Oh Los Angeles! I have lived less than 5 miles from the beautiful San Antonio Winery for most of my life and finally visited for the 1st time just last month. I know, I'm so late to the game. I mean, the Winery has been around for 100 years! Thank you to the San Antonio Winery for hosting our group for wine tasting, a delicious lunch, and a guided tour of the historic winery.
I'm a sucker for learning the history of my crazy, diverse city of Los Angeles. As I mentioned above, I have lived here my entire life and as much as it has changed over the years and become the loud, busy metropolis that it is, there is a beautiful history to it. From the first grapes being brought over and planted in Los Angeles in the early 1800's, to Italian born Santo Cambianica starting the Winery in 1917. The San Antonio Winery is the only winery to survive prohibition and World War II to continue to thrive throughout 4 generations. You can learn more about the winery's history on one of the complimentary hourly tours.
I started my visit in awe of the wine shop at the entry way, wandering around making my mental wishlist. I had never attended a wine tasting before and I was so lucky to have been in such great company on this day, surrounded by some of my fellow #EatNDrinkGeeks.
So this is what I knew about wines before my visit to the winery: I like sweet wines and I am a big fan of Stella Rosa.
This is what I now know: I still really love Stella Rosa wines, but I also found a new favorite in the Maddalena Riesling.
I tried many different wines during my visit to the San Antonio Winery and was lucky enough to take home a bottle of the newest addition to the Stella Rosa Wine family, Stella Rosa Black Lux will be in stores later this year, but for now, you can pick up a bottle while visiting any of the three San Antonio Winery locations. If you've tried Stella Rosa Black, and love it, then just imagine that, except, bubbly and crisp.
I had heard such great things about the restaurant at the winery. Up until my visit a few weeks ago, I didn't even know the name of the restaurant. Now I do, say it with me everyone: Maddalena! I loved everything about Maddalena's, the ambiance was warm and inviting and although perfect for families, all I kept thinking was this is the perfect date spot. It's nice and quiet, kinda dark and kinda romantic.
I know I'm supposed to choose my words carefully and describe the food in such a way that makes you want to get off your butt and head over to Maddalena's to order this Meat Lasagna. But, I'm at a loss for words, because holy crap, this Meat Lasagna was that good. It was the perfect amount of authentic Italian flavors and portion. I mention portion because I was able to enjoy my piece of lasagna, as well as my appetizer and glass (okay three) of wine.
Tip: Always order the Caprese Salad and Calimari. Always. Nope, don't question it, just do it. You're welcome.
When it comes to choice of dessert, the options covered all the bases. Carrot Cake, Creme Brulee, Chocolate Cake, or Cannoli. This was my first Cannoli. I know, I know... where have I been right? Well, usually I'm a sucker for carrot cake, but not on this day. On this day, it was all about those beautiful traditional Italian Cannoli's.
Luckily for you, Maddalena's is located inside a winery, so the wine options are plentiful. Buy by the glass, or bottle. I mean, is there really a question? Bottle.
I think my favorite part of the restaurant was the open kitchen. I love being able to glance over and see the magic happening. On this day, we were treated to watching while they prepared their delicious traditional Ravioli.
Oh! The tour! Okay, after you've sampled some delicious wines available at the Winery and had a delicious authentic Italian meal, check your watch because every hour, on the hour, you can join the complimentary tour of the winery. You won't regret it. First of all, you can walk the tour with a glass of wine in hand (Yes!), secondly, you can walk off a bit of that delicious meal and lastly, you will learn so much about how wine is made and the history of Los Angeles.
Thank you to San Antonio Winery for an awesome afternoon and for this bottle of Stella Rosa Black Lux that I got to take home and enjoy. The newest addition to the Stella Rosa family, Stella Rosa Black Lux will be in stores later this year, but for now you can pick up a bottle at one of the winery locations-- Los Angeles, Ontario or Paso Robles.