The Ballard Inn

A hotel and restaurant in Ballard

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If You Like Good Wine, Taste at the Ballard Inn

  • Mar 27, 2010

Unlike some tasting rooms, the Ballard Inn doesn't feel like you're at a party. The party is in your mouth.

Friends often ask me for recommendations of where to go wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley. If they're looking for spots with wine that's just plain good, I always point them to the Ballard Inn.

It's NOT a winery. It's a hotel and restaurant, but on weekends, just around the corner to the left of the reception desk, is a small bar with wine tasting.

There are typically 10 different wines to taste, grouped into two separate flights. Pick either. You won't go wrong. The Ballard Inn pours local wines that are available in its restaurant. The varietals and labels change, but they're always from tasty boutique producers.

On my last visit, some of the names were: Kenneth-Crawford, Calzada Ridge, Ken Brown, and Au Bon Climat.  

The pourer will know about the wines and the winemakers, so you can ask. You'll probably get some good stories.

It's usually a good place to escape the crowds, too. Three out of four times that I go to the Ballard Inn, my guests and I are the only ones tasting.

Do NOT go to the Ballard Inn if:
-- You have a party of more than 6 people -- unless you call in advance
-- You think any bottle of wine priced at more than $30 is outrageous
-- You prefer your wine pourers scantily clad and uninformed
-- You're trying to collect logo wine glasses

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March 28, 2010
Ooooh, I like it when the party's in my mouth! :P Sounds like a great spot. Thanks for the tips! :)
More The Ballard Inn reviews
Quick Tip by . March 26, 2010
stayed here when my bro got married. loved it. the whole place smells like the restaurant which was a plus for me!
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About this restaurant


The tasting bar is open on weekends from 12-5, serving a selection of wines from boutique producers. There are usually two different flights of 5 wines each to choose from. $8 per tasting.
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Address: 2436 Baseline Ave, Ballard, CA
Phone: 805.688.7770

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