Ballentine Vineyards, St. Helena

4.6
#44 of 55 in Wineries in St. Helena
Ballentine Vineyards is located in St. Helena. Make Ballentine Vineyards part of your personalized St. Helena itinerary using our St. Helena trip planner.
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Ballentine Vineyards Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
38 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We visited this winery on a tour through Platypus. It was a wonderful little winery with some terrific wines. The guide was fantastic and took us to the back where they were processing the grapes that...  more »
  • Ballentine is worth a visit. They are a small boutique winery and they make some good white blends and other less common varietals. We like the Maple Stations white blend and the Chenin Blanc.  more »
  • We had a wonderful visit to this small boutique winery next to Markham winery. We sampled 3 wines complimentary and ultimately purchased a couple of bottles. Our host, Helen was delightful and very kn...  more »
Google
  • Quaint vineyard, very friendly staff, took their time to explain everything, felt at home.
  • The red zins are fabulous for the price. The tasting room is small and basic with friendly staff.
  • Recommended by the owners of cedar gables inn, we headed up to this small winery. The people there were great, they took the time to explain the types of wine, helped us understand the differences between the grapes, and educated us on how to pick good wine. It was nice to know that they can take the time with visitors, where some of the wineries just give you a pour and walk away. Great wine, great people & great experience overall. Thanks Ballentine Winery.
  • The tasting room was fantastic and Kim was very courteous. We walked out with 8 bottles, all of which were great. However, we ordered a half-dozen replacements and four of the last 6 bottles of the new batch have been undrinkable. They smelled of rubbing alchohol or vinegar (hard to say but NOT right) and were silty to the point of leaving clumps on the bottom of the decanter and specs on the surface of every wine glass that carried it. I emailed to ask if they had received other complaints and if there was anything they could do (did NOT ask for a refund, but clearly the wine is spoiled). I was told there were no reports of issues, that sometimes the winemaker's style doesn't fit our palette. Considering we drank 8 bottle previous to this new shipment and raved about it, that we knew exactly what we were hoping for, but didn't get it. So if you buy local at the winery, it's likely fine. But I would not under any circumstance order ANY wine from this winemaker and have it shipped, as there's clearly no avenue or customer support after the sale if the wine has clearly gone bad. Granted they are only 4-5 bottles at $40-50 a bottle, so I'm not going bankrupt, but buyer beware if you expect a $40-50 bottle of wine to tase good, because none of the last batch did. Note: We have two unopened bottles left that I offered to ship back to them at my cost to test or taste, and that offer was not taken. It's a shame too, as I would have likely bought 6-12 bottles every few months, as it WAS our favorite dinner wine/casual drinking wine. To not even offer a partial credit to another order is beyond me...

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Where to stay in St. Helena

Because St. Helena is nestled in upscale wine country, most people who visit have no intention of roughing it. As such, the city sports a number of luxurious hotels. Several boast restaurants, hot tubs, and swimming pools; however, keep in mind that those with extensive grounds tend to be farther away from the main street. Budget-conscious travelers can find some more basic motels (looking farther out of town is a good way to save a few dollars). However, those staying on the outskirts should be aware that parking--particularly during high season--can be challenging in the city.
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