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William Cole Vineyards


2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
Release Date September 2021
  • This 100% Cabernet is from our estate in St. Helena. These wines are handcrafted in an old world style.

  • Owner and winemaker, William Ballentine, has been making Cabernet Sauvignon in his historic 1873 winery for two decades.

  • "Claire's Hill" pays tribute to his daughter, in which this single block wine is coming from.

William Ballentine

William Ballentine, Winemaker

Pick the grapes at their optimum and maturity. Balanced tannins. Elegant Cabernet Sauvignon.
Country Born
United States
Winery Experience
20-30 years
Fresno State University

Winemaker at St. Clement Winery and then William Cole Vineyards. Consults for exclusive small producers of cabernet sauvignon.Fourth generation grape grower in St. Helena. Italian maternal great grandparents planted their vineyard in Calistoga in 1906 and Irish paternal grandparents came to St Helena in 1920 and started their Deer Park Winery. The name 'Deer Park' was from the Ballentine homestead in Ireland.

Cole Ballentine

Cole Ballentine, Winemaker

Country Born
United States
Winery Experience
6 years

Cole Ballentine is the real thing!

There is a lot to be said for being a 5th generation farmer in Napa Valley - you pretty much know where all the bodies are buried and where the best grapes can be grown.

From an early age Cole followed his dad, William, around vineyards and wineries. He, like his father, loves the smell of the earth and has a strong respect of history and for past generations in Napa Valley.

After playing both basketball and football at St. Helena High School, Cole went off to Montana State to study business management and to immerse himself in a variety of outdoor sports he enjoys. During summers he would come back to Napa Valley to work with Wilbur Ellis, returning to the vineyards learning about plant management and vine health.

When your name is on the label, the Cole in William Cole, it is pretty hard not to gravitate back to the family business, especially when you share the same passion for quality and salt-of-the-earth winemaking. Cole and William are truly the only hands that touch the winemaking process of both William Cole and now Smoking Gun.

Growing up with the rich stories of the Wild West and the intriguing history of John Weinberger, the founder and winemaker of the first stone winery in Napa Valley, that now houses William Cole Vineyards, led Cole to the creation of Smoking Gun.