Ashanta Wines

You can’t stock a bar cart without a go-to wine. Ashanta Wines is a newbie winemaker and breath of fresh air in often fuddy-duddy Sonoma County wine country. Like many people mid-pandemic, founders Chenoa Ashton-Lewis (a third-generation winemaker) and Will Basanta decided to shift career gears, moving from Los Angeles to Glen Ellen in California, where their love for foraging and Chenoa’s expertise fused to create proverbial magic–the fizzy effervescence found in their beautifully crafted bottles of natural wine.

“Living in Sonoma County, there’s always an abundance of fruit left on the trees or vines after prime harvest season,” says Ashton-Lewis, “If we don’t pick them, the birds and coyotes will eat them, or the fruit will eventually shrivel and dry up. Sankofa sums up our ethos around foraging that it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

In recent years, the concept of “natural wine” has been quite polarizing within the oh-so-serious world of wine. And while there is no concrete data for its booming popularity (what constitutes natural wine is hard to define), take a look around; the cool kids might be hanging out at your local natural wine spot. On the hunt? You can stock up on Ashanta from their website or in person from some of Chenoa’s favorites, including The Valley Bar and Bottle in Sonoma, Psychic Wines in Los Angeles, Colonia Verde in New York, and other natural wine shops and restaurants across the country.

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