Relax, you are in Calistoga! Calistoga is a small town at the far north of the legendary Napa Valley. This cute town is called the “Crown of Napa Valley”. They are known for their many hot springs, world-class wines, and relaxed charm. Calistoga has some truly incredible wines, including their famous Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. We visited Calistoga in December 2020, and the weather was sunny all weekend long! The town is all decorated for Christmas and currently remains open to welcome you for a weekend getaway!!
We stayed at a charming hotel called The Bergson for the weekend. We had a lovely time relaxing at this boutique hotel with our baby Noah! The location is perfect for those who like being close to wineries, tasting rooms, restaurants, and shopping in downtown Calistoga. For us, with a baby in a stroller, being able to walk everywhere was a life saver! They also offer a continental breakfast with plenty of coffee all day if needed.
Our first stop of the day was at Romeo Vineyards & Cellars for a very interesting and different experience with mulled wine & gingerbread cookies. They also have an extensive list of more typical wines, but we wanted to try the mulled wine, which is a favorite of the Royal Family and now we know why! Mulled wine is served warm and strong with lots of Christmassy spices, which makes it perfect for cold winter days during the holiday season!! Romeo is located on Lincoln Ave in the heart of downtown Calistoga.
Next up was Lawer Estates, which is family-owned with small production. The tasting room is also on Lincoln Ave in downtown Calistoga. Lawer offers a diverse range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Petite Sirah. Oh, can’t forget to mention the bubbles!! Lawer produces stunningly delicious sparkling wine, and my favorite was their outstanding Brut Rose which comes at a very reasonable price point of only $25 dollars for a bottle. Lawer also has the cutest tasting room, excellent hospitality, and all the wines are absolutely fabulous!
Evangeline is a French Bistro also located in downtown Calistoga, so we walked there from our hotel on Saturday evening for dinner. I highly recommend making a reservation because they are always busy due to the restaurant’s ambiance and food that is super delish and fresh! We ordered the crab rolls, tuna tartare, and fried Brussels sprouts to start. The main dish was crispy pork shoulder and their special for the night; smoked brisket. We also shared a creme brulee because you have to save room for something sweet to cap off the meal. What a delightful dinner and dessert!!
So, as you might know, Calistoga has many wineries which makes it hard to decide where to go for a tasting. Every year, Calistoga has an event called Winter in the Wineries (click here to check details for the wine passport) which features 15 different wineries. You will have access the best tastings in and around Calistoga from December 5th, 2020 through April 1st, 2021. For $60 per person, you will receive complimentary wine tastings at all participating wineries, complimentary corkage at participating restaurants, as well as discounts at Calistoga lodging, spas, and shops. The Passport is valued at over $400 in wine tastings alone! If you plan to be in Calistoga during this time, this is a deal that simply can’t be passed up!!
We visited a hidden gem near Calistoga called Hans Fahden Vineyards and we absolutely loved everything about the winery. They are participating in the Winter in the Wineries Passport and offer several wines including Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, etc. Ah, can’t forget to mention their stunning wine cave that blew my mind!!
Of course we couldn’t possibly go home without enjoying breakfast at Cafe Sarafornia! This is the go-to spot for breakfast/brunch or lunch in Calistoga. This place is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. “We’re not a food destination, we are a Comfort destination,” they say!!
We had an absolutely lovely time in Calistoga and our weekend gateway was perfect for celebrating our baby Noah’s 8-month birthday! We are tremendously grateful for all that Napa Valley has to offer!!
Isabel Freeman from Napavalleytip