Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery
Old-World Meets High-tech, Preserving Our Resources
One-hundred-year-old businesses have become an endangered species in the New Millennium of startups, restaurant pop-ups, and virtual brick-and-mortars, but San Antonio Winery stands among the exceptions of modern-day forced obsolescence. To bring this into broader perspective, 1917 was the year that Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany, Vladimir Lenin became the newly minted head of Soviet Russia and jazz great Ella Fitzgerald was born.
Throughout four generations, the Riboli family business weathered two world wars, Prohibition and three stock market crashes. Anchored in Los Angeles, their San Antonio Winery first opened its doors in 1917. Not only has their winery not only survived, it has continued to thrive. Today, along with bold reds, aromatic and flavorful whites, refreshing sparkling wines and impressive ports, San Antonio Winery possesses an arsenal of 20 brands as proof of its fortitude.
Geographically centered smack dab between San Francisco and its Los Angeles headquarters, the Riboli family formulated a course for the future with a newly constructed Event Center and Winery in Paso Robles. The new location is now closer to the regions from which the winery sources their harvests – from Napa Valley to Paso Robles to Monterey, where the Riboli family owns estate vineyards, and in proximity to their Tasting Room, where Highway 46 East meets Buena Vista Drive near the 101 Freeway.
Restorative Practices through Technology
Their equipment is among the newest and most efficient available for an operation of its size to complement the biodiverse techniques used in their vineyards that use less intrusive, more natural environmental aspects of soil maintenance and protection that include cover crops, bird sanctuaries and sheep pastures.
Completely powered by solar panels atop both the facility and crush pad, the newly constructed insulated metal building in Paso Robles features six-inch-thick walls, an eight-inch-thick concrete slabs, state-of-the-art technology, and a capability of producing up to 300,000 cases of wine per year.
“Our solar panels provide 100 percent of our electricity,” said 4th generation winemaker Anthony Riboli.
Estate-grown grapes are harvested and delivered to the winery. Pre-fermentation by-products, such as excess leaves, stems and post-fermentation by-products, such as seeds and skins, are deposited into an underground auger. This residual material, rich in nitrogen, sugar, amino acids, is then carried away to be used for fertilizer and animal feed.
Nearby, an onsite water treatment plant recycles wastewater from wine processing which is then used for landscaping and vineyard dust abatement. No wastewater is released in to the sewer.
“We have processed more than one million gallons of wastewater,” Riboli confirmed.
Inside the winemaking facility are 50 modern stainless-steel fermenting tanks plus 10 open-topped fermenters, each of which can be electronically monitored on and offsite. This equipment is organically sanitized with an ozone-generated system to ensure cleanliness and to overall product quality. Both here and in the barrel room, the environment is kept thermodynamically stable around the clock from seasonal diurnal swings that range up to 50 degrees, from triple-digit temps in late afternoon to the coolest temps in the early morning hours.
For all this sophisticated equipment and technology, it is other elements from the winery’s early beginnings that endure well after the harvesting, processing, fermenting and bottling take place. The first is family. A close second, of course, is the sharing of all this great wine!
San Antonio Winery Tasting Room and Bistro
The Tasting Room, located at 2610 Buena Vista Drive, is open daily from 10am to 5pm and the Bistro is open from 11am to 5pm. Enjoy a selection of hearty and gentle reds, white wines, sweet wines, sparkling and port wines for purchase. The Bistro features appetizers, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, soup and daily specials in the covered patio or on the Fountain Patio. For groups of eight or more call (805) 226-2600 reservations.
The Elite/Reserve Flight: Side-by-side varietals, wines by style, wines of special value/character and tastings paired with food. Call for availability and reservations. Cost: $15/$30.
Artisan Flight: Small-production wines of select whites and savory reds. Four for $12.
Central Coast Flight: Select from award-winning reds, refreshing whites, and sweet and sparkling wines. Four for $7.
Vita Dolce Flight: Semi-sweet refreshing wines, including the Stella Rosa label. Four for $5.
San Antonio Winery Pick
The 2015 San Simeon Stormwatch from Paso Robles is a fabulous Bordeaux blend ($75). Both 2013 and 2014 vintages both received 94 points, respectively, from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
San Antonio Winery Tasting Room is located at 2610 Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles, just off Hwy. 46 East. For groups of eight or more, please call (805) 226-2600 for reservations.