Gathering people together over fine wine and delicious food has been a passion in the Balducci family for generations. Your hosts, Rick and Carol Balducci, invite you to raise a glass and share their table.
Watching a Vineyard Grow
Here at Balducci Vineyards, family traditions run as deep as the roots in the rich soil. While the traditions started generations ago, the roots took hold in 1987 when Rick and Carol bought land in a Missouri river valley located in Augusta, Missouri. They purchased the land from Rick’s cousin knowing the area is perfect for yielding delicious wine grapes. The family became grape growers, cultivating several varieties of grapes and providing grapes for local wine-makers.
And in 2001, they opened the family winery. Since then, the winery has won numerous awards and is recognized as one of the premier wineries in the Missouri River Valley.
To the Balduccis, Balducci Vineyards is so much more than a winery—it’s a way of life. And when you visit, you’re not just a customer, you’re part of the family too.
Balducci Vineyards is more than just a business. It’s the family’s home and passion. Every member of the family has invested hard work into the land, the vineyard, and the winery. Together they’re making their mark on the region, carrying on a legacy of good food, good wine, and family. Carol and Rick’s children Natalie, Nic, and Nate learned about vineyard life firsthand while growing up on the family vineyard. When Natalie and Nate stop by, they pitch in wherever they’re needed. And Nic can be found behind the scenes on any given day as the chief winemaker.
Meet the Family
A native of St. Louis, Rick attended CBC High School. He attended Kansas State University on a football scholarship, and later served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War.
He often uses the title “Terrace Manager,” but Rick’s role at Balducci Vineyards includes a bit of everything. When he’s not behind the scenes overseeing the finances or the winemaking equipment, you’ll find him front and center preparing the winery grounds for the days’ guests. His main goal is to make sure visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
With Balducci Vineyards, Rick pays homage to his Italian lineage while building a family legacy for future generations.
Carol has worked in the restaurant and wine industry most of her adult life. She met Rick when she started working in the kitchen at Balducci’s Restaurant in 1979. She ended up becoming manager in a short amount of time, and working at the restaurant became more than a job to her. She took pride in the work she was doing, and she enjoyed mentoring staff and watching how each person added to the atmosphere and experience of dining at the restaurant. And in 1987, she and Rick moved to Augusta to start a new venture.
Like Rick, Carol wears many hats at the winery. She supervises the staff, menu, and events, as well as keeping the books. But she is quick to point out that she doesn’t do it alone. It truly is a family effort, with every member of the family and staff pitching in to make sure their guests have the best experience possible.
When you visit, you’ll probably meet Carol. She loves interacting with and getting to know the winery’s visitors. To her, the winery is more than just a business; it is a labor of love. It’s the place where her children grew up, and her grandchildren visit.
Nic is Balducci Vineyards’s winemaker. He knew by age 20 that it was what he wanted to do. He is responsible for crafting the grapes grown on the family’s acreage into wines that have earned numerous awards and critical acclaim. Always striving to become better, Nic channels his energy into improving his skills and promoting the family business. He has traveled far and wide to learn as much about winemaking as he can.
Nic is passionate about providing visitors with an authentic winery experience. He is proud to be part of a family legacy that he is already introducing to his own young children.
The Family History
The family’s rich Italian heritage of fine wine and food goes back generations—four, to be exact.
Rick’s grandparents, Patricio and Angela Balducci, came to America from Italy in 1906. They brought their passion for food and wine with them, setting an example for their children with successful careers in the food and wine industry. The legacy was passed to Rick’s father, Louis, who learned the wine industry by working in the vineyards of California. He later owned his own wine company.
Following in the family footsteps, Rick opened Balducci’s Restaurant in 1975. The Maryland Heights, Missouri icon continues to serve delicious Italian food in the family’s tradition.
Come relax at Balducci Vineyards. Sip award-winning wine while you look out at the rolling hills surrounding the winery and eat food that will delight anyone.