About William Cole
Location: St. Helena, CA
“As stewards of this estate it is our goal to preserve the history and the integrity of the property and we are incredibly proud to be able to share it with others.”
– William & Jane Ballentine, Proprietors
When William and Jane Ballentine bought a nineteenth century ghost winery in St. Helena in 1999, little did they know it would take them years to open its doors which had been shuttered since Prohibition.
They enthusiastically began an extensive renovation of the 1873 stone wine cellar on the bottom level of the historic three-story building while they moved their family into the top two floors. Throughout the project they began to uncover the incredibly rich history of the property and it became their goal to restore the original integrity of the winery and incorporate modern winemaking techniques.
The property was deemed so important to the history of the Napa Valley that the county wrote a special historic ordinance to allow it to be reopened as a winery. By 2004, they had completed restoration and opened as a fully operational winery. In honor of tradition, they named it William Cole for ‘William’ and their son Cole and dedicated their Cabernet Sauvignon, Cuvée Claire, to their daughter ‘Claire’.