After enjoying Calistoga’s charming downtown, at the east end of Lincoln Avenue you should head north on Highway 29 to discover a selection of Calistoga AVA’s distinctive family-owned wineries. From the valley floor you’ll end up at over 1,000 feet elevation along the steep slopes of Mount St. Helena in scenic Jericho Canyon, enjoying wines from one of the most unique mountain growing areas in Napa Valley.
The northeast Calistoga AVA tasting tour starts just a few miles outside of town at Vincent Arroyo Family Winery, which is just off Highway 29 on Greenwood Avenue. Because their wines are only sold direct – at the winery or online – Vincent Arroyo provides a warm, traditional wine country experience for visitors. The Arroyo family offers a full menu of wines, led by its flagship Petite Sirah. The Zinfandel and Bordeaux blends are also highly coveted as is their one white wine – a Chardonnay. This is rustic, rural Napa Valley at its finest.
Directly across Greenwood Avenue, Kaiser Family Winery offers tastings at the Otra Vez Winery. Kaiser Family has been producing three estate wines since 2013: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Sauvignon Blanc – all three have won numerous awards in recent years. The Kaisers also produce Zin and other wines when quality grapes are available. As with many Calistoga wineries, the tastings are often hosted by a Kaiser family member, sharing their personal experiences with every wine.
Head east again on Greenwood and then north on Highway 29, and look for Old Lawley Toll Road. Amici Cellars, a short ride up Old Lawley, offers visitors a chance to taste its flagship Cabernet along with single-vineyard bottlings from many of Napa Valley’s most coveted vineyards. The spectacular views add to the very personalized and relaxed tasting experience. Amici’s high-quality wines are crafted to enjoy every day and can be set aside for aging.
Further up scenic Old Lawley Toll Road is the appropriately named Jericho Canyon Vineyard, where you will gain appreciation for quality Cab, Bordeaux-blends and Sauvignon Blanc made from steep hillside vineyards. Hand-crafted in small lots, the wine is blended to create a full-bodied, complex wine with well-balanced tannins – ideal for immediate enjoyment or placed in a cellar. A tasting at Jericho Canyon Vineyard offers a true wine country experience – sipping noteworthy wines surrounded by stunning views of vineyards, caves and rustic charm.
All the wineries are by appointment only, requiring a tasting reservation. For details:
Vincent Arroyo Family Winery
Kaiser Family Winery
Jericho Canyon Vineyard