Napa Valley: Articles on California's Napa Valley Wine Region

Silver Rose Cellars

The Vibe: 

Since purchasing the property in 1985, the Dumont family has been transforming the Silver Rose into a high-end getaway destination.  The winery opened in 2000, and is ranked in the American Gold Medal Wine Guide.  The tasting room is attached to a luxury bed & breakfast resort with 24 rooms, and a full spa.  Silver Rose offers visitors anything from a walk-in tasting (10am-5pm daily) to a complete vacation package.

The decor boasts a collection of over 100 football helmets, dating back to the 1920s.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Spa facility
  • Lodging
  • Football memorabilia
  • Wedding hosting, or large group events
  • Not good for: 
  • Dining
  • Top-shelf wines
  • Known For: 
    Merlot
    Pictures: 

    Location

    400 Silverado Trail
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 34' 59.5128" N, 122° 33' 56.2788" W
    Phone Number: 
    8009959381

    Sterling Vineyards

    The Vibe: 

    Sterling Vineyards has an excitement and energy unlike any other winery. Visitors travel from the arrival point to the tasting room via aerial tram, lending to it's "amusement park for adults" atmosphere.

    The spectacular panoramic view along the ride prepares you for a classic Napa experience, with a few modern perks. You can mosey through art galleries sipping a glass of wine or learn about the winemaking process on TV while strolling elevated walkways lined with motion-activated flat-screen televisions.

    This allows you to experience Sterling your way, at your pace. You won't need to worry about getting lost in the shuffle of a large group, or adhering to a strict schedule. If you're more inclined to kick back, you'll enjoy relaxing on the Sterling View Terrace, or, in the winter months, curling up next to the huge fireplace place in the main tasting room.

    Regardless of what time you arrive, you'll hear the rich toll of historic church bells at least once. Sterling's towers house eight bells from London's Church of St. Dunstans-in-the-East. They've been recast many times since the 10th century, but they still evoke a sense of reverence with their superior tonal quality.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 

    -Aerial pram rides
    -Seeing tons of weekend visitors
    -Leisurely, self-guided tours

    Not good for: 

    -Dogs
    -Family oriented events
    -Hosting events

    Known For: 
    Aerial Pram
    Pictures: 

    Location

    1111 Dunaweal Lane
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 34' 12.6012" N, 122° 33' 17.3196" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079423344

    On The Edge Winery

    The Vibe: 

    Legendary football coach Dick Vermeil runs On The Edge Winery, now known as Vermeil Winery--but it isn't just another celebrity-owned establishment just for the sake of publicity. Coach Vermeill grew up in Napa Valley and brings knowledge and passion to his partnership with On the Edge founder, Paul Smith.

    The tasting room just reopened in September 2009, after undergoing renovations. If you're looking for a relaxed tasting experience, with the potential to run into an athlete or two, Vermeil Winery is the spot for you.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 

    -Celebrity wineries

    -Events

    Known For: 
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Pictures: 

    Location

    1255 Lincoln Avenue
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 34' 36.9408" N, 122° 34' 47.0928" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079635926

    Hans Fahden Vineyards

    The Vibe: 

    Hans Fahden vineyard is a 100-acre winery located on a mountain ridge in Calistoga, and boasting a scenic view of Mt. St. Helena.  The winery produces small-batch cabernet sauvignon, with just 2,500 cases per year.  The grounds include a variety of buildings and rooms, ranging from a volcanic ash cave where the owners host candlelit dinners for private groups to a wisteria-drenched teahouse.  The outdoor garden has a romantic aesthetic, complete with wildflowers and a bridge over a koi pond.  Tastings and catering are available by appointment only.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Wedding or event hosting
  • Romantic setting
  • Scenic natural panoramas
  • Not good for: 
  • Wide selection of wines
  • Budget travelers
  • Drop-in visitors
  • Known For: 
    cabernet sauvignon
    Pictures: 

    Location

    4855 Petrified Forest Rd
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 33' 34.488" N, 122° 37' 57.9972" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079426760

    Graeser Winery

    The Vibe: 

    Nestled in the mountains high above Calistoga on Petrified Road, Graeser Winery harks to a simpler time. While traveling up the wooded road, flanked with redwood trees, you’ll feel relaxed and prepared for a journey off the beaten path.

    The house, barns and other structures, built in 1888, exude old-world charm. The founder and original owner, Dr. Richard Beverly Cole, named the winery “La Perlita del Monte” because he felt it was truly “a little pearl in the mountain.”

    French oak barrels line the barn, surrounded by draping vines that bear world-class grapes. Much of the vineyard grows Cabernet Sauvignon, while other acres yield Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    If you choose to take a vineyard hike along the estate’s 10 acres for $35, you’ll become even more immersed in the beauty of Calistoga. But you don't need take a tour to enjoy the owner's hospitality. Richard's always happy to share stories about the vineyard's history, and even pose for pictures.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 
    • Picnics (dogs/kids)
    • Group tours
    • History buffs
    • Bordeaux blends
    Not good for: 
    • Fancy architecture
    • Spectacular views
    Known For: 
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Pictures: 

    Location

    255 Petrified Forest Rd.
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 34' 41.9124" N, 122° 37' 3.8064" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079424437

    Frank Family Vineyards

     

     

    The Vibe: 

    If you’re interested in visiting a historic winery with a charming, rustic ambience, Frank Family Vineyards is the spot for you. First constructed in 1884 as Larkmead Winery—the the 3rd oldest in Napa—the stately building was refinished with native sandstone in 1906.

    While touring the property, you’ll hear stories from the winery’s rich history and experience the jovial energy you’d expect in a vineyard touched by the magic of Disney. That’s right—owner Rich Frank, a former Disney executive, takes great pride in creating an educational experience in a friendly, unpretentious atmosphere.

    In 2008, Wine Enthusiast magazine included the tasting room on their list of the country’s top 25. With a quaint feel and a broad spectrum of varietals, it lives up to the hype. Outside the tasting room, visitors can kick back under the shade of giant elm tree or relax around a wooden picnic table enjoying the vineyard views.

    Still wines are the main focus in the tasting room, though California sparkling wines produced in the French method champenoise are equally popular

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 
    • Good sparkling wine
    • Endless varietals
    • Large tours
    • Picnics and family events
    • Affordability
    Not good for: 
    • Weddings
    • Free tastings (offered here in the past)
    Known For: 
    Cabernet Sauvignon

    Location

    1091 Larkmead Lane
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 33' 37.2888" N, 122° 31' 20.0748" W
    Phone Number: 
    8005749463

    Envy Wines

    The Vibe: 

    Drinking a glass of wine on Envy's patio might feel like relaxing in your own backyard--it's just that cozy and intimate. As a small, indepent winery, Envy provides a personalized experience in a laid-back environment, not to mention a nice escape from the congestion along highway 29.

    Even if you attend on a more crowded day, you'll still be greeted by friendly staff members who are eager to share their knowledge. Considering the reasonable pricing and excellent quality wines, Envy is a great spot for a casual wine tasting experience.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 

    -A casual setting
    -The opportunity to help at harvest

     

    Not good for: 

    -families
    -hosting events
    -art buffs
    -history buffs
    -dogs
    -views

    Pictures: 

    Location

    1170 Tubbs Lane
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 35' 29.1408" N, 122° 36' 18.0432" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079424670

    Clos Pegase Winery

    The Vibe: 

    Clos Pegase offers a variety of tastings from 10:30am-5pm, and free guided tours at 11:30am and 2pm daily (no appointment needed).  The art and architecture are inspired by and themed around the Greek mythological figures including Pegasus and Dionysus.  There are sculptures throughout the estate, and the gallery of paintings houses a variety of masterworks by artists including Degas and Bacon.  The emphasis is on modern art, but there are classical statues as well.

    The scenic picnic tables adjacent to the vineyards are open for brown-bag lunches, or you can purchase gourmet comestibles at the winery visitors' center.  The winery hosts private events in the "Cave Theatre," a space in the underground Clos Pegase caves where groups can book a catered dinner or party.

    The winery produces a spectrum of white and red varietals including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and several others.  Each year, the estate bottles "Hommage" reserve lines of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the labels of which feature works of art from the winery's gallery.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Art and architecture
  • Drop-in tastings and tours
  • Grand or impressive atmosphere
  • Picnics
  • Not good for: 
  • Food pairings
  • A small, family-oriented winery experience
  • Known For: 
    cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay
    Pictures: 

    Location

    1060 Dunaweal Lane
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 34' 18.7428" N, 122° 33' 15.4692" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079424981

    Chateau Montelena Winery

    The Vibe: 

    Chateau Montelena is, quite literally, a chateau-- the winery is set in a stone castle carved into a hillside that overlooks a Chinese-style garden, a swan-dotted man-made lake, and vineyards reaching out to the base of Mt. St. Helena.  This well-known winery first became famous in 1976, for putting Napa Valley wines on the map by beating out a number of established French wineries for top honors in an international Chardonnay blind tasting competition, as shown in the film "Bottle Shock."

    Between the castle's several tasting rooms, visitors can choose from a variety of daily tastings.  Offerings include a basic "Current Release" tasting for $20, which includes a variety of the wineries' current releases, and is held on a drop-in basis on the chateau's top floor between 9:30am and 4pm daily.  With advance booking, visitors can opt for the more extensive 45-minute "Library" tasting, which is set in the winery's intimate library room, includes numerous options from the vineyard's cellars, and is limited to groups of 6 or less.

    Montelena wine club members have exclusive access to two picnic islands on the winery's scenic Jade Lake, as well as receiving discounted bottle prices, and complimentary tasting priviledges.

    The winery is run with eco-conscious methods, including cutting-edge water management practices.  Since 2007, the estate has been 100% solar-powered.

    Note: the tasting room can become quite crowded, so visitors seeking a peaceful experience would do well to opt for a Library tasting or plan to arrive at an off-peak time of the day or week.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Scenic views and setting
  • Drop-in tasting
  • High-end wines
  • Eco-friendly estate
  • Not good for: 
  • Budget travel
  • Food pairings or dining
  • Weddings or private events
  • Known For: 
    chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon
    Pictures: 

    Location

    1429 Tubbs Ln.
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 36' 7.4772" N, 122° 35' 51.3132" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079425105

    Calistoga Cellars

    The Vibe: 

    This intimate specialty wine shop on Lincoln Avenue in the heart of Calistoga's downtown offers drop-in tastings (the $10 fee is waived with bottle purchase) Thurs-Mon 12-5, and Fri-Sat 12-6.  The shop is associated with boutique winemakers Calistoga Cellars, who focus on select Napa Valley varietals, and discounts and special deals on bottles frequently abound.  Cheese pairings are sometimes available on weekend afternoons, so check the website to find out if you can expect that during your visit. The courtyard is available for small group events.

    Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Convenient downtown location, walking distance from hotels and restaurants
  • Affordable prices on Napa Valley varietals
  • Friendly customer service
  • Not good for: 
  • Tours of winemaking facilities
  • Gardens
  • Scenic country views or vistas
  • Known For: 
    cabernet sauvignon
    Pictures: 

    Location

    1371 Lincoln Avenue
    Calistoga, CA 94515
    United States
    38° 34' 41.754" N, 122° 34' 44.7636" W
    Phone Number: 
    7079427422
    Syndicate content