Cellar No. 8 wines are made from Grapes grown in California’s North Coast appellation, which consists of coastal and inland valleys and hillsides in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Cellar No. 8 wines highlight the classic flavors of each varietal, and deliver rich, robust flavors that are enhanced by oak barrel aging.
The history of Asti Winery dates back to the early 1880’s when Andrea Sbarboro, an Italian immigrant and San Francisco banker, moved to northern Sonoma County and formed an entire community around which winemaking was its soul. Named after the Asti region in northern Italy, the Asti Winery applied time-honored methods and expertise from the old country. In doing so, Sbarboro pioneered the establishment of a California wine mystique and created the Italian Swiss Agricultural Colony, a community cooperative that played an important role in California’s early viticulture history as one of the winemaking pioneers in Sonoma County.
In 1887, Sbarboro hired Pietro Rossi as winemaker. Rossi was born in Dogliani, Italy in 1855 into a family of grape growers and winemakers. Rossi graduated from the University of Torino in Italy with honors in 1875 and came to California in 1881 as a chemist. He accepted Sbarboro’s invitation, moved to Asti and took over as winemaker, where he brought keen business sense along with his technical understanding of the chemistry of fermentation. The combination of these talents brought years of success to Sbarboro’s Italian Swiss Colony.
The Italian and Swiss agricultural settlement continued to make historic contributions to the growth and development of the commercial wine industry in California into the mid-1940’s, surviving prohibition and the great depression. Purchased by Beringer Blass Wine Estates in 1988, Asti Winery is still making major contributions to winemaking today. Led by Paul Rydquist, Director of Winemaking at Asti, the winemaking team has borrowed from the region’s heritage to create Cellar No. 8, a series of intense red wines from carefully chosen vineyard sites in California. The original Cellar No. 8 is an actual cellar at the Asti Winery where Sbarboro would age his red wine barrels. Today, Cellar No. 8 honors and reflects the tradition of winemaking at Asti.
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