow the Rhône Blends and Burgundian varietals that I love."
In 2003 he was finally able to begin his search for a premium winegrowing property in Sonoma, finding a serendipitous spot in Western Carneros, where cool winds temper the summer heat, allowing for a longer growing season for his chosen grape varieties. Inspired by the unique upward anabatic wind patterns that prevail, he decided to name it Anaba.
In shaping Anaba, John relies on his proven track record as a team builder, creating an environment where people are excited about their work and share their passion for wine. He prides himself on bringing together different personalities to build an esprit de corps — just as a winemaker works with different grapes to craft a harmonious blend.