Balistreri Vineyard’s History
John Balistreri’s family immigrated from Sicily to the United States in the early 1900s. They eventually found their way to Colorado, where they worked as “truck farmers” producing local vegetables in the North Denver community.
In 1964, John Balistreri built greenhouses and started his own business growing carnations. During this time, John continued the Sicilian tradition of producing wine for family and friends.
Although wine making had always been a family tradition, it wasn’t until 1998 with the efforts of John’s daughter Julie and wife Birdie that the operation became a commercial endeavor. They built a modest tasting room to showcase their authentic and natural style of wine making.
The winery has grown while still keeping to its traditional roots. On the very same land that the family had once grown carnations, stands a new facility equipped with a wine cellar, tasting room, event center and restaurant.
The winery is still operated by the family and produces around 6000 cases of wine each year. All of which are made naturally, one barrel at a time.
Natural Wine Making
John Balistreri’s wines are made naturally in a very approachable, easy drinking style. Only grapes that are hand-harvested are used to make the wine. All of which are selected from high quality single vineyard sites across Colorado and occasionally California.
The grapes are then carefully crushed in the winery and allowed to ferment using indigenous yeasts. This preserves the character and quality of the fruit.
When the wine is done fermenting, it is pressed using a bladder-style basket press and then siphoned by-hand into fine American Oak Barrels. The wines age in barrel for approximately one year where they undergo natural malolactic fermentation.
Through careful wine-making and working closely with growers, Balistreri Vineyards is able to forgo the use of sulfites or other chemicals. The wines are not filtered or fined, and instead are bottled one barrel at a time, without racking. Due to the wines not being filtered, our wines may form a harmless deposit over time. If this occurs, we suggest the wine be poured gently or decanted to avoid disturbing the sediment.
Balistreri “Orange” White Wines
Balistreri Vineyard’s White Wines are especially unique and made in a natural style. The white grapes are fermented on the skins, like a red wine, which imparts a rich, deep color and flavor. They are not filtered or fined and bottled without racking or cold stabilization.
This natural and historic style of white wine making produces a golden-orange hue in the wines, which also may develop harmless sediment as they age. These “orange” white wines should be served only moderately chilled to preserve the body and aroma.