By Mark DeCarlo
There’s a place, just north of DTLA, where Angelenos – or visitors – can have an immersive experience of a fantastic meal, a tasting tour of a winery, and get a history lesson on LA’s early wine making pioneers. And its been there over 98 years.
Hidden along the industrial streets of the warehouse district, Los Angeles’ San Antonio Winery has been making wine since 1917, surviving prohibition only by becoming a sanctioned wine maker for the Catholic Church… amen!
Today, the renovated, working winery and restaurant embraces its heritage and boasts some of California’s least known, yet finest wines. Yes way, dude. Winemaking in LA. Totally awesome.
Anthony Riboli is the first member of the fourth generation to join the family business. He is also the first family member to have received a formal degree in winemaking and grape growing from the University of California, Davis.
Winemaker Arnaud Debons worked in the Bordeaux and Cahors regions of France after graduating from the prestigious winemaking program at the University of Toulouse in France. He brings his expert tastebuds to San Antonio Winery and we get spoiled as we taste triumph with every sip and bite.
Daily wine tours and tastings offer an authentic way of learning and enjoying wines made there, as well as wines from around the world.
Maddalena Restaurant offers a daily menu, combining fresh ingredients with home-made love, that turns visitors into loyal repeat customers. Who knew the Land of Botox and silicone could also nurture old school Italian cuisine?
Heirloom Tomato, Burrata and Peach salad with balsamic and Stella Rosa red wine reduction Red and Golden Beets Kale salad with pickled onions and feta cheese
Mushroom Ravioli with Tomato Basil Sauce was paired with the San Simeon Pinot Noir Shrimp Scampi served over Linguini.
The amazing lasagna, was deliciously paired with their San Simeon Cabernet Sauvignon. This is their most popular dish, one that I could order time and time again.
Must DRINK: Everything! I specially loved their La Quinta Port. My wife, the Traveling Diva bathed in it. Ruined all her clothes, but she left with a smile on her face.
Arnaud particularly enjoys keeping an eye on the winery’s estate vineyards in Monterey, Paso Robles, and Napa Valley. Who wouldn’t? If your passion is wine, wine making, or even better, wine tasting, San Antonio winery is a trip around the world in 80 sips.