Ashes & Diamonds Winery: the New Napa Valley

Though we love a classic wine country winery, the younger crowd in the bay area have been craving a breath of fresh air and they've recently gotten just that- in the form of Ashes & Diamonds Winery. This winery has quite literally taken Napa Valley back to the roots of its fame- the 1960's- and this can be seen in the decor as well as the wine making. Focused on the classic Napa Valley style cabs that made their world debut in the 60's and 70's, Ashes & Diamonds is making exceptional wine with an even better experience.


We haven't seen a winery with such a clear aesthetic since Scribe Winery first made its debut, and we are loving this! The mid-century modern decor, fresh color palette, and bold architecture are bringing youth back to the Napa Valley.


Owner Kashy Khaledi's hope is to create classic, elegant California wines that are representative of site and vintage- something that is certainly easier said than done. He assembled an a-team of winemakers and growers to ensure that they are crafting some of the valley's finest vino.

If you have the chance to stop by the winery, there are a few different options as far as experiences go. These range from your standard wine tasting, to a food and wine pairing, to an all out immersive tour and reserve tasting.

In addition to the standard food and wine experiences, Ashes & Diamonds also has been hosting several workshop series this winter. Centered around woolens, baking, and wellness, each workshop series explores a different topic with experts in the field. Sign up and browse their offerings here.

Ashes & Diamonds is bringing a fresh perspective to winemaking and Napa Valley style and we want to know what you think about it! Leave us a comment or suggest the next place we should go.

For even more Savvy, subscribe to our newsletter!

La Chertosa Old World Wines by Sam Sebastiani

In Sonoma Valley, there are more wines than one could possibly ever taste in a lifetime- and A Savvy Lifestyle is here to tell you that Sam Sebastiani's latest, La Chertosa, are old world style wines that you don't want to miss in this new wine world.

Initially, wine country can be overwhelming to the novice wine drinker, but if you ask the right people (locals, mostly) we guarantee your experience will be nothing but the best. The Sebastiani family has been making wine in Sonoma for generations, starting with Sam's grandfather Samuele. The name La Chertosa is an homage to where Samuele learned to make wine in the old world style, in Farneta, Italy. La Chertosa quite literally translates to the monestary, in honor of the 14th century Renaissance monastery in Farneta. A family and wine built around tradition, La Chertosa has continued the Sebastiani legacy, with Sam following in the footsteps of his grandfather, making wine for over forty-six years.


Sam's fierce pride of both his Italian and Californian heritage is displayed in the complex harmonies he creates within his wines at La Chertosa. While he produces wines in the old world Italian style of his grandfather, Samuele, Sam believes that northern California has some of the best wine grapes the world has to offer. The grapes used in the making of his wines are sourced from the finest vineyards, and he works closely with growers to produce the highest quality grapes possible. La Chertosa offers four varietals to wine connoisseurs- Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Barbera, and Sangiovese- all of which are traditional Italian wines. Though each of these wines has been highly praised and recommended by esteemed figures in the industry, their most recent win came at the 2017 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. The 2010 Reserve Sangiovese won a double gold medal, the 2016 Reserve Chardonnay won a gold medal, and the 2015 Reserve Sangiovese won a silver medal. Across the four varietals, only about 1,400 cases are produced annually.

A wine should be like a symphony; composed so all of the components blend across the palate to create a harmonic of pleasing flavors. This is a philosophy of winemaking style that I have endeavored to incorporate into my life as a winemaker.
— Sam Sebastiani

The quality of La Chertosa Old World Wines are a testament to Sam Sebastiani's expertise in winemaking. Sam is widely recognized for his extensive knowledge in the wine industry, and has spent the past few years passing this knowledge down to his grandson, Dustin Mertens. As Sam learned from Samuele, Dustin is now learning from Sam, and his passion for their product is palpable in any conversation with him. You can frequently find him pouring tastes of their wines at many of the locations La Chertosa is carried in across Sonoma County. In the video below, he briefly explains his family history, their passion for wine, and how La Chertosa came to be.

As La Chertosa's success continues, it is available in a growing number of stores and restaurants in the Sonoma County area.  Click here for a list of locations that carry La Chertosa. The wines are also available via their website, or wine club. 

La Chertosa Old World Wines are included in our 12 Days of Gifting Guide this holiday season. Thankfully, their wines were not affected by the fires, and they were able to donate a large portion of wine to local restaurants with the intention that it be given to first responders that dine in. The act of sharing a meal and a glass of wine should be cherished, and we think La Chertosa makes a great gift this holiday season! Head to our instagram page for a chance to win two bottles of vino! Cheers!

For even more Savvy, subscribe to our newsletter.