Best Calistoga Wineries

The Best Calistoga Wineries: A Comprehensive Guide

The Best Calistoga Wineries are located in the heart of Napa Valley, which is home to some of the most renowned wineries in the world. Known for its volcanic soil and warm climate, Calistoga is the perfect place to indulge in a wine-tasting adventure. From family-owned vineyards to luxury wineries, there is something for every wine lover to enjoy.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the Best Calistoga Wineries that are a must-visit for any wine enthusiast. We will delve into the history, wines, and unique features of each winery to help you plan your perfect wine-tasting experience.

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About Calistoga

Calistoga: The Heart of Napa Valley’s Wine Appellation

The Calistoga AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established in 2009 and encompasses over 15,000 acres of land. The area is characterized by its volcanic soils and hot summer days, which are cooled by the nearby Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. This unique terroir is perfect for growing a wide variety of grape varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel.

One of the most notable wineries in Calistoga is Chateau Montelena. This historic winery is famous for its 1973 Chardonnay, which won the “Judgment of Paris” blind tasting and put Napa Valley on the map as a premier wine-growing region. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and taste their wines, which are known for their balance and complexity.

Calistoga AVA: The Premier Wine Region of Napa Valley

The Calistoga American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in the northernmost region of Napa Valley, California. It is known for its unique terroir, which includes volcanic soils and hot summer days that are cooled by coastal influences from the nearby Pacific Ocean. These factors, along with the region’s skilled winemakers, have resulted in the production of world-class wines that are highly sought after by wine enthusiasts.

The History of Calistoga AVA

The Calistoga AVA was officially designated in 2009, but the area has a rich history of winemaking dating back to the late 1800s. The first commercial winery in the region was established in 1882 by Samuel Brannan, and by the early 1900s, Calistoga was home to several wineries and vineyards.

During the Prohibition era, many of the wineries in Calistoga were forced to close or switch to producing grape juice. However, a few wineries managed to survive by obtaining permits to produce sacramental wine for religious use.

After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the wineries in Calistoga slowly began to rebuild. In the 1960s and 1970s, the region experienced a resurgence in winemaking as new wineries were established and existing ones expanded. Today, Calistoga AVA is home to over 30 wineries and vineyards.

The Terroir of Calistoga AVA

The Calistoga AVA is located at the northern end of Napa Valley, where the Mayacamas Mountains meet the Vaca Range. The region has a unique terroir that includes volcanic soils and a climate that is influenced by coastal breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

The soils in Calistoga AVA are primarily volcanic in origin, with a high mineral content. These soils are well-draining and provide good water retention, which is important for the growth of grapevines. The volcanic soils also contribute to the unique flavors and aromas found in Calistoga wines.

The climate in Calistoga AVA is characterized by hot summer days and cool nights. The daytime temperatures can reach as high as 100°F (38°C), while the nighttime temperatures can drop to as low as 50°F (10°C). This temperature variation helps to preserve the acidity in the grapes, which results in wines with a good balance of fruit and acidity.

The Wines of Calistoga AVA

Calistoga AVA is known for producing a wide variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. The region’s volcanic soils and unique climate contribute to the distinct flavors and aromas found in Calistoga wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape variety in Calistoga AVA and is known for its rich, full-bodied wines with intense fruit flavors and firm tannins.

Merlot is also widely planted in Calistoga AVA and is known for its soft, smooth wines with flavors of red fruit and a hint of spice.

Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are also grown in Calistoga AVA and are known for their crisp, refreshing wines with flavors of citrus and tropical fruit.

The Best Calistoga Wineries

Venge Vineyards

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4708 Silverado Trail N. Calistoga, CA – view on map – (707) 967-1008

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel

Venge Vineyards is a family-owned winery located in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Founded in the late 1970s by Nils Venge, a pioneering winemaker and grape grower, the winery has a long-standing reputation for producing some of the finest wines in the region. Today, the Venge family continues to carry on Nils’ legacy by crafting exceptional wines that showcase the unique terroir of Napa Valley.

The Venge Vineyards Estate

The Venge Vineyard’s estate is situated on the eastern side of the valley, in the Oakville AVA (American Viticultural Area). The vineyards are planted on rocky, well-draining soils, with a south-easterly exposure that receives plenty of sunlight. This unique terroir is ideal for growing high-quality grapes, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery’s flagship varietal.

Sustainability and Quality

The Venge family is committed to sustainable farming practices, and their vineyards are certified by the Napa Green program, which recognizes vineyards that meet the highest standards for environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, and water conservation. This dedication to sustainability is reflected in the quality of the grapes grown at Venge Vineyards, which are hand-picked at optimal ripeness to ensure that the grapes are of the highest quality.

Castello di Amorosa

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4045 St. Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA – view on map – (707) 967-6272

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

The Castello di Amorosa is a stunning medieval-style castle located in the heart of Napa Valley. This incredible structure is a must-see for any wine lover or history buff visiting the area.

The Castello di Amorosa was built by Dario Sattui, a fourth-generation vintner and owner of the renowned V. Sattui Winery. Sattui’s passion for history and wine led him to create the castle, which took over 14 years to build and was completed in 2007. The castle was built using traditional medieval construction techniques and materials, such as hand-chiseled stone and authentic terra cotta tiles.

The Castello di Amorosa is an impressive sight to behold, with its towering walls and turrets. The castle is made up of four levels, each with its own unique features. The ground level is home to the wine-making facilities, including the fermentation room, barrel rooms, and bottling room. The second level features a grand hall, which is used for tastings and events. The third level is home to the castle’s living quarters, including a kitchen and bedrooms. The fourth level is a lookout tower, offering breathtaking views of Napa Valley.

The Castello di Amorosa produces a wide range of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more. All of the wines are made using grapes grown on the castle’s estate vineyards. Tasting the wines in the grand hall of the castle, surrounded by its medieval architecture, is a truly unique and memorable experience. Be sure to bring your camera!

Chateau Montelena

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1429 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA – view on map – (707) 942-5105

Specializing in – Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir

Chateau Montelena is a Napa Valley winery with a storied history. Founded in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs, the winery has been producing world-class wines for over a century. The winery’s most famous wine, the 1973 Chardonnay, famously won the “Judgment of Paris” blind taste test, putting Napa Valley and California wines on the map.

In 1976, a blind taste test was held in Paris, pitting California wines against their French counterparts. The event, known as the “Judgment of Paris,” would change the course of history for California wines. Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay won the white wine category, beating out some of the most famous French wines of the time. This event put California wines, and Chateau Montelena, on the map.

Today, Chateau Montelena continues to produce world-class wines. The winery’s portfolio includes Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Merlot. The winery is open to visitors for tastings and tours, allowing wine enthusiasts to experience the history and terroir of the Napa Valley.

Clos Pegase

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1060 Dunaweal Ln. Calistoga, CA 94515 – view on map – (707) 942-4981

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah

Located in the heart of Napa Valley, Clos Pegase is a winery with a rich history and a commitment to producing exceptional wines. Founded by Jan Shrem in 1984, the winery was named after the ancient Greek god of wine, Dionysus, and the mythical winged horse, Pegasus. The winery’s name translates to “enclosed by Pegasus,” and it’s a fitting name for a winery that has soared to the top of the Napa Valley wine scene.

Clos Pegase produces a wide variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery’s flagship wine is the Clos Pegase Mitsuko’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, named after Jan Shrem’s late wife. This wine is known for its rich, full-bodied flavor and long finish.

Other wines of note include the Clos Pegase Chardonnay, which is known for its buttery, tropical fruit flavors, and the Clos Pegase Pinot Noir, which is known for its delicate, nuanced flavor.

Clos Pegase is more than just a winery; it’s also a work of art. The winery’s architectural design is inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman ruins, and the tasting room is home to an impressive collection of modern art. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and the art collection, and then enjoy a tasting of the winery’s wines.

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Canard Vineyards

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1016 Dunaweal Ln, Calistoga – view on map – (707) 942-1149

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Rose, Zinfandel

Canard Vineyard is a small boutique, family-owned winery located in Calistoga. The vineyard’s focus is on producing high-quality, small-batch wines using traditional winemaking methods. They specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Rose varietals. The winery is not open to the public but they do offer wine tastings by appointment. They are known for their commitment to quality and sustainability in both vineyard and winery practices. Canard Vineyard is highly sought-after and is considered a boutique winery.

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Vincent Arroyo Winery

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2361 Greenwood Ave, Calistoga, CA – view on map – (707) 942-6995

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo

Vincent Arroyo Winery: Crafting Exceptional Calistoga and Napa Valley Wines

Vincent Arroyo Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located in the heart of Napa Valley. Founded in the late 1970s by Vincent Arroyo, the winery has built a reputation for producing high-quality, small-batch wines that reflect the unique terroir of the region.

The Vincent Arroyo Winery estate vineyard is located in the Calistoga AVA (American Viticultural Area) of Napa Valley. The vineyard is planted on a steep, east-facing hillside, which provides the grapes with optimal sun exposure and drainage. The soils in the vineyard are a mix of volcanic ash and clay, which give the wines a distinct minerality. The vineyard is sustainably farmed, with a focus on preserving the natural ecosystem and promoting biodiversity.

The Vincent Arroyo Winery tasting room is open to the public by appointment only. Tasting appointments include a tour of the estate vineyard and a seated tasting of the current release wines.

Sterling Vineyards

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1111 Dunaweal Ln, Calistoga, CA – view on map – (707) 726-6136

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Rose, Zinfandel, Blend Sparkling

Sterling Vineyards is a Napa Valley icon, known for its picturesque views and world-class wines. Founded in 1964, the winery has a rich history of producing exceptional wines that are enjoyed by wine lovers around the world. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, on a hilltop overlooking the valley below. The winery is situated on a terraced hillside, which allows for optimal grape growing conditions. The warm days and cool nights of Napa Valley provide the perfect climate for growing the grapes that are used to make Sterling’s delicious wines.

Sterling Vineyards produces a wide variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more. The winery is particularly renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon, which has won numerous awards and accolades.

Fun Fact: One of the unique aspects of Sterling Vineyards is its use of the “Sangiacomo” method of fermentation, which is a technique that allows the winery to produce wines with a distinct flavor profile. The method involves fermenting the grapes in small oak barrels, rather than in stainless steel tanks. This allows the grapes to develop a deeper, more complex flavor.

Schramsberg Vineyards

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1400 Schramsberg Rd. Calistoga, CA – view on map – (707) 942-4558

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Blend Sparkling

Schramsberg Vineyards is best known for its sparkling wines, but it also produces a small number of still wines. The winery’s flagship wine is the Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, a 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine that is aged for a minimum of four years. The wine has a complex aroma with notes of citrus, green apple, and toast and a creamy, rich palate.

Other sparkling wines produced by the winery include the Schramsberg Brut Rosé, made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, and the Schramsberg J. Schram, a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes aged for a minimum of ten years.

The winery also produces a small amount of still wine, including a Sauvignon Blanc and a red blend called the Schramsberg Mirabelle.

Frank Family Vineyards

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1091 Larkmead Ln, Calistoga, Ca – view on map – (800) 574-9463

Specializing in – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zinfandel

Frank Family Vineyards is a winery located in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Founded in 1992 by Rich Frank, a former president of Disney Studios, the winery has built a reputation for producing some of the finest wines in the region. With a focus on premium Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines, Frank Family Vineyards has become a must-visit destination for wine lovers from all over the world.

The history of Frank Family Vineyards begins with its founder, Rich Frank. After leaving his position at Disney Studios, Rich decided to pursue his passion for wine and purchased a historic property in Napa Valley. The property, which was originally a prune orchard, had been abandoned for many years and was in need of significant restoration. With the help of renowned winemaker Todd Graff, Rich set out to transform the property into a world-class winery.

Frank Family Vineyards is open to the public for tastings and tours. Tasting experiences include a guided tour of the winery’s historic property, followed by a seated tasting of the winery’s current release wines. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic lunch on the winery’s beautiful grounds.

Tank Garage Winery

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1020 Foothills Blvd., Calistoga, Ca – view on map – (707) 942-8265

Specializing in – Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose

Tank Garage Winery is a winery located in Calistoga, California, in the Napa Valley region. The winery specializes in small-batch, handcrafted wines made from grapes sourced from some of the best vineyards in Napa Valley. The winery’s portfolio includes a variety of wines made from different grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Sauvignon Blanc.

The winery is known for its unique tasting experience, which includes the opportunity to taste wine from a vintage gas pump. The winery’s tasting room is housed in a historic service station from the 1930s and has been restored to its original state, complete with vintage gas pumps, an old-fashioned service bay, and a collection of vintage cars. The tasting room is open daily and offers a variety of tastings, including a standard tasting and a special reserve tasting.

Tank Garage Winery also offers tours of the winery, which include a walk through the production facility and a chance to taste wine straight from the barrel. The winery also hosts events such as live music, food and wine pairings, and winemaker dinners.

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