Calistoga summers are defined by warm days (thanks to its location at the top of the Napa Valley) and cool nights (thanks to the Russian River). Its climate makes Calistoga a premier wine growing region, where cabernet sauvignon grapes, in particular, ripen to a winemaker’s delight in producing award-winning sips. In fact, according to the Calistoga Wine Growers, “the Calistoga AVA is the most geologically uniform of all the areas in Napa Valley.”
Sauvignon blanc, also known as the “all season grape”, produces a straw-colored, citrus-zesty wine that doesn’t require oak fermentation. One might consider it the little white dress of wines. Calistoga has plenty of options for tasting of this varietal that pairs brilliantly with chilled summer soups or winter’s Dungeness crab dishes.
Although “Cab is King” in the Napa Valley, here are 18 wineries where you’ll find the cool, refreshing taste of sauvignon blanc, perfect for enjoying at one of the Calistoga Concerts in the Park, on your private hotel balcony, or in your own backyard:
- Amici Cellars: This family-owned winery features small production and picturesque views where you can enjoy a tasting of sauvignon blanc.
- 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.
- Chateau Montelena: Famous for winning the Judement of Paris competition in 1976 with its chardonnay, Chateau Montelena is still the pinnacle wine country experience. During summer, the sun sparkles on Jade Lake and the beauty only enhances the light and refreshing taste of sauvignon blanc.
- Clos Pegase Winery: Known for its spectacular modern architecture and drought-resistant heritage garden, Clos Pegase is the perfect location to experience a warm, summer day and a cool glass of sauvignon blanc.
- Davis Estates: Luxury blends seamlessly with the laid back, rustic vibe at Davis Estates, where you’ll find both a landmark windmill and an exclusive tasting room for VIP wine club members – and the door may only be unlocked via your hand print!
- Envy Wines: This casual tasting room on the famous Tubbs Lane offers a reserve sauvignon blanc described as having a “lovely, full finish.”
- Jericho Canyon Vineyard: A luxurious property tucked away on Old Lawley Toll Road, just minutes from downtown Calistoga. Buckle up for an adventurous Polaris ride through the hillside vineyards, followed by a tasting in the wine cave.
- Joseph Cellars: Cool off during the heat of Calistoga summer with a classic and cool wine cave tour and tasting while touring the winery’s in-house crush facility.
- Kenefick Ranch Winery: You can taste Kenefick Ranch wines, including its light, refreshing sauvignon blanc, at nearby Fairwinds Estate Winery.
- Larkmead Vineyards: With its winemaker recently named San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year, Larkmead Vineyards should always be at top of mind when looking for high quality wines, including its lovely sauvignon blanc.
- Olabisi Wines: The downtown tasting room of Olabisi Wines offers a comfortable, stylish atmosphere to relax, perhaps listen to a little music and sip on delicious sauvignon blanc.
- Phifer Pavitt Winery: You might pass by this small winery tucked along the famous Silverado Trail, but once you have the inside scoop, you’ll be a fan for life! With a fabulously decorated tasting room and even more fabulous wines, Phifer Pavitt is a winery you’ll want to know.
- Picayune Cellars & Mercantile: This charming downtown tasting room features a beautiful mercantile, relaxing patio and delicious wines crafted by French winemaker, Claire Weinkauf.
- Romeo Vineyards & Cellars: This beautiful, historic tasting room is set among a small grove of redwood trees in downtown Calistoga. Romeo Vineyards is open a little later than many wineries and is the perfect spot to unwind at the end of a full day of wine tasting.
- 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 sauvignon blanc paired with one of the best views in the Napa Valley.
- Tedeschi Family Winery: Nestled in the heart of Calistoga, experience a private estate tour and tasting at Tedeschi Family Winery. In addition to their typical flight, you’ll also find a nice late harvest sauvignon blanc to enjoy.
- The GRADE Cellars: Open by appointment only, this lovely downtown tasting room is well worth a phone call to plan your visit. Located in an historic Craftsman home known as “The Library”, you’ll taste unique wines such as “SEA-FOG” sauvignon blanc.
- Tom Eddy Winery: This beautiful winery straddles the Napa-Sonoma County border, where Tom Eddy Winery offers a unique sauvignon blanc made with grapes that hail from New Zealand.
Bonus! Many wineries experiment with new and different varietals every year, so with each new vintage comes new producers of sauvignon blanc. Here are a few more to tempt your palate:
- Hans Fahden Winery: This beautiful property sits at the very top of the Calistoga grade, neighboring the famous Petrified Forest. Best known for their wine cave and Monet garden, Hans Fahden also produces a lovely sauvignon blanc.
- Huge Bear Wines: With estate vineyards located in Knights Valley, just to the north of Calistoga and just to the south of the Russian River, Huge Bear Wines is known for their quirky, history-oriented downtown tasting room.
- Tamber Bey Vineyards: This winery on Tubbs Lane is where you’ll revel in panoramic views of northern Calistoga, including Mt. Saint Helena and the Palisades, and a view of the owners’ endurance horses stabled on the property.
- Twomey Cellars: The Calistoga Twomey tasting room is a classic Wine Country experience with white clapboard buildings and a delicious sauvignon blanc made with grapes from both Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
- 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.
- W.H. Smith Wines: This relaxed downtown tasting room offers a yummy sauvignon blanc in an easy, accessible location on Lincoln Avenue.