This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to visit and work with Ballentine Vineyards in St. Helena. First driving through St. Helena and up valley is gorgeous. I recommend stopping to walk along downtown and visit a few boutiques before (or after!) arriving to the winery.
Ballentine Vineyards is just outside of downtown St. Helena and is definitely a winery I would add to your list while in Wine Country. Everyone was so inviting and welcoming there and we really had a great time.
We had the opportunity to meet the owner Betty and her son Frank. They were both extremely welcoming to their winery. The property has been in their family for over 100 years! Frank and Betty shared stories about the history of the winery and how the winemaker has been at Ballentine for 20 years.
Throughout the day we had the chance to try some wine (or course!), including this beautiful cheese board. One of my favorite wines we got to try, and Frank’s favorite, is the 2015 Zinfandel Reserve. This wine was very drinkable and would be perfect “porch wine.” With hints of blueberries and raspberries and a smooth finish, it would be great while cooking dinner or talking and hanging out with friends.
We definitely got the full tour and had the chance to see their barrel room and the fermentation room. I was finally able to cross one thing off my bucket list this harvest season, my first “punchdown” of the grapes that were just harvested! To say I was excited is an understatement. It was harder than it looks and I thought I was going to off the ladder from trying to push down so hard, but it was fun once I got the hang of it!
The tasting room on property is very cozy and great place to learn more about the winery from the friendly wine educators. They also have an outdoor area to sit at a gorgeous picnic table right among the vineyards.
If you are looking for some great wine, a relaxing and casual winery to chat with friends and learn more about the wine making process, then Ballentine Vineyards is a must. It was fun to explore the vineyards and all of the winery. You can truly feel the love that goes into making this incredible wine and the family history that has kept the winery together for decades.
Happy Winery Wednesday everyone, thank you for reading!