What’s a festival without some good wine? If you’re looking to taste the best of the best, you are in the right place, wine country! With 45,000 acres of vineyards planted in Napa, the “revisits” are endless. Enjoy some of the best food by top chefs, meet some of the most talented winemakers, and meet some of the most prestigious winery owners in Calistoga and the Napa Valley.
Calistoga Winery Festival
The Calistoga Food and Wine Festival is one for the books. We blindly showed up to this event, without expectation. The tickets were priced at $100 per person and thus we were curious to see what this $100 bill price point would bring us as it was being hosted at one of our favorite resorts, The Calistoga Food and Wine event. Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a glass of wine, a smile, and a map. Having shown up late, we were expecting a crowd of intoxicated winos but became pleasantly surprised by the modest crowd and warm setting. No waiting in lines to receive a pour and no crowds of people bumping into you. The live music lightened up the atmosphere and the overall vibe was happy and laid back.
Since it was hosted at Solage we could only assume that the food and wine would go far beyond our expectations. The food was amazing with foie groie bites, fresh tri-tip sandwichs cooked on the spot, and a farm to table salad bar. We would actually cut the lettuce and sprouts right off the plants, straight from the source! Top chefs from Calistoga were on site making fresh ceviche and crab cakes and more. There was a cheese MOUNTAIN with delectable varieties of cheeses to shave off and wonderfully fresh bread to go along with it.
Next was the wine, Calistoga is known for its Sauv Blancs, Roses, and Cabs, and they were pouring only the finest. At this event, we were meeting the owners of these gorgeous Calistoga wineries as well as the winemakers themselves. If you haven’t heard of the names Heidi and Bo Barrett, look them up, they were there pouring their wine and of course, I have my photos with them (we’re looking good eh?).
I personally have several private label wines and also have many winery friends, so I tend to trade wine and thus don’t purchase frequently. However, this event impressed me so much I later reached out and purchased several cases. One was from my new buddy and pal Peter Heitz (winemaker for a little-known winery Turnbull and son of the Heitz Family Winery). He makes his own private label from the Heitz Vineyards that he only sells to close family and friends.
By attending this event, I was able to meet him and score myself a case of his Grenache and Cab (both amazing and ridiculously reasonable). He too was one of my favorite people I met at the event.
You can attend an event like this and experience the amazing food, lovely atmosphere, and great wine but what separates this event from others were the people. It’s not every day you’re walking amongst some of the most well-regarded people in the Napa Valley and this event is what allows you to mix with them without having to break the bank.
If this is something you are looking to do, you are in luck! the Calistoga Winegrowers Association is hoping to create a similar event in San Francisco coming this July! If interested here are the details!
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