Calistoga wine tours… from world class wine to underground hot springs. With daytime summer temperatures reaching 100 °F, Calistoga gives its grapes plenty of sun to soak up—but as night falls, cold breezes from the neighboring Russian River Valley plunge the thermometer down again, giving Calistoga the most dramatic temperature variations in the Napa Valley. These highs and lows may confuse your wardrobe choices, but they give winemakers plenty to smile about.
Full-bodied red wine grapes flourish with the sun beating down, and take on extraordinary color and depth of flavor. When temperatures drop in the evening (sometimes by as much as 60 degrees), so do the sugar levels in the grapes. This nightly quick-chill helps the grapes retain acidity and structure with a ripe complexity of fruit flavor.
Temperatures aren’t the only reason the Calistoga region is an exciting stop for wine country explorers. Unlike the rest of Napa Valley, where soil types can vary substantially even in a single AVA, Calistoga is made up almost entirely of volcanic soils. You can see this difference in the numerous geysers and natural hot springs, as well as the unusual vegetation that thrives in the area’s mineral-rich soils.
Video from Calistoga Chamber of Commerce
Calistoga was officially designated as an American Viticultural Area only 5 years ago, and in part because of its youthful status, this AVA offers exciting variety for red wine lovers. Besides the ample selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, you can find delightful Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Syrah.
The historic spa town of Calistoga is also a great place for visitors to explore California’s frontier history. The area’s underground hot springs made it a celebrated resort town for the rich and famous of the late 19th Century, and natural mud baths and spa treatments still draw crowds today. After a meal in one of the several excellent local restaurants, visitors can stroll the Wild West-looking main street, admire beautifully restored Victorian homes in the Pioneer Park neighborhood, or check out the excellent Sharpsteen Museum of Calistoga History. For lovers of red wine, hot springs and history, Calistoga is a tough town to beat.