San Simeon Winery
Central Coast AVA
Wines that express the terroir of Monterey County's prestigious Arroyo Seco appellation
The residents of Southern California and greater Los Angeles in particular, may be well acquainted with the historic San Antonio Winery that is owned by the Riboli (pronounced Ree-bow-lee) Family. The beautiful winery is located within close proximity to landmark Dodgers Stadium. The Riboli family wine domain covers a wide array of wines and wineries, among them the venerable San Antonio Winery that first produced wine in 1917, San Simeon (Central Coast), Maddalena, and Riboli Family Wine Estates of Napa Valley.
Anthony Riboli is the fourth generation of his family to carry on the duties as operational mainstay of the dynasty’s operation. Riboli holds a masters degree in enology from the revered University of California Davis, and has now been involved in the wine business for almost twenty years. Anthony Riboli has worked with the Riboli Family Vineyard since 1997 and has since overseen major innovations in the vineyard and winery, always working toward his foremost goal of consistently improving the quality of Riboli’s family wines.
The Riboli family has recently opened a new state of the art, energy efficient winery in Paso Robles. The winery is designed for crafting premium wines using sustainable techniques that conserve energy and water and reduce waste. The new location will serve as the production home for all brands under the family’s broad winery portfolio, including the wines for Riboli Family Wine Estates. Anthony Riboli states that the future of his family’s business can be found in its history, and the actual spirit of togetherness his family has demonstrated over the past ten decades of its existence. “Our family remains to this day an extremely tight unit,” Riboli explained. “There exists a commitment on each of our parts to see that we accomplish what we set out to do.”
Please enjoy this month’s special Diamond Wine Club feature, a masterfully finished Bordeaux-styled Red Blend from a historic California winery.
The Riboli Family of Winemakers
Even the storied Gallo, Mondavi and Sebastiani wine clans would be hard pressed to consider themselves fourth generation wine descendents, but a little known Southern California family named Riboli (pronounced ree-bow-lee) is arguably one of the longest tenured families actively engaged in today's modern wine industry.
The Riboli Family's flagship winery is the respected San Antonio Winery, and a great deal of its current focus centers around 27-year-old Anthony Riboli, grandson of the winery's original founders. Anthony Riboli is a vital component of San Antonio's future planning, and an individual who comes complete with a masters degree in Enology from the University of California Davis that he earned in 1998.
To the youthful Riboli, the future of his family's business can be found in its history, and the actual spirit of togetherness his family has demonstrated over the past ten decades of its existence.
"Our family remains to this day an extremely tight unit,” Anthony Riboli explained. "Each of us lives within ten minutes of each other and we all live within ten minutes of the winery. There exists a commitment on each of our parts to see that we accomplish what we set out to do.”
Riboli pointed with pride to the fact that the original winery was founded in Los Angeles back in 1917 by Santo Cambianica, who immigrated to America from the Lombardy Region of Italy. From historical perspective, by 1920, over one hundred wineries existed in Los Angeles County. Even more incredibly, the San Antonio Winery is the sole surviving entity from that rather large number.
Santo Cambianica's nephew Stefano Riboli later joined the winery in the 1930's and is still active in various aspects of the business. Stefano's son, Santo, serves as the winery's president and other members of the family work in the multi-faceted company.
But a great deal of responsibility will be left to the youthful Anthony Riboli to continue the Riboli family's fortunes into the new millennium.
He must first convince everyone involved that his ideas are worth doing.
"I am fortunate that our family is cognizant to the changes that are occurring within the wine industry,” he explained further. "Individual estate vineyards such as the ones in Monterey that produce the San Simeon wines are necessary for our continued expansion and growth. My father Santo and our Family all consider Monterey one of the emerging wine production areas and these premier vineyards insure us the ultimate levels of grape quality. Each has a distinct personality and its up to us to bring that particular personality to the forefront.”
The San Simeon wines bear little comparison to their better known San Antonio generic and varietal cousins, and Anthony Riboli acknowledges his Family's awareness of the latest buzz and trend types that seem to proliferate wine shelves throughout California and elsewhere.
"As long as I am involved with San Simeon we will produce exemplary individualistic wines,” he added "Our family is incredibly proud of our history and what we have accomplished, but we are definitely not stuck in the past. Today's modern wine industry is evolving and we want to be part of that evolution.”
Was it easy convincing everyone in the family circle that a formula that has proven quite rewarding over the decades was in need of renaissance?
Riboli conceded that some family members were easier to convince than others but in the end, the consensus of the group was that new measures must be undertaken to continue the business's upward spiral. San Simeon is not the Riboli Family's only extra curricular activity. They have produced several critically acclaimed award-winning wines under the Riboli Family Vineyards, Aliento del Sol and Santo Stefano labels that all fall into the single vineyard or estate grown categories.
What's next on the agenda for Anthony Riboli? No new projects for the foreseeable future he readily informed. He is currently way too busy insuring that some of his pet projects reach the levels he has realistically set for them. After that, he grinned with an amused twinkle in his eye, indicating there might just be room for a new idea or two.