Viansa Sonoma winery has been named Sonoma Raceway’s official wine partner and wine sponsor for the 2018 summer racing season – news to which Sonoma wine folks may rejoice, as Napa Valley wines or wines from elsewhere have been for so long featured at the raceway.
Viansa wines will be served at the NASCAR Checkered Flag Club hospitality center at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 event taking place the weekend of the big race, June 24. The winery is located about five miles west of the Sonoma Raceway, and will be a stop-of-choice on the free round-trip shuttle from the 50-Acres campground near the raceway to Cornerstone and the Sonoma Plaza during the NASCAR weekend. The shuttle will be provided by the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau.
Viansa will also host the annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night dinner prior to the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Weekend. For years that fundraiser was held at the Bay Club Stone Tree golf course at Black Point, south of the raceway.
Vintage Wine Estates, which owns Viansa, has made tremendous improvements to the winery property off Highway 121, such as enhancing winery founder Sam Sebastiani’s original wetlands preserve.
Viansa was founded in 1989 by Vicki and Sam Sebastiani with investments from his mother, Sylvia Sebastiani, and investor Peter Page, after Sam Sebastiani left the winery. After Vicki and Sam parted, their children took over the winery in 2004. A year later, the family sold Viansa for $31 million to 360 Global Wine Co., a Connecticut company that filed bankruptcy in 2007. It was purchased in a bankruptcy auction by Laurus Master Fund, of which Lloyd Davis was a partner and served as president of Viansa.
Davis turned Viansa around and made it profitable. Laurus Master sold it to Patrick Roney and Vintage Wine Estates in 2013. Lloyd Davis now has his own label and tasting room, Corner 103 in Sonoma.