You’d be forgiven if you’d never heard of the Calistoga wine-producing region in the United States. But when we say that it’s in Napa Valley, it all fits into place why we’re saying that it’s a must-visit on your travel itinerary!
In this article, we give you a broad overview of what you can expect – wine wise – when you visit Calistoga. We take a look at how many wineries there are, what the largest and oldest wineries are as well as the different types of wine that you can expect to taste.
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How Many Wineries Are In Calistoga?
Calistoga is the best destination for oenophiles and novices. With more than 50 wineries perched on this prestigious spot at the top of the Napa Valley, guests are easily able to spend an entire trip exploring this one town.
You must expect to be smitten by Calistoga’s Old West charm and welcoming community spirit as you sample your way through notable wineries and tasting rooms. Tasting experiences go from boutique, family-owned wineries to sprawling, luxury estates and walkable, downtown tasting rooms.
What Is The Largest Winery In Calistoga?
Domaine Carneros is a remarkable Napa Valley winery that is best known as a small grower-producer of méthode traditionelle sparkling wine, a delicious Pinot Noir, estate vineyards and an extraordinarily beautiful château.
Established by the noble family behind Champagne Taittinger, Domaine Carneros was founded in 1987 when Claude Taittinger chose a 138-acre parcel in the very heart of Carneros, Napa Valley, wisely selecting Eileen Crane – frequently referred to as America’s doyenne of Sparkling Wine – to handle the expansion of the Taittinger style in Carneros.
In 2020, after a glorious 33 years, Crane passed the reins to a new CEO, Remi Cohen, whose role continues the Taittinger tradition of creative female leadership. Bringing in a new era of Domaine Carneros, Cohen brings 20 years of experience in all aspects of the wine industry to the château.
The heart of this outstanding example of Calistoga wineries has always been their méthode traditionelle sparkling wines. These have distinctive styles ranging from the classic vintage-dated Brut Cuvee to their luxury Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs. In 1992 they included rich, complex Pinot Noir to their portfolio and our passion for exceptional sparkling and still wines keeps on growing.
All of this Calistoga winery’s wines proudly hail from the Carneros appellation. One hundred percent of their fruit comes from our Domaine Carneros’ estate vineyards consisting of 400 acres. As anyone who has been driven between Napa and Sonoma will be able to tell you, the Domaine Carneros château is a breath-taking regional landmark. Join them for tableside service on the terrace or in the salon and savour the spirit of the Northern California wine country.
Reservations for tasting are required and can be booked from 10am every day with the last reservation at 5pm.
What Is The Oldest Winery In Calistoga?
In the late 1800s, Charles Krug, the visionary father of wineries near Calistoga, established the wine estate which started it all. The Mondavi Family bought this already iconic estate in 1943. For over 75 years, and four generations later, they have been ardently perfecting Charles Krug’s enduring legacy for those generations still to come.
This is one of the absolute best wineries in Calistoga and their range of wines include the following:
- Their core foundation wines are made from pristine fruit, sustainably grown on family estates all throughout Napa Valley’s most prized wine-growing country.
- Charles Krug’s limited production reserve tier includes a number of small-lot, single-vineyard wines which are only available through this Calistoga winery. These prominent expressions of Napa Valley terroir fully display winemaker Stacy Clark’s intimate, block-by-block knowledge of the family estates.
- One of their most well-known and critically praised wines, Generations is a classic Bordeaux-style red blend, which plays homage to the Mondavi Family’s 75 years winemaking legacy at Charles Krug.
From signature events like the Napa Valley Film Festival and Tastings on the Lawn to concerts and comedy nights, this gem of Calistoga wineries is home to a myriad of memorable happenings throughout the year.
Book an estate tasting for $45 and taste a variety of their Limited Release wines. Most of these are available only through the winery. The selection ranges from Charles Krug’s prized Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc to a variety of luscious, small-lot Cabernets. This tasting lasts for approximately 60 minutes and accommodates parties of up to 12 people.
What Wine Is Calistoga Known For?
Calistoga is known for big red wines. In this wine-producing region, the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal is king. The wines are usually full-bodied, rich in colour and texture with notes of coffee, vanilla and oak.
Zinfandel is a close contender and is also produced on a large scale in the same, full-bodied style. They are accompanied by Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. The few white wines made here are based on Sauvignon Blanc and, of course, Chardonnay.
Here is a little more information about some of the various wines that Calistoga wineries produce.
Most notably grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style but often produced into a bright, medium-bodied, peppery single varietal with aromas of tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis and violets.
Initially, Petite Sirah was found growing in France in the mid-1800s. It’s beloved for its extraordinary deep colour and full-bodied flavours of blueberry, chocolate, plums and black pepper.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape varietal that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The Sauvignon Blanc grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage (which translates as “wild” and blanc (which translates as “white”) owing to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. It is possibly a descendant of Savagnin.
These are our top wineries to look out for when visiting Calistoga as well as what wine varietals you can expect to sample. If you’re an avid wine lover who likes to sample wines across a broad spectrum, then this region is for you!