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One of California’s Pioneering Women Winemakers Reflects on 100 Years of Success

The Riboli family began its legacy of winemaking in downtown Los Angeles in 1917 when four brothers from Lombardy, Italy, established San Antonio Winery. Four generations have since grown Riboli Family Wine Estates’ portfolio to include several brands, but it’s the strength and tenacity of one pioneering woman in the family that has been the guiding force behind the Riboli legacy – Maddalena Riboli.

Maddalena Satragni moved from Italy to the United States in the 1940s, and began working in agriculture with her family. She was driving a tractor one day when Stefano Riboli saw her, and it was love at first sight. Stefano had also moved to the U.S. from Italy to help his uncle run San Antonio Winery. In 1945, the two married and together they took over the winery, building the family business into the successful company that it is today.

Armed with passion and vision, Maddalena Riboli has been a driving force behind the family business from the start, demonstrating her strong work ethic and dedication. As a forward-thinking visionary, she also helped San Antonio Winery make history when she started Maddalena Restaurant in 1970 – the first restaurant within a winery in California. “Cooking was a passion I’ve had since I was a child,” shares Maddalena Riboli. “I grew up in Italy making bread and pasta alongside my mother, who taught me the techniques and love that goes into cooking.” Opening the winery’s restaurant allowed her to translate her love of cooking into a business, adding that she “could not have been happier to bring that passion to the winery and share it with our guests.”

In a very male-dominated industry, Maddalena’s passion, confidence and dedication to quality winemaking have been driving forces behind Riboli Family Wine Estates, proving to be instrumental foundations for the business to span four generations and celebrate 100 years of business. The brand truly embodies her sophistication and unwavering vision.

Today, at 94 years old, the matriarch says she still loves being involved with the winery, visiting with guests and making them feel at home. “It makes me happy to see my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren continue our family values and be as passionate about the business as Stefano and I are.”

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