Valentines Day Stellabration
Posted on February 10, 2016
Happy Valentines Day, Grape Lover! In honor of this blessed holiday, here’s a little poem for you, written only the way a true Grape Girl could: “Roses are Red, Wine is Red, too. Poems are Hard. WINE.”
When you’re driving through sunny California, seeing a sign for a winery is like seeing a celebrity at the Maibu Country Mart: throw a wine glass and you’ll hit one. So it’s no surprise to The Grape Girls to see signage for Stella Rosa and San Antonio Winery all throughout our SoCal neighborhoods. But to EXPERIENCE it, first hand? That’s a whole different thing. After all, we’re talking about a winery in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles. Did someone say Urban Oasis?
Driving up to San Antonio winery is like an old school game of Pac Man that ends in wine…left at the industrial building, right at the construction site, go under the freeway and BAM: suddenly you’re pulling into a ranch-meet-Spanish-villa-meets-LOTS-of-greenery oasis of decadence. Ok, San Antonio Winery. Round one goes to you.
“But what could they possibly have to offer? I mean, isn’t a winery in California as common as a pizza slice in NYC or heart disease in Texas?” That’s what WE thought. Until we walked in and learned a little about the Riboli family, the lineage responsible for bringing San Antonio Winery to LA almost 100 years ago. Here’re the bullet points of what you need to know:
- 1833 – French winemaker Jean-Louis Vignes brings the first European grape vines from Bordeaux to downtown Los Angeles.
- 1917 – Santo Cambianica founded the San Antonio Winery on Lamar Street downtown, naming it after Saint Anthony of Padua.
- 1919 – The Volstead Act passes, banning alcohol (wah wah). Santo keeps the winery alive by supplying Sacramental Wines for religious ceremonies. Now THAT’s what we call a GENIUS loophole.
- 1936 – Sixteen year old Stefano Riboli (we know him as Papa, and met him on the day we visited) came to the US from Italy and apprentices under his Uncle Santo.
- 1946 -Stefano married Maddalena Satragni and San Antonio Winery becomes an established institution in California’s wine country.
- Today – the San Antonio Winery remains the oldest producing winery in Los Angeles with three generations of the Riboli family continuing to work in the wine business.
It’s a Stellabration With Stella Rosa
Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? Like maybe the fact that San Antonio Winery isn’t a one-trick pony or one-label winery. In fact, this hidden gem houses 18 labels under its umbrella, one of them being Stella Rosa. This line of award-winning wines hails from a small town in northern Italy and could easily be hailed as America’s favorite semi-sweet, semi-sparkling wine. After all, it’s the #1 imported Italian 750ml brand (by dollar sales) in the U.S. When we met with Melissa at San Antonio Winery on this day, AFTER she let us taste some of their award-winning wines in their tasting room, she presented us with 5 delicious wines as a part of their Romantic lineup: Stella Pink, Stella Berry, Stella Red, Moscato Rosé, and Brachetto D’Acqui. WOAH. Talk about a line up. Here’s the long and short of what you need to know about each glass:
- Stella Pink – Ok, remember as a kid eating chocolate covered strawberry marshmallow in your Easter basket? This creamy, sweet wine tastes JUST like that strawberry marshmallow filling. So. Effing. Good. And only 5% alcohol, so you’ll remember in the morning.
- Stella Berry – It literally reminded us of childhood. ALL of the berry. ALL of the fruit. In one glass. Like you dipped your head in a bucket of raspberries, strawberries and plums and came out with a juicy buzz. And only 5% alcohol. YES. Served best with a side of Chocolate Bar Wine (which isn’t brown at all but red and tastes like a cherry Tootsie Roll Pop on its own and a Grape Tootsie Roll Pop when combined with Stella Berry).
- Moscato Rosé – It’s like your childhood in a glass, and with notes of nectarine and yellow peach, this decadent, semi-bubbly goodness may surprise you when she actually reminds you of grape soda. I mean, I’m never mad at a surprise. OR a higher alcohol content, like this one has (it’s 9.5%…she’s still a lady, after all).
- Brachetto D’Acqui – Not only is she a 2014 Gold Medal award-winning wine, but she’s also the perfect companion for pool-side sitting on a hot day. Red raspberries? Check. Rose petals? Double check. BUBBLES? Mic drop. Again, only 5% alcohol so NO HANGOVER HERE, friends!
- Stella Red – The PERFECT “I want a red wine but I don’t want it to feel heavy ’cause I’m eating pizza and watching Netflix with my honey and my stomach can only take so much” kind of wine. Reminds us of a Lambrusco with its jammy nature and semi-bubbly vibe. Fun fact: If you choose to #winehuff her, be warned: it smells JUST like an unfrosted strawberry PopTart.
Perhaps our favorite part about Stella Rosa Wines is the awesome message they’re sending this Valentine’s Day. Stella Rosa even offers delicious cocktail recipes at www.stellarosawines.com for any party, any occasion, ANY time.
“For those who are single this Valentine’s Day, these wines are ideas for celebrating love, friendship, and good times.”
Bottom line, Stella Rosa has something for everyone, particularly if you’re newer to the wine world and want to break in with something sweet and delicious and bubbly to make any day feel like a celebration. For more information, or to visit the tasting room/winery/restaurant yourself, check out www.sanantoniowinery.com. And use the hashtag #Stellabrate this Valentine’s Day to show us how you #TipItandSipIt when you find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (@thegrapegirls).
Until next time, we HEART you. So hard.
Lo & Tee