A growing number of Napa Valley’s most exclusive wines are from Calistoga wineries. Best known for its hot springs, spas and luxury resorts, Calistoga is the northernmost town in the Napa Valley and is blessed with weather conditions that are perfect for grape growing – warm daytime temperatures followed by cool nights, along with well-drained volcanic soils. Thanks to these perfect conditions, and the hard work of the grape growers, Calistoga wineries are producing some of the most extraordinary wines in the Napa Valley.
Acquiring a bottle of exceptional Calistoga wine can require some effort – and patience. The most exclusive wines are limited in production, and for the most part, sold only to members on their mailing list – and a few of those mailing lists have wait lists. If you’re a wine lover with a sophisticated palate, I recommend you check out six of the most highly acclaimed Calistoga wineries:
Aubert specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Owners Mark and Teresa Aubert founded the winery during the late 1990s. Mark, a native of St. Helena, is a career winemaker with a deeply rooted passion for farming and growing grapes. Mark crafts his Aubert wines to speak to a variety of wine lovers with one thing in common – selective palates that expect nothing but the best. Production is limited and the wines are sold mainly to an exclusive mailing list and a few select restaurants.
Famous for winning the historic “Judgment of Paris” for its 1973 Chardonnay, Chateau Montelena brought worldwide attention to Napa Valley and helped spur the growth of wineries throughout California. This picturesque winery in Calistoga is a must for wine lovers seeking excellence. The setting is one of the most unique and beautiful in the Napa Valley – a stone castle carved into a hillside, resembling an English Gothic castle gatehouse.
Checkerboard Vineyards – Diamond Mountain appellation
The Checkerboard Vineyards estate includes a winery, 20,000 square foot cave and four vineyard blocks totaling 28 acres, joined by a two and a half mile drive spanning the valley floor to the top of the ridge at Diamond Mountain. Eight custom Taransaud French Oak Upright Casks are used to create numerous, small lots of wine from micro-harvests of each vineyard. Winemaker Martha McClellan has directed the winemaking and winegrowing programs since the first vintage in 2006.
CONSTANT Diamond Mountain Winery – Diamond Mountain appellation
CONSTANT Diamond Mountain winery, a property I sold in August 2016, may be the highest (2121’), oldest (1895) vineyard, and smallest winery in Napa Valley. Their location at the top of the Diamond Mountain appellation is stunningly beautiful, with 38 acres of vineyards and is, arguably, one of the best places in the world to grow Bordeaux varietals. CONSTANT produces a limited supply of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Claret and Syrah from its mountain estate exclusively for mailing list members and visitors
Known for extraordinary sparkling wines, Schramsberg is located in the Diamond Mountain AVA. Schramsberg was named “Winery of the Year 2017,” by the Connoisseurs’ Guide to CA Wine. Owners Jack and Jamie Davies restored the Schramsberg estate in 1965 with the lofty goal of producing “America’s most prestigious, select and admired sparkling wine.” Their Blanc de Blancs was used for President Nixon’s 1972 “Toast to Peace” with China’s Premier Zhou Enlai. Schramsberg has been served at official State functions by every Presidential administration since.
Switchback Ridge produces handcrafted estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. The rich, rocky soils of this beautiful vineyard site consistently produce low yields of intensely flavored fruit, resulting in extremely concentrated, fruit-driven wines. Talented winemaker Bob Foley has been making the wines since Switchback Ridge’s first vintage in 1999.
If you’re interested in Calistoga wineries and Napa Valley vineyard properties, I have access to some extraordinary properties that are not on the open market and would be delighted to help you find your dream wine country property. You can reach me at 707-738-4820 or [email protected].