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Each week I look for the one thing that stood out, be it a glass of wine, a particular dish or a unique experience as the Please The Palate pick of the week. A couple things came to mind this week but in the end, one of the coolest things was to visit San Antonio Winery in downtown Los Angeles. Celebrating their 100th birthday, San Antonio Winery is the Please The Palate pick of the week. I am a third generation Los Angeleno on both sides. My mother's mother was born in Los Angeles. My father's father was born in Los Angeles. My mother and father were both born in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always felt that I know this city. But somehow, while I knew it existed, I had never been to San Antonio Winery located in Lincoln Heights, just east of downtown Los Angeles. Finally, as they celebrate their 100th birthday, I spent an afternoon there.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
So many times, I hear people say that they do not like white wine or they prefer red wine. To me, there is a time and a place for every wine.
And, as much as I love red wines, I am currently obsessed with white wines. Chenin blanc, assyrtiko, grenache blanc, riesling, gruner veltliner, vermentino and so on, the vast diversity of white wine in the world is what I find exciting. I have now added semillon from the Hunter Valley, Australia to that list. de-iullis-wines-2
When you think of Australian wine, you probably think about shiraz. But in the Hunter Valley, located in New South Wales, two hours from Sydney, semillon is the iconic wine of the region.
Semillon, a golden-skinned grape, is the famous variety blended with sauvignon blanc to make Bordeaux blanc. With “noble rot” from botrytis, semillon is the dominant variety in the sweet dessert wines of Sauternes, Barsac and Cérons. But outside of France, semillon’s other primary home is the Hunter Valley.

It seems that we are always hearing about small wineries being bought by larger wineries or companies. Whether it be the financial challenges to run a small business or the...