Much like Phifer Pavitt, another small boutique winery in Calistoga, Jericho Canyon Vineyards is an appointment-only winery that will give you a new appreciation for the work that winemakers do. With its labyrinth of caves, watchdog Molly that “patrols” the interior and its sublime tiered vines, this is one of those spots that you want to experience for yourself. They even have a tour that takes you around the vineyard on an ATV (as of 2017), how awesome is that? Here is all the info:
- Private tour and tasting – $75 a person
- Need to make a reservation here
- Small production of fewer than 2,000 cases
- Location: 3322 Old Lawley Toll Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515
- Information from my visit in 2017
After arriving at our appointment time, we were greeted in the main hall, introduced to Molly the dog, then ushered out to walk a little way into the vineyard and hear about how the wine making process happens.
This experience was engaging as we learned about when the grapes are picked, why they planted vines on a slope, and how they make their wine. Everything is hand picked, and they believe that is the best process, which I can appreciate. You are free to ask questions as well about the process.
After walking through the vineyard, we went back into the main room to look at the fermentation tanks. There were two big rooms full of them.
From there, we headed into my favorite part, which was visiting the cave itself. The cave they have is built right into the mountainside and serves as a natural way to provide a cool climate for the aging wine.
I have been in a few of these wine caves before in places like Paso Robles, and I always enjoy walking through the serene atmosphere and seeing all the barrels. We were even shown a small window that displayed the rock that is under the vines above.
From there, we were ushered to our table, right in the heart of the cave, to taste four different wines. This table was the highlight of the entire tour as it was a beautiful place to sit and relax right in the middle of the cave. It is an impressive private wine tasting experience.
There were a few wine writers in my group, and they said that the wine here was delicious. I enjoyed the Cabernet the best but nothing compared to the atmosphere we were doing the tasting in.
After about 45 minutes, we exited the cave and went back out to our car. It was a great experience visiting a small boutique winery like this. While I highly recommend you go to Castello di Amorosa if you have never been, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest the fantastic Jericho Canyon Vineyard and Phifer Pavitt winery as well while on a trip to Napa Valley. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.