Schramsberg Vineyards Calistoga


Schramsberg Vineyards

08.9.12

From the issue Don't Forget the Bubbly

Cave Bar

Some places naturally bubble with adventure, and that’s exactly what’s happening at Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga, where volcanic rock caves loaded with champagne are ripe for exploration. Follow the candelabras—and your sparkling wine specialist—down the 2-mile stretch of caves built by Chinese laborers in the 1800s, and learn about the méthode champenoise process that goes into Schramsberg’s chardonnay and pinot noir-based sparkling wines. The 75-minute journey starts above ground, outside the hilltop winery shrouded in the dense redwood cover of Diamond Mountain. Pause at the reception area for a photo tour documenting the construction and evolution of this registered historic landmark, the oldest hillside vineyard in Napa County. Then enter Napa’s original caves for wine storing. At any time, as many as 2.7 million bottles are aging inside the 34,000-square-foot, naturally chilled tunnels. Feel like you’re inside the Phantom of the Opera as you wind through the dark, candlelit—and sometimes eerie—caves. Uncork more thrills by bellying up to a cave bar (or one of the two tasting rooms) to try four house sparklers. Schramsberg’s creations have been served to every president since Nixon brought a bottle to China as part of the 1972 “Toast to Peace.” Rock of ages, indeed.

Schramsberg Vineyards is at 1400 Schramsberg Rd. in Calistoga (directions). Tours run daily for $45/person by appointment only at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Expect around 12-14 guests per tour. Book online or by calling (707) 942-4558. No dogs.

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