Antelope Valley Winery Review
Address: 42041 20th St. W. Lancaster,California 93534.
Phone Number: 661-722-0145
Tasting Hours: Wed-Sun 11:00-6:00
Reviewer: Julie Dorris
Review Date: 5/26/2012
Reviewer: Julie Dorris
Outside of the obvious viticultural regions of California, the state is sprinkled with little wineries in unassuming places. Such is the case with the Antelope Valley Winery in Lancaster. Here, the Donato family produces handcrafted wines from Antelope Valley grapes and are committed to sustainable growing practices. Although the wines dont compare to the likes of Sonoma, Napa, or Santa Barbara, they accurately express the flavors of the region.
The Place:  The Antelope Valley Winery, or AV Winery to locals, is located a short distance off of Highway 14 in Lancaster, which is a city in the high desert 70 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. The tasting room is housed in the front of the winery, a barn-red building that sticks out like a sore thumb against sparse surroundings. You cant get any closer to the grapes than this, as they are growing only steps from the door. The tasting room has a very down-home feel, much like a hunters basement, with taxidermy hanging on the walls.
The Experience:  On a previous visit, the staff was so welcoming that I felt like a long lost family member whom they were ecstatic to see. My recent visit, however, wasnt as warm. Ive since learned that calling ahead for a tasting time is a good idea here because the staff seems to work best with one group of tasters at a time. I did appreciate the flexible tasting menu, however. You can taste two wines of your choice for free or pay $8.50 to taste six wines of your choice and keep the glass. Remember the days when you could take home the glass?
The Wines:  AVs wines vary greatly from one bottle to the next, and they tend to be on the sweeter side. If you like drier wines, make sure to request them. Tempranillo is one of their specialties, and they have some interesting blends with names such as Desire and Fusion D4.
The Extras:  AV offers custom labels that they will personalize and affix to any of their wines for you. They also host a farmers market on Saturday mornings that is popular in the community. If you are in the market for exotic meat, the winemakers produce all-natural buffalo that gets rave reviews.