Thursday, January 3, 2019

Life is Sweet in Napa Valley with Calistoga

Life is Sweet in Napa Valley with Calistoga

By Kat Thomas, Edible Skinny

After all our imbibing (and there was A LOT of imbibing), Titus of Beau Wine Tours & Limousine Service chauffeured us to Calistoga, depositing us at the Mount View Hotel to start embracing the art of relaxation! 
Calistoga is located on the north end of Napa Valley (75 miles north of San Francisco).  This small town is famous for its hot springs, hotel and spas, world-class restaurants, and whimsical wineries, including Castello di Amorosa, a 13th century Tuscan castle.  Earlier this year, Amy Poehler shot a portion of her new Netflix film comedy, Wine Country, in this picture perfect hamlet.
Calistoga has a population of just 5,330 people while maintaining 46 lodging properties, 23 restaurants/caf├ęs/bars, and 18 spas.  The latter’s most famous is Indian Springs. which dates back to 1860 when California’s first millionaire Sam Brannon envisioned a world-class resort based on the area’s steamy mineral waters.  3 million years ago a volcano erupted and created a petrified forest and these watery healing grounds used by the Wappo Indians from the 1700s on. 

Brannon coined the name “Calistoga,” a combination of California and Saratoga, a resort in Upstate New York he admired.  From then on Calistoga becomes noted for its natural mineral water and elegant hot springs resort.  Two ingredients that make Calistoga’s spas so unique are the volcanic ash and the geothermal mineral water.  And the results are more than popular as more than half of the spas in Calistoga offer hot springs or mineral pools.  Another famous natural landmark of the town is Old Faithful Geyser of California, a small geyser set against the backdrop of palm trees and mountains that historically erupts every 45 minutes. 

Calistoga is designated as its own distinct AVA with an area of seven square miles and over 60 different wineries.  Other than the Madrigal Family Winery, landmark wineries in the area include include Frank Family Winery (the third oldest winery in Napa Valley), Twomey, Sterling Vineyards, Dutch Henry Winery and Chateau Montelena Winery, which is housed in a jaw-dropping, ivy-covered castle with landscaped gardens.  In 2019, Napa Valley’s first Four Seasons will open in Calistoga with 85 guest rooms, 20 villas, and its own vineyard and winery. 


  1. Hi, just to let you know you have it wrong as to how Calistoga was named. Sam Brannan (you also spelled his name wrong) was going to name the town Saratoga after the town in NY. What happened was he got drunk and switched out the words, "We will call this town the Calistoga of Sarafornia." Hence the resaurant in town Cafe Sarafornia.

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