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San Antonio Offers a Taste of Napa in Your Backyard

By Samantha Page
Published: Monday, October 27, 2008, at 09:22AM
Bottles Kim Daniels [Flickr]

The San Antonio Winery hosted the Riboli Family Winemaker's Dinner on Saturday, opening its doors to about 50 wine enthusiasts and wanna-be enthusiasts for a dinner and tasting menu.

The family-owned winery, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, might be one of Downtown's most under-appreciated spots. If you didn't know there is a world-class winery on the outskirts of Downtown, you aren't alone, but you are missing out.

The wine-maker, Anthony Riboli, encouraged attendees to "eat as much and learn as much as you wish," before presenting about a dozen wines with the six-course meal, pausing during each course to discuss what we were drinking.

Although Riboli said that wine "doesn't have to be stuffy," he had no hesitations about giving a thorough analysis of each bottle. If the descriptions were not completely comprehensible to the everyday wine-drinker, they were at least accessible and educational.

The winery, which is supplied by the Riboli's vineyards in Napa, Monterey and Pasa Robles, is no mere showcase. Free tours, which are offered every hour and end with a tasting, will take you through the inner workings, where grape juice ferments, cures and is bottled.

You can also try some authentic Italian food at the winery's Maddelena Restaurant and shop at the extensive wine shop, which carries not only San Antonio brands (there are several), but also select imports and an impressive variety of high-end liquors.

San Antonio Winery is located at 737 Lamar Street, just north of Downtown and off of North Main.

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