Urban Press Winery
I know where I am going to be spending much of my time in 2021 – and that is at Urban Press Winery in Burbank! I am disappointed in myself that I only recently discovered this place before Los Angeles’ second shutdown, but I am also happy to plan future nights out there when it is safe to do so. It would be an understatement to say we enjoyed our time at this fun spot!
For a little background, Urban Press Winery just celebrated their 4-year anniversary and is owned by Giovanni D’Andrea. As soon as you meet Giovanni, he will treat you like family and make sure you have plenty of wine. The first wine he poured for us was the Fille de Joie 2018 Pinot Noir Rosé (14.06% abv). This Rosé was fragrant and floral on the nose with flavors of passion fruit, grapefruit and fresh red berry flavor. I knew from the first sip that we were in for a fun evening of great wine. Next up was the Fille de Joie 2019 Syrah Rosé (13.69% abv), which had aromas of raspberry and rose petal. I haven’t had a Syrah Rosé before, and I loved this – I think it would pair very nicely with food as well.
I also want to highlight the outstanding white wines we had the opportunity to taste during our visit. I am not a big fan of buttery Chardonnay so I was excited when Giovanni said I wouldn’t find one at Urban Press. We tried the Carnoso 2017 Chardonnay (14.1% abv) with grapes from Knights Valley in Sonoma County and I was so pleased to find it to be the type of clean, crisp Chardonnay that I always enjoy. The Chardonnay was followed by the Fiore 2017 Grenache Blanc (14.2% abv) from the Alexander Valley. I typically adore Grenache Blanc and this one was no different. While I normally rush through the white wines during a tasting to get to the reds, I was happy to savor these lovely whites for a while.
But on to the red wines we go, and we started with the Romance Noire 2017 Pinot Noir (14.91% abv). I don’t hide my love for Pinot Noir and drink it regularly (I’m almost embarrassed to admit how regularly) so believe me when I say that this Romance Noire did not finish like a typical Pinot Noir. It had such a long, lovely finish with aromas of ripe cranberry, vanilla, and the flavors of red berries that I love about Pinot. I’m not certain if I just loved each wine more the more wine I drank, but the last two wines we tried were my favorites. The Tre Vigne 2016 (15.2% abv) was a delightful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Merlot. I love a red blend and I loved the Sangiovese in this one. I was also blown away by the Mascherato 2016 Cab Franc (15.1% abv) from Capay Valley, which is near Sacramento. I don’t drink Cab Franc as often as I would like so I always cherish the opportunity. I immensely enjoyed both wines and brought a few bottles home.
I would be remiss not to mention the delicious food at Urban Press Winery. Due to Covid guidelines, we had to order food with our wine. As you can imagine, this is never an issue for me! I did, however, assume that the food would be an afterthought at a place where the focus is on wine – I was mistaken. We started with the Charred Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Feta, and Hot Agave. I’ve never put Feta on my Brussels Sprouts before, but I may start now. Then, as we typically do, we shared a pizza and a pasta. We loved the Four Cheese Truffle Pizza with Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Brie, and Gorgonzola with Truffle Oil Drizzle. I’m on board with truffle oil drizzled over pretty much anything, so I really enjoyed this. Also, the pizza crust was so good thanks to their fabulous pizza oven. For our pasta, we had the Fettucine with house made Basil Pesto with Arugula, Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I loved the addition of the arugula and sun-dried tomatoes with the pesto – it was perfect!
Urban Press Winery was set up in a way to make us feel very safe during these current times. They had both the back outdoor patio and a large area in front of the establishment set with socially distanced tables to enjoy the wine, food, and live entertainment. Yes – LIVE Entertainment. It had been so long since I had heard live music, I didn’t know what to do with myself. What I ended up doing was taking 500 videos of the band since I was so excited. The entertainment was provided by The Tina Aldana Band and they were incredible! Tina has such an amazing voice and was performing a few of my favorite songs! It was such a treat!
During non-pandemic times, Urban Press Winery has a lovely indoor tasting bar and a cool Barrel Room where you can do barrel tastings. They also have a fabulous Private Dining Room that you can reserve for special events – I can definitely envision celebrating a birthday party there in the future!
With wines retailing between $28 - $38 per bottle, I found Urban Press Winery to be affordable and presented great value for quality of their wines. It is the perfect spot for a date night or to go with a group of friends (once that is safe to do again). I am looking forward to spending lots of time – and drinking lots of wine – there in the years to come!