Working hand-in-hand with the grape grower, we strive to create exceptional wines that are true to the varietal, terroir and vintage. We believe that great wines are created in the vineyard where our winemaking begins.
Located in the idyllic south end of the Walla Walla Valley, near the Oregon border.
- Producing the finest wines in the world.
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Average Bottle Price
Named Wine & Spirits magazine’s Washington State Viticulturist of the Year and Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers’ Grower of the Year in 2008, Tom has farming in his blood. The Waliser family has grown apples and other types of tree fruit in the Walla Walla area since the early 1930s. In 1992, he expanded his farming interests to wine grapes by farming Pepper Bridge Vineyards, followed by Seven Hills West Vineyards in 1994. Currently Tom manages 550 acres of vineyards for Premier Partners and LeFore Vineyard as well as his own vineyards – Yellow Jacket and Waliser. Tom firmly believes in sustainable viticulture, and he focuses his efforts on soil health as a means to healthier, stronger vines and higher-quality fruit. That attention to quality shows up in each and every bottle
Amy Glase, Managing Partner:
Because Amy’s background is in art and fashion, she serves as a daily inspiration at the winery. Having been involved in retail and visual arts for 25 years, she is the driving force behind the scenes with logos, wine labels, office management, and some added muscle for early morning harvest punchdowns. Amy’s focus is doing all the “other” stuff, so her husband, Tom, can focus 100% on making Balboa’s delicious vintages. Amy’s artwork can be seen hanging in the tasting room.
Becca O’Connor, Tasting Room Manager:
Becca is a transplant from New Hampshire and a Whitman College graduate. She provides wine-tasters with excellent customer service and knowledge of Balboa’s wines. She also provides business, website and wine-club support along with marketing.
Tyler Grennan, Assistant Winemaker:
A native of Washington State, Tyler relocated to Walla Walla after attending the University of Washington to study winemaking at the Institute of Enology and Viticulture. While in school, Tyler worked at L’Ecole No. 41 under Marty Clubb and Mike Sharon. Upon graduating from the Institute of Enology and viticulture in 2012 Tyler started at Balboa Winery as a part time cellar rat and was promoted to Assistant Winemaker in Sept. 2012.
Practices & Techniques
All of our grapes are hand-picked, then hand-sorted before gravity sends them through the de-stemer/crusher and into 1 ton stainless steel fermentation bins. All of the lots are kept separate and each bin is tracked throughout primary fermentation twice a day. The bins are punched down 2 to 3 times a day for optimal extraction, giving us only what the grapes have to offer and nothing more. When primary fermentation is complete, the wines get pressed. We keep the free run separate and press to 1.4 bar. The press wine then gets tasted and added back as needed for balance. Secondary fermentation takes place in barrel and when completed the wines are racked off the gross lees and returned to barrel for aging. We use 20% new oak on a select few wines for structure. The blending takes place after 12 months to ensure the accuracy of our blends, then back to barrel to marry until bottling. The wines then age in bottle for up to a year and are released only when we feel they are ready for you to enjoy.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
We are dedicated to raising high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Petit Verdot through environmentally sound farming practices. Vineyard Manager Tom Waliser, who played a key role in forming VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley’s Sustainable Trust, brings vast experience and a firm belief in sustainable farming practices. He ensures that great care is taken when caring for the vineyard. Every grape is tended by hand, including crop thinning, leaf pulling and harvesting.
Sitting at a slightly higher elevation than the majority of the plots in the cobblestones protects the vineyard from freezing temperatures that could potentially wipe out an entire crop or the entire vineyard. It’s been nearly 20 years since this prized farming plot has had a documented freeze.
The cobblestones in this part of the valley provide an ideal environment for low-vigor vines that produce concentrated flavors, making Eidolon Vineyard an appealing source to draw fruit from. Charles Smith Wines has sourced Syrah for their Guido, and the Cabernet Sauvignon is a part of Drew Bledsoe’s Doubleback wine. In addition, Caleb Foster harvested Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon for Buty’s Redivia of the Stones while his own vineyard, located next to Eidolon, came online.
Balboa won two Double Golds at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition – largest judging of American wines in the world!
*2012 Estate Eidolon Malbec, Walla Walla Valley
*2010 Estate Eidolon, Walla Walla Valley
*Balboa Winery 2012 Pandemonium, Walla Walla Valley
*Balboa Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley
*Balboa Winery 2011 Mith, Walla Walla Valley
AWARD: Best of the Best, Winery of the Year, Walla Walla Valley
The Walla Walla Valley community voted Balboa Winery the best Washington winery in the Valley! Walla Walla Union Bulletin.