Zinfandel has become a surprisingly rare grape in the Napa Valley, despite its standing as a favorite varietal to many wine connoisseurs. Though many “Old Vine Zin” vineyards have been pulled up in the last few decades and replaced with the more ubiquitous Napa Valley cabernet, there are still a number of wineries in Calistoga where you will find this bold, delicious wine.
- August Briggs Winery: This classic downtown tasting room has a brand new wine terrace where you can enjoy a picnic lunch and a flight of unusual varietals, including zinfandel.
- Brian Arden Winery: One of the newest wineries in Calistoga, Brian Arden Winery offers a spectacular view of the Palisades Mountains as well as delicious wines handcrafted by a father and son team.
- Canard Vineyards: Wines by Canard Vineyards, which include a “balanced and incredibly elegant” zinfandel, as well as a reserve zinfandel, are available to taste at Fairwinds Estate Winery.
- Castello di Amorosa: The fairytale castle of the Napa Valley, Castello di Amorosa is best known for Italian varietals and an over-the-top, dramatic setting. You’ll fall in amore with their “Zingaro” old vine zinfandel.
- Chateau Montelena: Famous for winning the Judgement of Paris competition in 1976 with its chardonnay, Chateau Montelena also makes high quality cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and other red wines.
- Joseph Cellars: Indulge in a classic wine cave tour and tasting, which includes a look at the winery’s in-house crush facility.
- Laura Michael Wines: Laura Michael Wines is one of the few wineries still growing estate old vine zinfandel grapes in Calistoga. The vines were planted in 1980 and the husband and wife owners are passionate about preserving the vine’s history.
- Summers Estate Wines: A beautiful property to enjoy “classic Napa style sit-down tastings”, Summers Estate is perfectly situated for both mountain and vineyard views.
- Sterling Vineyards: A Calistoga classic, Sterling Vineyards is located on top of a small hill in the center of the valley. Its aerial tram will transport you to the top, where you can enjoy a glass of zinfandel paired with one of the best views in the Napa Valley.
- T-Vine Winery: With a tasting room bordered on two sides by vineyards and decorated with grapevines, wine barrels and an industrial chic edginess, T-Vine Winery is the perfect location to enjoy one spectacular single varietal wine after another, including zinfandel.
- Tofanelli Wines: An unassuming brand with major star quality, Tofanelli Wines are available by appointment for tasting at Joseph Cellars.
- Vermeil Wines: This downtown tasting room is owned by NFL Coach Dick Vermeil, who grew up in the area. If you’re a sports fan, this is the spot to stop! Luckily, they make excellent wine as well.
- Vincent Arroyo Winery: One of the oldest wineries in Calistoga, Vincent Arroyo Winery is perhaps the quintessential Napa Valley experience with its rolling vineyards and family atmosphere – not to mention, delicious zinfandels.
Zinfandel still thrives in Calistoga and, as listed above, there are a vast variety of wineries from which to choose. Whether you are looking for an impressive view, a boutique, family-owned winery, some walk-able downtown tasting rooms or simply interested in finding the best zinfandel in the area, Calistoga has an experience awaiting.
Bonus! Many wineries experiment with new and different varietals every year, so here are a few more zinfandel producers to tempt your palate:
- Girard Winery: Brand new to Calistoga, Girard Winery is a beautiful property on Dunaweal Lane, featuring state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, panoramic views of the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains and spectacular wine.
- Madrigal Family Winery: A family-owned winery run by the founder’s grandson, Madrigal Family Winery is known for its hospitality, exquisite vineyard views and quality wines.
- von Strasser Family of Wines: The Lava Vine brand produces a delicious zinfandel that you can taste at the winery’s laidback tasting room on the Silverado Trail.