Producer wine
Ashanta Wines

COUNTRY :
United States

REGION :
Sonoma County

PRODUCTION :

Chenoa Ashton-Lewis and Will Basanta

5th generation Oakland native and 3rd generation winemaker, Chenoa Ashton-Lewis, and cinematographer, Will Basanta, got fully bitten by the winemaking bug in October of 2019 when last minute they bombed up to Sonoma Mountain from Los Angeles, on the news that Chenoa’s family vineyard still had unsold grapes that were quickly turning to bird fodder. With the help of family and friends they jumped in, picking and crushing to make an experimental Syrah and Pinot Noir co-ferment. The single barrel was then stored in a tent for 8 months on the family’s organic, 50-year-old vineyard, planted by Chenoa’s grandparents in the early 1970s.

In 2020 when quarantine hit, Chenoa and Will once again escaped to Glen Ellen. In the early spring while wandering the remains of the Pinot Noir vineyard destroyed in the 2017 Nuns Fire, Chenoa and Will found new vines alive and growing horizontally, buried and abandoned in a tall uncut jungle of grass. Inspired, they immediately and painstakingly walked row by row discovering and staking the new vines. To their surprise, by the early summer 160 vines that were once seemingly dead had been reclaimed and were bearing clusters of grapes.

Through this magical discovery of fermentation and natural renaissance, they became even more fascinated with the resilience of nature and connected with neighbor Tony Coturri on Sonoma Mountain.

For harvest 2020, Chenoa and Will were shepherds to their first commercial vintage at the historic Coturri Winery, introducing their label Ashanta Wines.

Ashanta Wines abides by zero:zero, traditional winemaking practices and makes a full range of bespoke wines. From experimental multi-fruit co-ferments, Pet-Nats, skin contact whites, field blends and elegant California Reds. Our wines are terroir driven expressions of Pachamama and her seasons.

Unfined. Unfiltered. Wild yeast fermentations. Zero S02.

We source our fruit from family-operated vineyards and work with growers who farm with organic and/or biodynamic practices. We hand pick some of our growers’ vineyards and sometimes, we forage for wild fruit in both the wilderness and urban spaces.

Ashanta Wines is currently located in Sebastopol, CA and Los Angeles, as they work with vineyards along the spine of California’s expansive landscape.

More Info Here

CUVÉES
Wine

“Minotaure”

Region: Mendocino
Grape: Tempranillo
Vineyard: Claus Vineyard, Round Valley AVA. Gravelly loam soils.
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: 20% whole cluster, 30% direct press, the remainder de-stemmed and crushed into open top fermenters. Fermented 9 days on the skins then pressed into stainless steel for one week.
Aging: 14 months in neutral french oak
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Amanecer”

Region: Mendocino
Grape: Tempranillo
Vineyard: Claus Vineyard, Round Valley AVA. Gravelly loam soils.
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: whole cluster direct press, fermentation in stainless steel
Aging: 7 months in neutral french oak
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Mood Ring II”

Region: Sierra Foothills, Mendocino, Central Coast
Grape: 40% Syrah (2020), 20% Mourvedre (2020), 20% Syrah (2021), 20% Carignan (2022)
Vineyard: 2020 Syrah and Mourvedre — Suma Kaw, Sierra Foothills. 2021 Syrah — Everyman Vineyard, Central Coast. Carignan — Testa Vineyard, Mendocino.
Farming: practicing or certified organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: grapes destemmed, crushed, fermented separately 2-3 weeks. 2020 and 2021 grapes aged, racked twice, blended with freshly fermented Carignan fall 2022.
Aging: 2020 Syrah/Mourvedre aged in neutral oak 26 months. ’21 Syrah aged in barrel 14 months.
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Resist Rosado”

Region: Sonoma
Grape: 2022 – old vine Carignan, Syrah 2021 – Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan
Vineyard: Sumu Kaw (Syrah), Testa (Carignan)
Soil: loam, sand
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: 2022 – Syrah 3/4 whole cluster, the rest de-stemmed into an open top fermenter. Carignan direct pressed on top, two weeks fermented on the skins 2021 – 14 days spontaneous co-fermentation on skins in tank
Aging: 2020 – 10 months neutral French oak 2021 – 8 months in neutral French oak.
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Mermejita”

Region: Dulzura, CA. South Coast AVA.
Grape: 2022 – Viognier, Marsanne, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc 2021 – Marsanne, Viognier
Vineyard: 1,800ft elevation in the Peninsular Range Region in San Diego County
Soil: volcanic (mix of marble, slate, schist, quartzite)
Average Age of Vines:
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: 2022 – Viognier direct press. Marsanne, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon blanc destemmed and fermented on the skins for 10 days, then pressed and blended with the Viognier. 2021 –  7 days spontaneous co-fermentation on skins in tank
Aging: 2022 – 9 months in French neutral oak 2021 – 8 and a half months in French neutral oak
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

Brutal!!! Pétillant naturel

Region: Sonoma
Grape: French Colombard, elderberries
Vineyard Size: 
Soil: sand, loam
Average Age of Vines:
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: foot stomped, 9 days spontaneous co-fermentation in neutral oak with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in bottles
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Huzzah!”

Region: Sonoma
Grape: Colombard
Vineyard Size: 
Soil: 
Average Age of Vines:
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation in neutral oak with indigenous yeasts
Aging: méthode ancestrale
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“UNDER Currents”

Region: Sonoma
Grape: Carignan
Vineyard Size: 
Soil: sand, loam
Average Age of Vines: 70 years
Farming: organic, biodynamic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: 20% whole cluster, destemmed, spontaneous fermentation in neutral oak with indigenous yeasts
Aging: 11.5 months in neutral oak
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Zazen”

Region: Sonoma
Grape: Zinfandel
Vineyard Size: 
Soil: loam
Average Age of Vines:
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, 2 week maceration, spontaneous fermentation in neutral oak with indigenous yeasts
Aging: 11.5 months in neutral oak
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none

Wine

“Mawu”

Region: Sonoma
Grape: Merlot, Chardonnay
Vineyard Size: 1.41 hectares
Soil: gravel, alluvium
Average Age of Vines: 35 years
Farming: organic, biodynamic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: 50% direct press of Merlot, 25% whole cluster, 25% destemmed, whole cluster of Chardonnay, spontaneous co-fermentation in neutral oak with indigenous yeasts
Aging: 8 months in neutral oak, 4 months in bottle
Fining: none
Filtration: none
Added S02: none