Prohibition saw breweries and vineyards shut down across
Downtown Los Angeles; authorities would destroy alcohol production centers. But
San Antonio Winery survived and flourished. Thank you LA Downtown News for this
amazing piece on our history.
…Prohibition also devastated Los Angeles’ winemaking
industry, which was centered around Downtown in what is now Chinatown and Union
Station. Already hurt by blight, drought and development, the Volstead Act
effectively killed off Downtown’s vineyards. Only a few in California remained,
taking advantage of an exemption that allowed for alcohol production for
religious purposes—Wallace noted that one Jewish temple in Los Angeles saw its
congregation grow from 180 families to more than 1,000 over the course of
Prohibition. The San
Antonio Winery in Lincoln Heights just on the other side of the Los Angeles
River, stayed in operations, making sacramental wine for churches.
Wine pro, Anthony Riboli, shares his holiday wine picks with Vine Pair Magazine!
“I love gifting a bottle of San Simeon Stormwatch to friends and family. It’s a well-balanced blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot from the Paso Robles, Calif., region. I love it because it has ripe flavors of blackberry and raspberry with touches of spice and vanilla, making it perfect for both pairing with meals and drinking solo.” — Anthony Riboli, fourth generation wine maker, Riboli Family Wine Estates
Thank you, Southwest -The Magazine for this amazing piece!
Thinking of California wine might conjure images of sprawling vineyards in Napa Valley or trendy tasting rooms in Sonoma. But in downtown Los Angeles, 102-year-old San Antonio Winery has weathered ups and downs—including Prohibition—to become the City of Angels’ longest-producing winery.
An instrumental part
of the winery’s longevity? Ninety-seven-year-old Maddalena Riboli, who’s been
in the family business for more than 70 years. In 1946, Riboli, then Maddalena
Satragni, met Stefano Riboli on her family’s farm and married him later that
year. Together, they began working with Stefano’s uncle, Santo Cambianica, at
San Antonio Winery, and after Cambianica’s death in 1956, Stefano was granted
ownership, with Riboli at his side.
In a male-dominated
industry, Riboli made room for herself. She took over bookkeeping, had the idea
to begin sourcing grapes from California’s Central Coast, and encouraged the
company to open a restaurant within the winery—one of the first such
operations. Almost 50 years later, the eatery, Maddalena, is still open.
Today, Riboli remains involved with the winery, with a little help from her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, who are carrying on the legacy she helped build. And her namesake line of vinos at San Antonio Winery—Maddalena—has been carefully crafted with “bold, yet humble flavors,” to honor the passionate woman for whom it’s named. —M.F.