sylvia sebastiani

Women’s History Month – Sylvia Sebastiani

sylvia sebastianiBorn in Cordelia, Calif., on May 10, 1916, the former Sylvia Scarafoni moved to Sonoma in 1927 with her parents, who ran a dairy farm in Schellville. Sylvia was the second child of Italian immigrants who ran a dairy farm in Schellville. In 1936 Sylvia married her childhood sweetheart, August Sebastiani, and became his partner in Sebastiani Family Winery, founded by August’s father, Samuele, in 1904. Sylvia focused most of her attention on the home and was known as a superb cook, often preparing feasts of classic Italian dishes for August and his customers and colleagues. In the 1960s, Sebastiani compiled her favorite recipes for a cookbook she named Mangiamo, or “Let’s Eat,” which sold more than 500,000 copies. She was often seen in the winery tasting room greeting visitors or tending to the winery garden. “My mother was the consummate wife and mother. She loved her husband and her family,” said daughter Mary Ann Sebastiani Cuneo. As for making a success of the winery, she added, “I don’t think my father could have done it without her.” In 1980, when her husband died, she took the reins of the family empire, which had grown from a rustic bulk-wine operation into one of the nation’s largest wine companies, competing with the likes of E. & J. Gallo. Today, the Sebastiani operations include numerous businesses throughout town and beyond. We at HVP recommend visiting 3 Badge Beverage Corporation down Broadway, her grandchildren’s continuation of honoring her legacy. #sonoma #sonomacounty #internationalwomensday #hvplawoffices