More than seventeen years ago we started making frequent trips to the Wine Country.
When we decided to look for a second home we had modest expectations- an acre or less of land, with or without a house. However, a view of vineyards was a must! We enlisted the services of many realtors from Sonoma to Dry Creek to Healdsburg, who repeatedly told us “that’s what everyone wants, but it is hard to find”.
In the summer of 2003 we found the realtor who made it happen. She found a property with an unbelievable view of vineyards including a gentleman’s vineyard of 300 vines on a little over one acre of land on Big Ranch Road in Napa. Not wanting the grapes to go to waste the realtor introduced us to a neighbor who wanted to make wine with us. That fall we began producing wine as home wine makers. With the help of friends and family, our first year of production yielded over 2 tons of grapes, resulting in 75 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 cases of Zinot, a custom blend of Pinot Noir and Zinfandel grapes. We named our winery “A. Andolini”, due to my fascination with The Godfather-(Antonio Andolini was the father of Vito Corleone).
Our hobby grew and grew producing 150 cases of award winning Cabernet Sauvignon in 2005 (“Best of” category at the 2009 Napa Home Winemakers Competition) and another 100 plus cases in 2006. The acclaim and response from family and friends inspired us to try this commercially.
Our plan was to produce 500 cases or less per year. For this new venture, we chose a new name in honor of my father- a Portuguese descendent whose first and middle name is Anthony August. His father produced wine and port in his homeland and in Northern California after immigrating here. My dad would help his father make wine on their small property in the garage, which I only learned after I became a Garagista myself. My middle name is Anthony and my grandfather’s middle name is August, so the winery’s name embodies three generations of wine makers.
To this day my dad takes great pride in Anthony August and always mentions that he wishes his father could see what has taken place.