Winemaker John Balistreri
Being partly raised by my grandfather, I’ve grown to learn and see his enormous amount of love, in which he devotes to three things. The first being his family, second I’d say is Sunday Dinner, and third is his Wine. Raised just a few blocks from the winery, John Balistreri’s family started as immigrant truck farmers. It was within these hard-work beginnings that he learned to make wine with his uncle, Sunny Elliot, at a very young age. In 1964 Grandpa John started his own venture into cut flowers. Having succeeded in that industry, he eventually went on to produce wine commercially. At this Showcase Dinner, you will get to take a sip back in time with some of John’s oldest wines. Grandpa is letting us really dig deep in the cellar and find some old gems as well as fun new wines to express the longevity, tradition, and love that goes into and surrounds these wines.
John Balistreri views his wine as an exceptionally old art. The traditional, almost untouched process to his wine-making truly reflects this ancient practice and art. As I like to put it, “We crush grapes, that’s it.” But there is so much more to Grandpa’s creation. It requires good ripe grapes, a patience for fermentation, thoughtful barrel selection, delicate and decisive handling, and a broadly educated palate. If one looks close enough, each wine can be seen as a perfect reflection of John himself. Each bottle showcases John’s philosophy of working hard every single day, and the fruit forward, unaltered wines continue to express the grapes and their terroir. Natural yeasts structure the wine as it casts remnants of the land our family used to farm. The raw and overly expressive characteristics to his wine take you back to when vino was made for the family, one barrel at a time, pulled every Sunday, enjoyed with pasta and Uncle Sunny. So join us, as we take a special look into Grandpa’s Wine Library and toast to his tradition and passion with your family and friends.