Napa: Calistoga AVA

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About
One of Napa Valley’s oldest winegrowing regions finally earned AVA status in 2009, after years of debate over two wineries’ use of the word Calistoga when their grapes did not come from that region. Home to historic Chateau Montelena, Araujo Estate (now owned by François pinault), and visitor magnet Sterling Vineyards, the AVA can be very warm (35 °C) during the summer, with cooling breezes from Knights Valley to the west dropping temperatures to 12 °C overnight, making quality grapegrowing possible. Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s strong suit, and Zinfandel is very happy here (Storybook Mountain Vineyards is proof), yet the cost of land and greater profitability of Cabernet has largely restricted Zin plantings.