The Anaba Wines Team

John Thomas Sweazey Bio

John Thomas Sweazey

Founder and Proprietor

John Thomas Sweazey, born and raised in Chicago, traveled west in the 1960s to attend Stanford University. During several college trips to the Napa Valley, John developed a passion and thirst for wine. After selling computer hardware at IBM for 3 years, he left his job, withdrew his savings and spent nine months in Europe traveling in his Volkswagen camper. It was during this adventure that he learned to appreciate the importance of wine to the European culture. Upon returning to San Francisco and entering the real estate finance business, he continued his study of wine production, including making wine at home, taking wine appreciation classes, and visiting the different French wine regions. It was during these personal visits with numerous French vintners that his dream of becoming a “vintner” became indelible. At that time, though, his wife-to-be, Kathleen, suggested that, as much as she wanted John to follow his dream, maybe they should wait until their children (not yet conceived) had finished college. After waiting for almost 30 years, his youngest son, John Michael, entered his freshman year of college in 2005, and John purchased a 16-acre plot of land in the windy heart of the Carneros region of Sonoma. It was not only the active intersection that was attractive to John but also the blustery anabatic winds which took him back to his time spent in the Rhône Valley. The powerful and symbolic mistral winds of the Rhône reminded him of this place, and here is where Anaba Wines was born.

John Michael Sweazey Bio

John Michael Sweazey

General Manager

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. In 2017, John's son, John Michael, found himself in a similar situation to that of his father, except he was selling software instead of hardware, and it was LinkedIn instead of IBM. In the same way his father did, John Michael left his job and withdrew his savings to take a trip to the old world with his future wife. Crammed into a Fiat 500 for 5 months, the two of them made it their mission to taste wines from as many regions as possible, as well as get to know all of the vintners and their families along the way. After falling in love with wine in almost precisely the same way 45 years after his father, John Michael returned home and asked if he could join the family business. With John Michael on-board, the family broke ground on a new production facility and hospitality center. Their goal is to provide connoisseurs and first-timers alike, an escape where they can be surprised and delighted by what they experience.

Katy Wilson Bio

Katy Wilson

Winemaker

As Winemaker at Anaba, Katy Wilson crafts world-class Rhône and Burgundian-style wines that showcase the best of Sonoma County. Katy’s personal grower relationships with some of Sonoma’s most prestigious vineyards, coupled with her attention to detail, is critical. From walking the vineyards and evaluating optimal harvest timing, to determining the best-performing blocks that will ultimately supply the fruit for our esteemed portfolio of wines, every wine Katy oversees is tended to with her singular precision and care.

Raised on a walnut orchard in the Central Valley of California, Katy manifested her boots-on-the-ground approach to farming at an early age--constantly listening, observing, and learning from nature’s signals to guide her decisions in the family orchard.

Enamored with the land, Katy set off to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo after high school to help navigate her future within the world of agriculture. During her first Agricultural Business 101 lecture, she recognized immediately that a career in wine perfectly catered to her agricultural interests, as well as her creative and scientific talents. Four years later, Katy graduated with degrees in Wine & Viticulture and Agricultural Business.

Eager to earn her stripes, Katy began her career as a harvest intern at Testarossa Winery making Pinot Noir before heading Down Under to work for Torbreck Vintners in Australia’s Barossa Valley. After stints in Napa (at Joseph Phelps) and New Zealand (at Craggy Range), she joined Flowers Winery as a harvest enologist where her talents were quickly recognized, and she was promoted to assistant winemaker. Following Flowers, Katy expanded her breadth of experience, crafting Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah as associate winemaker for Kamen in Sonoma.

Katy joined Anaba in 2014. Her devotion to the land and passion for winemaking is contagious. She believes in letting the vineyard speak for itself, with minimal intervention. The result is a portfolio of elegant, sophisticated, and balanced wines that showcase the truest expression of each varietal.

Katy lives in Napa with her fiancée, David. When she isn’t making wine for Anaba, she keeps busy with her own successful boutique winery, LaRue Wines, where she crafts small lot Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast.


Ian McClellan Bio

Ian McClellan

Assistant Winemaker & Production Manager

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ian earned an audio production & engineering degree from a music school in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2005. From 2005 to 2011, Ian spent his time fixing sailboats and working in a recording studio until he decided to make a change and move out West to Oregon. After spending a winter working at a ski resort on Mt. Hood, Ian made his way down to the Bay Area in the summer of 2012 and found a custom crush winery in Santa Rosa where he was able to put his technical skills (and forklift skills) to use as a harvest intern.

It was there where Ian fell deeply in love, not only with wine, but also with his wife-to-be, Jamie, another harvest intern at the same winery. From there, she and Ian traveled to Margaret River, Australia for the 2013 vintage, where he helped run the grape receival, and press operations. They then spent the summer visiting wineries and travelling around Australia and eventually Southeast Asia before returning to California for another stint as interns for the USA 2013 harvest. After bouncing between Oregon and California, Ian secured a full time cellar job at the same Santa Rosa custom crush facility at the end of 2014.

In the Spring of 2016, Ian joined the Anaba Wines team as Cellar Master, and then took over Production Manager and Assistant Winemaker duties in the summer before the 2018 harvest. Ian played a crucial role in the layout and design of the new winery, as well as all of the logistics involved with moving production from our old facility to the new, even as the 2018 harvest was still going strong. Ian has truly helped make Anaba what it is today.