“We’ve been making the Rosé of Pinot Noir from the same three Pinot blocks for the last eight years. Because of that, the balance, style and general impression have been incredibly consistent and at an extremely high level for as many years.”—Anthony Beckman, winemaker
Celebrating 20 years as a family winery, Balletto Vineyards in Santa Rosa can also celebrate taking the award this year for Best Rosé, thanks to North Bay wine drinkers and loyal customers.
Known for their estate vineyards throughout the Russian River and Sonoma Coast, Balletto is famous for its Pinot Noir, which plays a vital role in the development and success of their Rosé. “We’ve been making the Rosé of Pinot Noir from the same three Pinot blocks for the last eight years,” says Anthony Beckman, winemaker at Balletto Vineyards. “Because of that, the balance, style and general impression have been incredibly consistent and at an extremely high level for as many years.”
Consistency is key to its winemaking philosophy, achieved in part by having full control of its vineyards. “It’s one of the great blessings of making wine from estate-only vineyards,” he says.
And even during the pandemic, the winery was able to hold tight to consistency, although harvest had a different look and feel compared to prior years. “The wines and the grapes did just fine during the pandemic,” says Beckman. “For us, it was an unusually lonely harvest. The social gatherings to both welcome new harvest employees, times out for a quick beer at the end of the day and end of harvest celebrations were all canceled.”
Wine brings people together, and the process of making it is no different. “Wine and winemaking are such social and joyous things, and this year made those parts of the harvest difficult,” he says. “I’m anxious—just like everyone else—for the next harvest to get back to normal.”
Though the tasting room closed during those months of shutdowns, the wine was still in high demand, with online sales through the roof. “There was definitely a surge in wine orders,” says Terri Balletto, owner. The winery accommodated online orders for curbside pickup and shipping. It also featured a mystery case—a big hit with consumers—and the fun of the mystery case was keeping its contents secret.
As they slowly continue to reopen, the tasting room is prepared for visitors to safely raise a glass with those excited to visit and enjoy their favorite wines in person. “As people become vaccinated, we’re seeing more and more people in person for our patio tastings, says Balletto. “Weekend tastings fill up fast and we’re still cautious and want to make sure everyone stays safe. We’re still reservation only to help control the flow of people and keep COVID compliant.”
The Balletto family remains thankful to its customers and thankful to local NorthBay biz readers who recognize their incredible wines year after year. “The support from the community has meant we have been able to keep our employees safe and working,” says Balletto. “And for that, we are all grateful.”
Make a reservation, grab your mask and enjoy this year’s Best Rosé from the patio at Balletto Vineyards.
Photos courtesy of Balletto Vineyards