Cooper Honors Valensin Vineyard and Winery as Small Business of the Month | New



On September 30, Assembly Member Jim Cooper D-Elk Grove awarded Galt’s Valensin Vineyard and Winery the title of “Small Business of the Month”.

Located at 10675 Valensin Road, just off the Arno Road exit of Highway 99, the company produces four still wines on site and four sparkling wines outside.

This winery is currently preparing for the release of its first estate wine, a Syrah wine created with wine grapes grown in the company’s on-site vineyard.

Its owners, Kirk and Colleen Ruffell, residents of Elk Grove, each have 15 years of wine experience.

During his presentation, Cooper recognized the importance of agriculture and praised how this business works.

“You have an incredible place here, and a lot of potential for growth,” he said.

Cooper told the Herald that this business is a “trifecta”.

“They sell wine and harvest wine grapes, they harvest fish here (on its man-made lake) and they also run a ski school,” he said. “So there’s a lot going on here. It’s great for Galt; this is a great location. When you come here, the atmosphere, you can’t beat it.

Cooper added that with the wine, vineyard, lake and other features, Valensin Vineyard and Winery is a “hidden gem”.

Colleen expressed her appreciation for the Small Business of the Month recognition.

“We are very grateful,” she said. “The community has been so wonderful for us – Galt, Elk Grove, Sacramento. And to be honored that way is really, really special, especially after being opened for just a year. So that really means a lot.

Kirk noted that it was important for him and Colleen to have a unique environment for their cellar.

“If you go to a traditional cellar, it’s more of an enclosed space,” he said. “So we kind of wanted to simulate our way of life. We are very active people, we love the water which is why this property really called us.

Kirk mentioned that two slalom and water ski enthusiasts developed the property.

“About 20 years ago they opened a water ski school in this area and they retired when we bought it about two years ago,” he said. “They were very active. They were pro skiers. They created the (lake) and now we have taken that vision and widened it and created a kind of wine atmosphere around.

Also on the property are part-time homes for water skiers from countries such as Washington, Utah, and Canada.

“We are set up to stay and play for water skiing,” he said. “So the properties that are here are aimed at water skiers. We have a lot of people (and Canadians) in cold weather who will come down and extend their seasons. So they come, they stay with us.

The cellar tasting room is located in a partially enclosed, partially open-air structure, which was built by Kirk.

As for this company’s biggest goal, Kirk noted that it was to “grow with the community.”

He expressed his appreciation for the support that the community has given to this winery.

“As we all know, COVID-19 was last year, and we had huge support from local individuals,” he said, “a lot more people from Galt than I expected. Galt, compared to Elk Grove, is maybe a quarter (the size), maybe smaller, but the number of people we get from Galt is huge.

“As we grow we want the community to be with us. We also want to start fundraising for the community. “

The Ruffells’ other goals are to add a 40ft by 60ft tent and possibly a permanent building, which will be located further into the vineyard.

“Creative ideas” for the site’s lake are still in the planning stages, Kirk noted.

Le Vignoble et Cave de Valensin is open Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Fridays from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about this company, call (916) 883-2555 or visit the website at


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