Panaro Brothers Winery–Heard It On The Grapevine–What’s up, What’s hot, Ventura County’s Local Wineries

By Raven West

Winemakers know the best wines are made from grapes grown on vines with strong roots. And when the roots of the winemaker’s family are just as strong, you can be certain that the wine they produce is full of love and pride expected of such a family.

Such is the long heritage of Dave Panaro and his brother Vito, owners of Panaro Brothers Winery. Their maternal Grandfather passed down his grape-growing knowledge and wine making skills to the brothers’ father, Frank, who naturally passed on the family talent to his sons; Frank, Larry, Vito and David.

Wine Tasting with David and guests

Wine Tasting with David and guests

“My brothers and I have been making wine with our father and grandfather since we were little kids growing up in Canoga Park,” said David. We would drive inland to Fontana to buy Mission and Grenache grapes from growers who supplied wineries like Gallo and Cribari, etc. We knew we had something different that no one else was making. With our family history of wine making it just made sense for us to open our own commercial winery. So, in 2008 we opened Panaro Brothers Winery here in Ventura, using a mix of modern technology and Old World methods.”

The original wine press stands proudly by the entrance of Panaro and the brothers strive to keep the tradition of personal experience alive even in today’s high tech world. Vito hand-selects the grapes they use for their wines from vineyards located in Paso Robles, Templeton, Los Alamos, Creston, Santa Ynez, San Miguel, southern Monterey County, Antelope Valley and Camarillo and brings them to the local Ventura location for processing.

“Our guests are welcome to take a mini-factory tour when they come for a wine tasting,” Dave said. “All our wines are bottled by hand. We link up three specially

Original Wine Press

Original Wine Press

created bottling tables and everyone comes to a bottling party. We never use a bottling truck. We really want our guests to have a true hands-on experience when they visit us.”

This month, Panaro will be hosting such an event on Saturday, June 7th and June 14th

Bottling parties and wine tasting are just a few of the many special events at the winery. All the beautiful pictures that line the walls of the wine tasting room are created by local photographers. The Photography exhibits change monthly or every two months.

“I thought I was in the wine business then I realized I was in the entertainment-hospitality business, too.  We had a great response from our recent request for artists who needed a place to display some of their fine works, and we’ve got some really impressive pictures and photos in the Tasting Room. In January we featured some very affordable avian photos from  Maren Semler. For Valentine’s Day, we featured artists Kristina Leigh Anne Schlah and Robin Lee. Last March our PBW Art Opening showcased the photography of Guy and Robin Shaham, Currently we’re showing the photography of Tim Hauf. I really like to promote artists and writers in the community, professionals as well as amateur artists who are trying to get their pieces shown and sold.”

While guests enjoy the artwork, David and Vito pour tastings of their wines. Panaro Winery produces almost all single varietals, including six whites; a 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, and  2010 Riesling, Chardonnay, White Zinfandel, Grenache Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Their reds include a 2009 Barbera, 2011 Dolcetto, 2009 Zinfandel, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and a very unusual 2009 Sweet Syrah.

The winery’s intimate Tasting Room & climate-controlled Barrel Room are both available for meetings or private parties of up to 30 people: food and wine tastings; a private event space for special catered meetings and parties; or a private art show. Wine club members also gain access to private tastings, fun bottling sessions, limited barrel sampling, price discounts, and special event invitations.

Art on the walls and wine in your glass: a perfect combination at Panaro Brothers Winery.

Panaro Brothers Winery

Panaro Brothers Winery


Panaro Brothers Winery
4517 Market Street, Suite 7
Ventura, CA

Tasting room is open Friday 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm


Raven West

Raven West: Find her books on

Named in the TOP 50 Authors: by

Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.


Get free BULLETINS. Please patronize our advertisers (including below) to keep us publishing and/or DONATE.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments