A former Wells Fargo stagecoach stop, the town of Ballard was founded in 1880 with lofty dreams of being a future metropolis. Ballard was named for William Ballard, who ran the Wells Fargo station from 1862 to 1870. Although Ballard served as the connection point between rural and seaside communities, it never grew in mass like it's neighbor Santa Barbara, and is now much as it was over 100 years ago.
Today, Ballard is a combination of sleepy village and upscale bedroom community. The surrounding area is noted for its thriving and well-respected wine industry and was featured in the Academy Award nominated film "Sideways." Vineyards, coastal bluffs and ranches merge seamlessly together through roads the locals call "lanes." Ultimately, many of these paths end up in Ballard.
The Ballard Lane wines are a reflection of the Miller Family, a Central Coast family who has farmed the area for five generations. Their proprietary knowledge of the climate and terroirs of the Central Coast are reflected in each bottle of Ballard Lane wine.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast California wine district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the Central Coast California wine region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few Central Coast reds and whites. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured its title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the state's diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, and it later made its way to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.