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Sterling Vineyards, Calistoga

Wine Country/Santa Rosa, CA
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Sterling Vineyards, Calistoga, Wine Country/Santa Rosa California

Description

A day at Sterling Vineyards is a day you will remember your entire life! My son still talks about the wonderful day we spent there! This vineyard has it all (except cheese!) and is especially fun for kids, because of the aerial tram and the self-guided tour. You reach Sterling Vineyards via stunning Highway 29 which is bathed in sun. Dunaweel Rd leads you to Sterling's gorgeous driveway, lined perfectly with trees of the brightest green leaf. Alongside the trees are vines abundantly blessed with grapes (in late September). You take a swiss aerial tram up to the winery. It takes you high up over the valley and you can see other chateaus on the hillsides. It's a wonderful feeling! You have the tram to yourselves, since it seats only 4 people.
At the top, you are now in Sterling's Greek-inspired winery, with its architecture that mimics that found on the isle of Mykonos. While you walk the gorgeous, stream-lined, wood-floored rooms, flat screen TVs lead you on a self-guided tour. This is perfect if you're the kind of impatient person who doesn't like to get stuck in a tour group- or if you're with kids! You learn how wine is made, and you see the attractive barrels with the cool wet mist keeping them moist. The barrels are HUGE and particularly impressive to kids. My son cried out, "This is SO fun!" after I'd had to drag him out for the day!
Next, a panoramic lookout over the valley offers a balcony to relax on. They should have appetizers here- it's a wonderful spot that's wasted. The views are breath-taking.
Lastly, you reach the tasting room (which is included in the initial price). On a peaceful balcony with a perfect cool breeze (which you need in roasty Napa Valley) and views of pines and mountains, you sit at a little table and taste 5 delicious wines! Kids are given a Capri-Sun juice and a coloring paper with crayons. The only downer is that there's no cheeses or food, so your child ends up with an untempered sugar rush and you leave with a queasy wine-on-an-empty stomach feeling. It's all downhill from there! And literally, you take the tram down to where you began. Afterwards, drive over to Calistoga's main street, Lincoln Avenue to find something to eat...
While in Calistoga, take a stroll around pretty grounds and Jade Lake, at Montelena Chateau, just north on Highway 29.
Sterling Vineyards has a nice website which kids enjoy, where you can hear the bells ringing, and click on a button to see a tram go by.

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Photo Gallery

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Sterling's sparkling tree-lined driveway.
Sterling's sparkling tree-lined driveway.
An abundance of grapes on the vine, seen as you enter Sterling's driveway.
An abundance of grapes on the vine, seen as you enter Sterling's driveway.
Tram ride!
Tram ride!
Castle on a hill, as seen from aerial tram ride up to Sterling Winery.
Castle on a hill, as seen from aerial tram ride up to Sterling Winery.
Modern, stream-lined hallway and gorgeous, narrow doorway at Sterling Winery!
Modern, stream-lined hallway and gorgeous, narrow doorway at Sterling Winery!
Fermentation area- fun to smell!- part of your self-guided tour.
Fermentation area- fun to smell!- part of your self-guided tour.
The HUGE wine barrels, with mist-maker keeping them cool and moist. Very fun for kids to see!
The HUGE wine barrels, with mist-maker keeping them cool and moist. Very fun for kids to see!
View for miles, from the lookout patio.
View for miles, from the lookout patio.
Sunny place to sit, on the lookout patio- someone bring me appetizers!!!
Sunny place to sit, on the lookout patio- someone bring me appetizers!!!
Sterling's vibrant vineyards, as seen from the lookout patio.
Sterling's vibrant vineyards, as seen from the lookout patio.
Ready for my wine-tasting...the 2005 Oak Knoll Chardonnay was out of this world!
Ready for my wine-tasting...the 2005 Oak Knoll Chardonnay was out of this world!
 

Directions

1111 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga. Call (800) 726-6136. Cost for everything is $25 for adults, $10 for kids under 21 years old, free for kids under three years old. $5 off before noon with internet coupon.
Hours are 10:30am-5pm daily. Weekends they open at 10am.
From Highway 29, turn towards the mountains on Dunaweal Lane and the winery is on your right. There is no street sign for Dunaweal Lane if southbound, so look out for the large sign for Twomey Winery and turn there.
Highway 29 is very confusing in this area, and if you're not aware, you could get lost. Coming northbound, it's simple enough to get to Sterling Vineyards; however, to get to Calistoga town afterwards, you must turn right on Lincoln Ave (which is Highway 29 continued at a right angle) in order to stay on Highway 29.
From Highway 29 southbound, you must turn left after Calistoga town, in order to stay on Highway 29. Follow the signs when you get to Foothill Blvd. Then after you turn left, you will soon see the Twomey sign, where you turn left again to get to Sterling.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


JK
11/24/2010 10:58
the smoothest wine... ;)

Jerry
05/25/2010 16:14
Awesome......

Jen
10/09/2009 20:16
possibly enough grapes on show here to keep me busy for one afternoon? :0)

Jorge
10/09/2009 14:44
Es impresionante de ver, es de los sitios a los que merece la pena volver

Danette
10/06/2009 14:11
Great idea for everyone, including kids!!! :-)

Last Updated Thu, 12 Aug 2010 21:27:51 GMT