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Sip and Eat at The Oldest Winery in Los Angeles
San Antonio Winery
San Antonio Founded in Los Angeles in 1917
When Santo Cambianica arrived in Los Angeles from a small town close to Milan, Italy he worked on the railroad. A lot of Italians moved to Los Angeles for opportunities and some soon planted vineyards and opened wineries. Santo liked this idea better and opened San Antonio Winery in honor of his Patron Saint Anthony.
Santo was very involved in the Catholic Church and provided the wine for sacramental and religious ceremonies. The winery is still the #1 wine producer for the Catholic Church.
In 1936, Santo's nephew Stefano Riboli arrived in Los Angeles to help his uncle. A few years later, Stefano met Maddalena Satragni, fell in love and married her in the 1940s.
Today Stefano and Maddelena are in their 90s and still run San Antonio Winery with their children and grandchildren. That's four generations of family working together.
The winery has been declared as historical monument #42 in the city of Los Angeles.
Winemaker Arnaud Debons
Winemakers at San Antonio
Meeting with winemaker Arnaud Debons was a real treat. This charming Frenchman worked in the Bordeaux and Cahors regions of France after graduating from the prestigious winemaking program at the University of Toulouse in France.
He had the opportunity to work as an assistant winemaker for Newton Vineyards in Napa Valley for several years before joining the Riboli family at the San Antonio Winery in 2003.
Arnaud has a lab inside the winery with a white board on the wall that details what is in each barrel. He has a chemistry room for analysis to check alcohol and sugar levels. There is also a "magic" table where he does his blending on a small scale to make sure his wines are great on a big scale.
"It's a creative process. There are no recipes in making wine," said Arnaud. This talented winemaker enjoys visiting the winery’s estate vineyards in Monterey, Paso Robles, and Napa Valley.
He is responsible for creating whites to reds and sweets to dry wine on the San Simeon, Riboli Family Wine Estates, Stella Rosa, Opaque, Maddelena, Windstream, Santo Stefano, Bodega San Antonio labels.
I didn't get the chance on my visit to the winery to meet the other wine maker, Anthony Riboli. He is the first member of the fourth generation to join the family business. He received a formal degree in winemaking and grape growing from the University of California, Davis, graduating in 1998 with a M.S. in Viticulture.
Since joining the Riboli Family Wine Estates, he has improved of the quality of the family wines and vineyards, by clonal selections, crop thinning, and deficit irrigation. He enjoys working with his father and grandfather at the winery.
Free Wine Tasting at San Antonio Winery
Wine Store and Tasting Room
The Tasting Room offers three (3) complimentary tastes of some of their favorite wines. Guests can receive four tastes of the limited California Gold Award Winning wine selections from The Riboli Family estate for $15.
The Wine Store sells high quality wines from California, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, New Zealand, Germany, and Australia, They also have a comprehensive artisan craft beer selection and spirits from around the world.
Looking for a gift? They have beautiful wine gift boxes, custom gourmet baskets, and seasonal gift arrangements.
Entrance to the San Antonio Winery
Complimentary Wine Tour
For those who would like to learn more about the process of making, bottling, labeling and boxing San Antonio Wines, take a FREE tour.
Tours are available at the Los Angeles location daily.
• Monday – Friday: 12pm to 4pm, on the hour.
• Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 5pm, on the hour.
Shrimp with a Stella Rosa Enhanced Cocktail Sauce
Making Fresh Ravoli
Brunch, Snack, Lunch or Early Dinner at Maddalena
Before of after your wine tasting and tour of the winery, grab a meal at Maddalena Restaurant. Executive Chef Seferino has been at the restaurant since 1991.
The day I had lunch, I enjoyed the following dishes paired with San Antonio Wines in the Fermenting Room with huge redwood casks along the walls.
For an appetizer, I enjoyed a Stella Rosa Red shrimp cocktail, made with Stella Rosa Red wine reduction in the cocktail sauce. It offered a slightly sweet pizazz. This dish was paired with a bubbly Stella Rosa Prosecco.
Next, I enjoyed a Peach and tomato salad with creamy burrata and Stella Rosa Peach wine reduction enhancing the balsamic dressing. This wine is fruity and semi-sparkling.
The Kale leaf salad with thinly sliced red and yellow beet salad with feta cheese.
From our table we watched one of the chefs roll out the ravioli pasta and handmade mushroom ravioli. It was served with a chunky tomato basil sauce paired with a taste of San Simeon Pinot Noir 2012. It's part of their Estate Reserve.
The Shrimp Scampi Linguini topped with mushrooms was delicious and paired perfectly with San Antonio Heritage White wine. It's made with five different grapes and offers a lot of fruit and rich flavors. The Heritage label is old school.
My favorite dish was the Meat Lasagna paired with San Simeon Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is listed on Wine Enthusiast’s 10 top-rated California Cabernets under $40 and on its list of top 100 wines for 2014.
A sweet ending to our award-winning lunch was a plate of house-made cannolies and Tiramisu paired with a luscious and sweet La Quinta Syrah Port.
The trattoria-style restaurant is open Monday-Thursday: 10am to 6pm, last serving. Close at 7pm.Friday: 10am to 7pm, last serving. Close at 8pm.Saturday: 9:30am to 7pm, last serving. Close at 8pm.Breakfast available from 9:30am to 1:30pm, except for major holidays. Sunday: 9:30am to 6pm, last serving. Close at 7pm.
Breakfast available from 9:30am to 1:30pm, except for major holidays.