Looking for historic estate grown Zinfandel with a lot of heart? Well, look to Ballentine Vineyards (rhymes with valentine) – smack dab in the heart of Napa Valley. Few wineries in Napa Valley can match Ballentine for family history and a track record for the stewardship of vineyards that dates back a full century.
Ballentine’s Napa Valley family roots reach back to 1906 when proprietor Frank Ballentine’s maternal great grandfather, Libero Pocai, first purchased vineyard land for his winery south of Calistoga.
Not long after, Frank’s paternal grandfather, John Ballentine planted vineyards west of St. Helena in 1922 and, after Prohibition ended, established a winery there in 1933. John and his son, Van, purchased two additional nearby vineyards in the 1940’s.
As fate would have it, Van and the Pocai’s granddaughter, Betty, were married and two of Napa’s oldest winery family legacies and vineyard estates became combined!
The Ballentines went on to establish their home and winery and visitors venue just north of St. Helena, naming the surrounding vineyard Betty’s Vineyard. Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon remain the winery’s specialties but a variety of other estate wines are produced as well.
Since Van’s recent passing in 2019, Frank with his mother Betty, and longtime winemaker Bruce Devlin, carry on the work of producing authentic estate wines and preserving the family’s great Napa Valley legacy.