When you arrive at Barren Ridge Vineyards, you’ll find an operation the Higgs family has poured their heart and soul into. The farm was named Barren Ridge because it receives less rain than the surrounding valley. The property was originally an apple orchard that has been in the family since 1934. Grapes and apples grow well under similar conditions, so the family decided to transition from orchard to vineyard. In 2007, the Higgs, along with some family friends, planted the first acre of the vine. You can find the whole heartwarming story here.
They only produce about 4,000 cases a year but plan to expand their small scale facility. The grapes are about half estate grown, meaning that the rest are purchased from other growers. Barren Ridge is an upscale mom and pop winery. After the property was turned into a vineyard, the apple shed was converted into the winery and tasting space. The tasting room proudly displays their awards on the mantle over the fireplace. Both the indoor and outdoor areas are outfitted with patio furniture which keeps the atmosphere casual. Barren Ridge Vineyards also has a gorgeous rustic event space above their tasting room. If you’re planning a wedding with a country vintage feel, this would be the perfect place.
Barren Ridge only has one winemaker, which is amazing because the full flight tasting is 14 wines. The wine list itself is exquisite and versatile. Cameron, their event’s manager, attributed this to the establishment being “about the wine and not the wine stuff.” I took home their Traminette, an off-dry white, to try with Chinese food. Their sweet red, the Red Barren, can be served either chilled or not. Two of their wines boast labels of local artist P. Buckley Moss with sales that benefit her Children’s Education Foundation.
I love the design of their tasting sheet. If you look really closely at the picture, you can see a rating scale of wine glasses. It was really easy to shade in how you felt about them. I usually make a range of sad to smiley faces, and at the end I try to decipher my scribbles. If you miss the Trump Winery Simply Red like I do, you’ll be happy to know Barren Ridge is currently selling Kluge’s 2007 Simply Red, which they bought when Kluge went bankrupt.
If you’re planning a visit, consider checking out the live music they have on Friday nights called Sunsets at the Vineyard. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Barren Ridge Vineyards, and I can’t wait to go back in the warmer months to spend some time on their patio.