San Antonio Winery in Downtown LA (Part 1).
Whether you are searching for a perfect wine to pair with your dinner, your favorite Stella Rosa, a fancy dinner, a simple bistro style lunch to compliment a day of wine shopping or taking a tour of a historic winery following a tasting, your one stop destination for all of this & more is at The San Antonio Winery in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. This absolute gem of the city has been on my bucket list for YEARS & thanks to a last-minute invite from San Antonio to attend their Wine Blending class, that goal is in the record books & guess what? I am already planning a returning visit!
Founded in 1917(!), Santo Cambianica left his home of Berzo San Fermo, located in the northern Italian province of Lombardia. After registering at Ellis Island, he arrived in New York and then traveled across the country to Downtown Los Angeles. He quickly became well-known as an honest, hard-working, and deeply devout Catholic, the very same qualities he was known for back home. It took only a few years of saving money, building his relationships, and planting his feet in the Italian-American community to start his own company and live the American Dream. Santo founded the San Antonio Winery in 1917 on Lamar Street, dedicating it to his Patron Saint Anthony.
In the 1930’s when The USA was faced with the Wall Street crash & The Great Depression, over 100 LA wineries had to shut down. Not San Antonio, they were able to continue to thrive as they had beaten laws passed in previous years making it difficult to sell wine in LA. Their secret? San Antonio became the #1 source for Altar wine for churches, helping them stay afloat & part of their reason for celebrating nearly 100 years at the same Downtown location on Lamar Street. Makes you want to celebrate with a nice bubbly, no? 😉
When I arrived at the winery this past Saturday, I immediately felt transformed to somewhere very holy, very ancient. So much rich history surrounds the entire Downtown of Los Angeles, & San Antonio, alone, is proof of this. With the sidewalk lined with trees & wine barrels (of course), you enter into a gorgeous gift shop that is currently getting into the holiday spirit with plentiful of Dia De Los Muertos & some Santa Claus, too. I felt in heaven as the show room is loaded with Stella Rosa wines, one of Mike & my favorites. I was thrilled to discover that San Antonio actually owns Stella Rosa. Psst, I bought a bottle for under ten dollars, that we usually pay well over that, in the store! Reason enough to head on down, methinks.
Not only does San Antonio boast the most award winning wine in Los Angeles & has vineyards in Paso Robles, Napa & Monterey, they have an equally fabulous Maddelena restaurant perfect for a night out on the town, complimentary tours of this landmark, free wine tastings (with weekends only costing you $3) & my new favorite: their wine classes! In my next post of this two part series, I will tell you all about my very own red blend I created….guess what? Its good! 🙂
In the meantime, check out San Antonio Winery HERE & make it a priority to pay them a visit. xo