The modern history of the Asti Winery began in 1881. An Italian immigrant named Andrea Sbarboro founded it as a place to re-create life as it was in the old country. Anybody of Italian or Swiss descent was invited to join Sbarboro and work the land for a share of the profits - and of course, the wine. Within months, nearly a dozen families had joined him northern Sonoma County to form a 1,620-acre community.
1920's, Founders of Asti Winery inside the cellar -
Asti's first building, a two-story concrete-and-timber structure, opened in 1887 and housed the colony's presses and nine redwood tanks.
It also included cellars where Sbarboro aged his barrels of red wine. One of these was Cellar No. 8. Eventually the colony amassed a total of nearly 6,000 acres and changed ownership several times.
During the Prohibition years (1919 - 1933), Asti winery continuted to grow grapes and produce wine by producing altar wine for churches - utilizing a clever loophole in the law.
Through the first half of the 20th century, the colony continued to grow, amassing a total of nearly 6,000 acres and beginning the first recorded tasting room in the state of California.
1950's, Bottling line for Italian Swiss Colony at Asti Winery.
At one point in the 1960s, the winery was the No. 2 tourist attraction in the state, second only to Disneyland.
Now the facility is back under the brand Cellar No. 8, a tribute to the cellar where it all began.
CellarNo.8's wines are hand-crafted by Winemaker Paul Rydquist intended to be in the same easy-drinking, approachable style as Sbarboro once had.