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“excellent tour by the miller” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
3369 St Helena Hwy No.( Highway 29), St. Helena, CA 94574
+1 707-963-2236
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Top Rated
$172*
and up
Napa Valley Wine Train with Gourmet Lunch and...
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Built in 1846, this water-powered mill served Napa Valley's farmers who brought their wheat grain and dried corn to the mill to be ground into flour and meal. Bale Grist Mill has one of the largest waterwheels in the country and still mills grain the old-fashioned way! Visitors can take home organic wheat flour, cornmeal or polenta. Come enjoy what was once a vital part of rural life!
Cupertino
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“excellent tour by the miller”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

I was pretty sceptic about this place, and was pleasantly surprised by a very interesting tour about the mill's history, the design of the mill, and milling demonstration. The tour was done by the miller. He is a fabulous and inspirational teller. Too bad it is 2 hours drive from us. If you are going to Napa, this should be a really good break from wine tasting! Will recommend it to all of my friends.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Fabulous tour of a working mill”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

This is a neat little mill, and a nice park, but the major highlight is the continuous tour of the mill's grounds, history, and processes. This is an active mill that produces flour and corn meal on weekdays, and the miller gives tours on weekends. He very clearly knows his stuff, from the history of the mill and the surrounding area to the way the mill works and is maintained. The difference between wandering through a restored mill with signs and descriptions and being led through the mill as its working is night and day. If you have any interest in technology, history, or really just a well-done presentation you should check out the tour. (I think they only run on weekends.)

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, Ohio
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
9 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Don't miss this”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Our tour of the mill was led by the miller himself and he was very knowledgeable about the mill, the milling process, and the history of the area. He was enthusiastic and it was quite evident that he loves what he is doing. The mill still runs and produces several varieties of flour and corn meal. The technology is the same used in the late 1800's and is fascinating to see in operation.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenwood, California
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
34 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Fun little hike!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

While touring the wine country, take this little hike and learn a little history of the valley while you are at it!

Visited March 2013
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Cupertino, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“State of the Art technology once upon a time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

It is not just a big wheel for decoration, This mill still functions well. Be sure to see the demo of the mill operation.

The creek outside is small. It is hard to believe that it provides enough power to move this wheel. There are two mills. Each of them can be embedded with the wheel to be driven. Other questions to be studied includes:
* What are the adjustable parameters of these mills?
* How the grinders ground the grains?
* How to decide the granularity of the powder?
* Why do they need two grinders instead of one?
* How are these two grinders different?
* How stone and dirt are filtered out from the grains?

Not only kids but also adults can learn a lot of good idea from it. It is a very good learning experience on this excellent engineering project.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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