September is officially California Wine Month and whether you are a serious oenophile or just someone who loves a big glass at happy hour, it is the perfect time to explore some Golden State vino. The month coincides with the annual harvest season but there is no need to book a flight to Napa or Sonoma to participate. Check out 6 spots right here in L.A. where you can enjoy California wines.
San Antonio Winery
San Antonio Winery has been a family owned institution since 1917 and is certainly a hidden gem plus a historical landmark of DTLA. Here, you can book a tasting to sip wines from the family’s estate vineyards located in Napa Valley, Monterey County and Paso Robles appellations. You can take a tour of their winery and learn the rich history of winemaking in Southern California, the history of the family and the winery, details of the vineyards and the wines they produce. You can also dine among casks of wine in the Maddalena Restaurant featuring a warm ambience and varied menu. On your way out, visit the shop to take home a bottle (or case) of your favorite wine. Our recommendations: the Maddalena Merlot 2011, the Stella Rosa Pink and the Roboli Family Cabernet 2012.
737 Lamar St., Los Angeles; Sanantoniowinery.com; @sanantoniowinery
The Blending Lab
Want to create a vino that is as one-of-a-kind as you are? Over at The Blending Lab, you can book a class to create your own wine blend as you learn what makes each grape unique and package it in a bottle to take home for yourself. If you aren’t feeling crafty, just sit back and sip a number of the delicious local wines via their famous tasting flight. While they encourage their #wingelenos to indulge, they also reward smarts. Show them you are being safe and not drinking and driving with an Uber or Lyft receipt and receive 10% off.
7948 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; Thewineblendinglab.com; theblendinglab
VINO Palooza at The Marina Del Rey Hotel
On Sept. 8, The Marina Del Rey Hotel will host VINO Palooza from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event is an award-winning wine and music festival produced by recording artist Ryan Cabrera and Tier 1 Events, LLC. The festival offers complimentary tastings from more than 20 wineries, as well as samples of local craft beers, spirits and small bites. VINO Palooza will also feature and unplugged performances by Cabrera, Austin Brown, Blake Lewis, Nash Overstreet, The Ready Set and Orianthi, benefiting local non-profit organizations.
13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey; Vino-palooza.com; @vinopalooza
Rosenthal – The Malibu Wine Estate
Just steps from beach, visitors can enjoy Malibu grown wines at Rosenthal Wine Estate. The Rosenthal wines are derived from grapes grown in a scenic valley four miles inland, 1,400 feet above the coastal fog in the AVA Malibu Newton Canyon. Varietals grown on the estate include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Viognier and Chardonnay. At harvest they are picked by hand, then aged in the finest French Oak barrels. Back at the beachside tasting room, you’ll find a casual atmosphere complete with an exquisite garden patio with ocean views. In addition to wine sampling, sipping and shopping, Rosenthal hosts live music every Friday through Sunday and have food trucks on site Saturday and Sunday. Other ongoing special events at the estate include food pairings, vineyard hikes, cooking classes, picnics, comedy shows and more.
18741 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Rosenthalestatewines.com; @rosenthalwines
California love! Bar Bandini is an unpretentious yet sexy wine spot located in Echo Park. All the wines found here are all-natural, organic and California produced. On the menu, you’ll find an eclectic range of vino both on tap and by the glass. It’s all supported by a menu of bar snacks including Sicilian olives, small plates of cured meats and local cheeses.
2150 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; Barbandini.com; @barbandini
Urban Press Winery
Urban Press Winery is a boutique winery in Burbank that brings the craft of California wine-making to Los Angeles. Opened in 2017, it is the brainchild of Giovanni D’Andrea, who started making craft wine almost 20 years ago out of his garage in Los Feliz. He now follows the path cut in the early 1800’s by California’s first winemakers by selecting premier grapes harvested by the finest growers, then crushes, ferments and bottles the artisanal wines in small batches and are then sold exclusively. Inside the downtown Tasting Room, you’ll find a space designed with beautiful red brick, reclaimed wood walls and stunning chandeliers. There you can sip on (and purchase) a number of their Urban Press variations including the Mascherato 2012 Herbaceous blend of Zinfandel and Petite Syrah and the Tutto Bianco 2013 Rhone blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier.
316 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank; Urbanpresswinery.com; @urbanpresswinery
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