San Vicente Cellars–Heard It On The Grapevine–What’s up, What’s hot, Ventura County’s Local Wineries


By Raven West

Vince and Cathy

Vince and Cathy Pantess

For those old enough to remember Lucille Ball’s hysterical wine-stomping adventure and who wished to have such bare-footed fun in a vat of grapes, advice San Vicente Cellars in Camarillo will make your dream come true.  

The fun doesn’t stop with the stomping! Winemaker and founder Vince Pantess and his wife Cathy wanted their winery to be more than just a dot on the Ventura vine tasting trail. They want to share the entire wine making experience with all lovers of wine and fun.

“We really want people to get a hands-on experience with the entire process of wine making.” Vince said. “From stopping the grapes, blending the varietals to bottling the wine, we hold a party for every phase of the process!” 

Speaking with a bit of a New Jersey accent, where he grew up with his Italian family, Vince tells his story of how his love of fine wine began at a very early age. He fondly remembers sharing a glass of wine, mixed with some water, at family Sunday dinners.The wine was produced in the families’ basement by Vince’s grandparents, who had brought their wine making skills with them when they immigrated to the U.S.

Stomping the grapes

Stomping the grapes

When Vince “emigrated” from New Jersey to Southern California, he began to pursue his own dream of producing high-quality wine and continuing the family tradition of hands-on wine making. The realization of his dream wasn’t an overnight process.

Vince began, as so many successful endeavors do, in his garage. He started in 2007 with 500 pounds of Sangiovese grapes. Then he worked his first commercial harvest in 2008, producing his own commercial vintage; a combined 12 tons of Syrah, Grenache, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo in 2009. A year later, he leasing the1500-square-foot space in Camarillo and officially opened San Vicente Cellars in 2011.

On most weekends, guests to the winery can stop by and watch the magic happen. Vince is not the “man behind the curtain”, hiding in a back room with his vats and barrels. He’s up front and personal in the tasting room. Everyone can watch and learn while tasting five of the red and white selections from the wine list.

Vince welcoming you in

Vince welcoming you in

“Our 2011 Viognier was the 2014 Silver Medal winner in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition,” Vince said, “The 2010 Tempranillo won the gold. In addition we produce a 2010 Tannat, 2009 Sangioveses and 2009 Syrah. We’re planning to produce a Bordeaux blend and will be coming out with our first Cabernet Sauvignon this summer. And, of course, we’ll have plenty of parties with music and great food to enjoy.”

San Vicente Cellars offers a 15% Discount to all Active Duty Military with ID

San Vicente Cellars

537 Constitution Ave #D,  Camarillo

Open Fri 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Sat-Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Phone: (805) 484-5400

Visit their website

Next Week: Plan B Wine Cellars


Raven West

Raven West

Raven West

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.


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