Just a few miles down the road from my house lies San Antonio Winery. You pass them on your way through the Inland Empire, south of the 60 freeway. You can even see them from the freeway, so there’s no excuse not to pop in and say hello!
I was thrilled to be invited to the inaugural Farm To Table event, because not only do I love touring farms, I also love being wined and dined! Have you ever been to a farm-to-table event before? I haven’t, and I’m definitely a fan.
Isn’t the storefront cute as heck?
The morning started off with beautiful table settings, coffee, really good pastries, and just-cut crispy fruit. This was described as a continental breakfast, but it far surpassed any continental breakfast I’ve ever had. I mean, there wasn’t any oxidation on the apples, man! It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
We can’t forget about their spectacular & mimosa bar. It was an extremely beautiful, decadent, and humble vibe that was going on, really. I walked in, and Kevin Franke, the manager at San Antonio Winery gave me the kindest smile and effortlessly engaged in conversation. He also wasn’t afraid to man the mimosas! He had such a calm, kind demeanor, and put all the guests at ease. I truly felt like one of the family. Just come on in and make yourself at home.
And this… THIS! I pulled a classic rookie move, and ordered a standard mimosa right off the bat. I over-heard Kevin talking about a “Triple Berry Sparkler”, and had instant remorse. I needs me berries! This sparkling cocktail is a mix of Prosecco and Stella Rosa’s Stella Berry, garnished with a blackberry, blueberry strawberry and raspberry. So incredibly pink and awesome! I felt like a berry princess.
After making acquaintences over masterfully delightful and delicate pastries, we pile into two vans and head to Amy’s Farm with our host, and San Antonio Assistant Manager Katie Chamberlain. Katie was an absolute delight to talk to – expressing a deep passion for for both food and farming. The heart and soul of this farm is so truly special. Their mission:
We aspire to cultivate community life, friendships, and social justice; educate health and sustainability for people and places; and preserve agricultural lands and organic ways of growing food.
Walking through the grounds, you could tell that a lot of honest, pure love has been poured into it. One thing that Katie mentioned really stuck with me. She said she wants to see holes in the leaves of her produce. That’s an indication that they are grown on an organic farm – they’re not using pesticides to keep the bugs away. Now, this farm isn’t certified organic, but they do use all organic methods to grow the crops. It costs so much money to become certified, that they have chosen to not call themselves certified, but makes it poignantly clear that they don’t use any chemicals that would be harmful to the people consuming what’s grown. They are a non-profit, that focuses on community, sustainability, and being stewards of the earth with affection and respect. Just writing this makes me want to get up and go there right now! They do tours, and educate on how to replicate what they’re doing on a smaller scale at home.
We strolled around the gardens, smelling cilantro and the stems of the tomato plants, and tasting carrots, purslane, cinnamon basil, and green onion tops.
In the photo below, lettuce was in the foreground, dinosaur kale in the background.
Different plots of veggies.
Field of stunning flowers. There were white butterflies everywhere! They are an essential part of gardening. Like bees, they help pollinate other plants.
Well manicured vegetable beds.
I’m loving this tomato support system here! I have some beds myself, and am using cages right now. This seems like it would actually work better, not burning the leaves with hot metal, while having a very sturdy, central support. Stuff to think about if you want to start a garden of your own one day! This farm is a great resource for all things gardening, so HIT THEM UP.
I think I can moxie up and say that this is my favorite flower ever! It’s yellow, and it is beautiful, but what I love most about it is the promise of my favorite fruit on the planet – the tomato! Vine ripened Green Zebra’s are my fav. I wonder what this one is? We’ll have to go back in a month or so to find out!
This is what Katie called cinnamon basil. Upon hearing that phrase, it was as if an epiphany had happened. I had to sit and process it. Cinnamon Basil? That sounds like an AMAZING combination, doesn’t it? I had no idea that such a genius combo existed. We ate leaves of it. Pondered. Yep! Cinnamon basil for sure. Can you imagine what you could make with that? Any grilled fruit dessert with whipped cream, unique mojitos, sweet pesto? The hubbs and I ended up buying a bunch from their store, along with carrots, chives, collard greens, and two very black ceramic bowls that were for sale in their store, no doubt made by a local artisan.
This is purslane. Many think of it as a weed, but it’s a delightful green that tastes like nopales!
Besides growing stuff, there is also a petting zoo that has goats, roosters, and ducks. You could tell that they were all so loved, and very willing to get a behind-the-ear scratch. One of them even stole my purslane from me. That was my snack!!
As I mentioned, they do have a farm store, where you can buy what is in season, direct from the farm. Everything is priced by shares, which cost $3 per share. You tally how much you owe, and pay with cash or enter the dollar amount into their credit card machine. There’s also Amy’s Farm Cafe, which serves up locally roasted, organic, non-GMO, fair trade coffees.
Check out this cute farm kitty! She stole the show at the end of our tour. Such a sweetheart.
Back at the winery, we were promptly greeted with this mustard green pesto and wine. The mustard greens were spicier than I thought they would be and with the jalapeno bread, the flavors danced pleasantly on the tongue.
Next up – roasted beet and radish salad with not only one, but two types of cheeses! Parmesan and feta cheese were a creamy compliment to the earthy beets, and crunchy onion strings as a topper really rounded out the textures of the dish! Divine, especially when paired with the San Simeon Viognier (90 points on wine spectator) & Pinot Noir.
As you know, Hubbs and I are vegetarian, but we never think of it as limiting, so I didn’t think to mention it to Kevin or Katie before the day of the event. The chef was more than accommodating and made the dishes without any meat for us. If you do have dietary restrictions at all, let them know when you book your spot! They’ll take fantastic care of you.
This was a Sausage and Chard Pasta with Leeks, sans sausage of course. It was amazing! Leeks and arugula straight from Amy’s Farm!
This was really interesting, and a great way to eat both cabbage and fennel together. Pork Shoulder Steak with Cabbage and Fennel, without the pork was paired with San Simeon Sauvignon Blanc & Grenache. The cabbage and fennel were braised – cabbage still slightly crunchy and those carrots! Oh I could have eaten quadruple the carrots, they were just so good. The carrots themselves were great, but the preparation was awesome too. Yummmmm! While we dined with our new besties at the table, the wine flowed continuously.
The woman in purple was a Norwegian Viking. I believe it! We bonded over our similar Viking heritage (I’m a Swede).
The dessert was slated as grilled peaches with whipped mascarpone cheese and candied nuts paired with La Quinta Syrah Port. Sometimes I’m baffled that I don’t grill fruit OR drink dessert wines more often. Typically I’m not about sweet alcoholic drinks, but the sweetness paired with the tart, charred peaches was other-worldy.
These desserts were a surprise bonus for the event, but each one of them was delicious (of course I had all three)!
Overall, everything was entirely next level. The price point is perfect for an event like this at $65 per person. Your glass is never empty, you get flaky, cream & strawberry filled pastries with coffee and mimosas before you go to the farm. Get to learn about how veggies are grown, and the sustainability of it all, and then you get to eat what you see at the farm! It’s not often that Farm To Table events let you actually roam around the farm. Hubbs and I even got our produce shopping done for the week, and I got some awesome photography props for this here blog! No time wasted, I tell ya!
Chef Lisa was the woman behind the delectable menu, and speaking to her afterwards, she assured me that vegetarians will be accommodated, just let them know before-hand so they can create something spectacular!
So, are you ready for your own San Antonio Winery adventure! Some of you have expressed GREAT interest in doing a tour of a local farm, so why not get in on an experience of a lifetime! Here are all the details you need:
San Antonio Winery
2802 S Milliken Ave
Ontario, CA 91761
Their next event is on Father’s Day this Saturday, so get on it, and treat Dad to a night out! Stay tuned for other awesome events too, including another Farm to Table event hopefully! They truly are a treat!
Farm Loving Goodness,