In 1833, Frenchman Jean-Louis Vignes established El Aliso winery in Los Angeles. By 1870, Los Angeles had become the center of California wine-making. The region might have retained that title, had it not been for the one-two punch of a vine disease that decimated L.A.’s vineyards in the 1880s, and Prohibition. Even so, an important piece of that history remains at downtown L.A.’s San Antonio Winery. Since 1917, the Riboli family has operated the winery at the same site on Lamar Street. While a modern wine-making resurgence has yet to materialize in L.A., San Antonio deserves a shout-out as one of California’s original urban wineries.
With a wide range of wines, including the popular Stella Rosa Rosso, the tasting room continues to attract a devoted following. “Our tasting room staff is very friendly and approachable, making the novice wine taster feel comfortable,” says fourth-generation vintner Anthony Riboli. “They also have a lot of knowledge, and could recommend something for every palate.”