Click images to enlarge
Napa Valley view
from Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Map of Napa Valley
Calistoga is at the northern end of the Napa Valley. It is approximately 230 feet higher in elevation and 10 degrees warmer on a typical summer day than the City of Napa at the southern end of the Napa Valley.
Follow the links in left hand column to view panoramas and pictures of the wineries and landscape around Calistoga. Scroll down for a map of the Napa Valley. Use the blue column links, right side, to visit other areas in the wine country or to tour San Francisco.
A Brief History of Calistoga
There are currently over a dozen spas and resorts in Calistoga. Long before the first spa was built, Native Americans had discovered the healing powers of the area's geothermal waters rich in magnesium and calcium.
Calistoga is thought to be a combination of California and Saratoga as spoken by a tipsy Sam Brannan. Brannan had come to Napa Valley in the late 1850s with the dream of making it the "Saratoga Springs of California."
Sam Brannan's Calistoga Hot Springs Resort opened in 1863 with guest cottages, mansion, hot springs, mud baths, bandstand, stables, race track, distillery, observatory, bathhouse, arboretum and a pavilion for dancing and roller skating.
The Calistoga Depot at 1458 Lincoln Avenue, built in 1868 by Sam Brannan, is the second oldest train depot in California. Listed under the National Register for historic buildings it now includes six restored railcars housing historical exhibits and retail shops.
350 degree water, shoots approximately 60 feet into the air about every 30 minutes at the Old Faithful Geyser of California.
Geologists call the Petrified Forest of Calistoga one of the finest examples of a pliocene fossil forest in the world.
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is eight miles north of Calistoga off Highway 29. There you can take a trail to the top of Mount St. Helena for great views of the Napa Valley. In 1880 Robert Louis Stevenson visited both the Petrified Forest and Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga. His book, Silverado Squatters, includes a section about his experiences in the Napa Valley.
Schramsberg Vineyards is a winery with a long history in Calistoga. By 1867 Jacob Schram had a very small wine celler dug into a hillside. He later enlarged the celler to over 200 feet of tunnel and dug a second over 400 feet long. In 1881 Schram began building a two story mansion, which was described at the time as "having somewhat the appearance of a castle on the Rhine", which would be appropriate as he was born near the Rhine River in Germany.
Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay was the top rated white wine at the, now famous, Paris Tasting of 1976. Alfred Tubbs founded Chateau Montelena in 1883.
Storybook Mountain Vineyards history also began in 1883, with the purchase of 405 acres near Calistoga by Adam Grimms. Storybook Mountain Vineyards' one hundred year old wine storage caves are made available for visitor tasting of their world renowned Zinfandel wines.
Sterling Vineyards self-paced tour is begun by riding an aerial sky tram to the top of a 300ft. hill, where you can enjoy great Napa Valley Views (panorama link in left column). The winery was begun in 1964 and produced its first wines in 1969. Cuvasion on the historic Silverado Trail in Calistoga was also started in 1969.
Hans Fahden Vineyards, on the Petrified Forest Road outside of Calistoga has a wine cave, Monet Gardens and beautiful mountain top site that are all used as a venue for corporate conferences, wine cave dinners and private weddings.
Learn more about the wine caves in and around Calistoga on my Wine Caves Tour article with 14 panoramas10 that were shot in the Caves.
For an experience you'll always remember take one of our California Wine Tours.
Learn about Calistoga Parks.