Friday, February 19, 2010

San Antonio Winery

On my birthday I couldn't really celebrate since it fell on Chinese New Year's eve and most people were busy with families. I was gonna go to the LA Street Food Fest but a friend, Rose, said the line to get in was 1+ hour long. Instead of waiting, I was brought to San Antonio Winery by Mikol in downtown LA for a free wine tour and wine tasting just before I went home for CNY dinner.

I was pretty hesitant at first because well... a winery in the middle of LA? When we pulled into the parking lot and saw the crowd and the sign "Since 1917," I couldn't help but feel excited and see just what about San Antonio is so special that it is now a LA city cultural monument.

San Antonio Winery
737 Lamar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

San Antonio's about a 5 minute drive from Little Tokyo and an even shorter drive from Union Station. It's an awesome spot considering that it's an actual wine production facility in Downtown LA. It's surrounded by warehouses and industrial buildings in the old Little Italy that have been taken over by Chinese businesses and Chinatown. You would never think that this kind of place would exist here but it does and they do a great job at it. There's also a restaurant and a wine tasting room/shop.

Beginning of the tour, our guide took us the a room filled with these giant California redwood barrels. They used to be used for fermentation but now they use...

Steel tanks. Much more sanitary, easier to control, and to clean than those big wooden barrels.

Next she took us to an aging room filled with barrels full of wine aging in oak barrels. The aroma in the room was amazing.

Closer look at one of the barrels. Whooo cabernet sauvignon from Paso Robles aging. Paso Robles is a region north of Santa Barbara that's known for producing some good vintages.

Another aging room full of American/French oak barrels filled with delicious wine.

Soooo ever seen one of those boxed wines? Yea this is a HUGE box wine sitting on top of a pallet hahah.

In-house bottling line.

So apparently Trader Joe's contracted San Antonio to produce some of their own brand of wines for them. Pretty cool.

The top row's barrels are actually port being aged. It's sitting on a rack inside a small dining room and they have it up there because they are afraid of drunk people opening up the barrels and drinking straight from it hahah. All the other barrels are empty.

Some pictures of the founding members, the Riboli family, of San Antonio.

A bottle of San Antonio's own award winning wine.

Some memorbilia of the winery and more awards.

Here are some wines that the wine shop sells from famous wineries all over the world. I would LOVE to have just one of them and cellar it. Prices range from $150-300

San Antonio imports a lot of sweet dessert wines from Italy and after tasting a few we decided on the Stella Rosa and the Moscato D'Asti.

Tasting San Simeon (a label under San Antonio) syrah in ghetto little plastic cups haha.

I really need to find another time to go back and try some of their other reds and whites. Again, it is amazing how the Riboli family organized and eventually carved out this little gem here in LA.


Judy said...

=] i'm glad you enjoyed your bday!! take me take me when i'm back!