The Calistoga AVA is home to more than 50 wineries and dozens of growers. Most wineries are family-owned – a mix of boutique and larger operations. The warm and welcoming charm of Calistoga make its wine experience authentically and uniquely wine country, as there’s no shortage of character. The charming maverick style of the Calistoga AVA places it among today’s few remaining slices of Americana.
The Calistoga Winegrowers were established in 2015. Its membership includes an overwhelming number of the local wineries and growers. The mission of the Calistoga Winegrowers is to promote and protect the past, present and future of grape growing and winemaking in the Calistoga AVA. We hope to do this by celebrating the history of Calistoga and raising awareness of this special place through educational and marketing programs that are both inclusive and fun.
2020 Board of Directors
Larry Arnoff, Co-President, Jack Brooks Vineyard
Seth Gersch, Co-President, Hindsight Vineyards
Barr Smith, Secretary, Barlow Vineyards
George Blanckensee, Chateau Montelena Winery
Carolyn Czapleski, Canard Vineyard
Colleen Sepps-Williams, Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Robert Bragg, Bragg Vineyards
Felicia Woytak, Palisades Vineyard
Rick Kaiser, Kaiser Family Winery
Kelly Peterson-Holmes, Switchback Ridge
Chris Grossman, Chateau Montelena Winery
Calistoga’s colorful personality is a reflection of its history. The geothermal waters that bubble to the earth’s surface here are rich in magnesium and calcium, which first attracted the Native Americans who gathered here for detoxification and purification.
The volcanic soils and long growing season attracted those who preferred wine to water, starting as early as 1862. In the early 1870s, Sam Brannan arrived. His vision was to turn the waters into a world-class spa destination to be known as the “Saratoga (NY) of California.” But after imbibing a bit too much brandy at a dinner party, he misspoke, proclaiming the area the “Calistoga of Sarafornia”.
The name stuck, as the town was incorporated in 1886 as Calistoga. Since then, other intrepid souls have followed in the footsteps of these early settlers to make world-class wines in this jewel of a misnamed place located at the top of Napa Valley. In 2009, Calistoga’s special geology, geography and climate earned it the status as its own sub-appellation within the Napa Valley.