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Stories from Calistoga Ranch

Stories from Calistoga Ranch

Do On the QT…In Search of Solitude

night view of Calistoga Ranch

Like clockwork, I hit a point each October where I can’t quite shake the stress that’s built up over the year. When I turn the calendar and see the holidays are closing in, I know it’s time for a major reset—a retreat from the world to soothe my mind and soul. I returned to Napa, a place I’ve long adored in the spring for its lively mood. Late autumn/winter is something entirely different. Though the wineries are open, the crowds are gone. Days are mild; evenings crisp. Cloaked in post-harvest hues of russet and gold, the valley evinces a quiet allure. It’s a time for rest and renewal.

A Quiet Traveler
Guest
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Play Cal, Our Ambassador in the Canyon

Cal in the Lobby

An unexpected friendship began at the open-air lobby during check-in, when we were greeted by Cal, the mild-mannered four-legged concierge with long white fur and a penchant for a petting. He crawled out of an emptied cabernet sauvignon wine barrel that lay on its side. The barrel’s top had been cut out and instead of wine, inside was filled with stuffed toys. Cal was carrying a stuffed toy monkey in his mouth and presented it to us as a personal invite to play. Fred, our Chihuahua, took the bait and the monkey.

Fur Friend Lover
Guest
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Celebrate Making Your Wedding Unique with What’s Hot in Weddings

wedding entertainment

Stephanie Cole and Sarah Drake of Cole Drake Events, a luxury destination Napa & Sonoma wedding planning company, have seen everything from flamenco performances to fire dancers when it comes to unique wedding reception entertainment. It seems dreaming big is trending and there are endless non-traditional entertainment options for the newly engaged to explore. Known for planning exquisite events in the Napa Valley at properties such as Calistoga Ranch, Solage Resort, and Auberge du Soleil, Stephanie Cole & Sarah Drake let us in on the unique, modern wedding elements that will elevate your big day.

Stephanie Cole and Sarah Drake Cole Drake Events
Local
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Celebrate Parade From Ceremony to Reception in Style

parade

Our couples are always delighted to learn that their wedding story can take place at three completely different spaces within our 157-acre canyon setting at Calistoga Ranch. Celebrate your love with each step—moving from the serene, natural splendor of our vineyard, to the tranquil lake and unobstructed canyon views of Lommel Lawn, to a romantic, indoor retreat carved deep into the hillside at the Wine Cave— and customize your wedding’s transition periods to make them your own.

Janina Piniero Wedding & Special Events Manager, Calistoga Ranch
Staff
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Learn Work for Your Wine

vineyard

I've never had a green thumb, but I have an annual tradition of flying across the country to turn my fingers purple. Every fall during Napa Valley's harvest, Juan Luis takes me in as one of his own to show me the ropes of the winemaking process at Calistoga Ranch. Every day, I work outside from sunrise to sunset, pruning vines where honeybees buzz about fields full of fragrant, supple grapes. If I pass Juan Luis' ultimate vintner's test, I even get to take a few bottles home for myself.

Crush Lover Stayed Fall 2018
Staff
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Go I Found Napa Valley's Best Cabernet Sauvignon

couple biking

I came to Napa Valley to find the region's best Cabernet Sauvignon - a full-bodied varietal with just the right combination of jammy black currant and blackberry notes and tobacco, licorice, vanilla aromas. But I wanted to work for it. Rising to the challenge, Calistoga Ranch heeded the call by turning my red wine dreams into a custom curated bike map. What Cabernet Sauvignon took the top spot? That's an answer you'll have to work for.

Adventurer Stayed spring 2018
Guest
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Eat Wine and Condiments

vineyard in the winter

We can thank mustard for Napa Valley's coveted wine notes, as this unlikely seed provides vital nutrients and phosphorus to our beloved grapes. Though the golden plant didn't always grow in Napa, every year from January to March, our vineyards are blanketed in an alluring amber hue, which coincidentally fuels the condiment stand at roadside hotdog outpost, Gotts. You don't even have to wait in line to savor a Niman Ranch Fearless Frank, a dog topped with cheddar cheese and house-made chile - and, of course, mustard.

Local Insider
Local
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Play Baby Goats are Napa's Unsung Heroes

goat

Unlike us, goats prefer grass and weeds over grapes and wine. This is why baby goats are the true unsung heroes of Calistoga Ranch. When brother and sister duo, Olive and Pepper, aren't bobbing and bucking about, they upkeep the property grounds by munching the grass to manicured perfection. Though this ancient technique has been around for centuries, environmental studies show these feisty babes reduce our carbon footprint by naturally maintaining and fertilizing our vineyards.

Happy California Goats
Local
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Do Put it On the Golden Retriever's Tab

dog and tomatoes

It's 5 o'clock somewhere, and at Calistoga Ranch, I'm the official Yappy Hour host. When I'm not climbing in the fountains for an afternoon drink or racing through the property grounds to greet guests on their arrival, I'm the official good-time golden retriever. Donning my shiniest collar and slicking my golden coat to perfection, I welcome my canine friends to the most exclusive cocktail hour in Napa Valley. If you bring your human as a plus one, they can even have a cocktail, too.

Local Puppy
Local
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Go I Know Napa Valley's Most Picturesque Point

field

It took a bit of sweat to reach Napa Valley's most picturesque lookout, a summit I wanted to photograph by morning. That's why I hit the under-the-radar private hiking trail near Calistoga Ranch with my husband by 9 a.m. sharp to reach the sleepy hill only locals know. Because I was a guest at Calistoga Ranch, I gained access to an exclusive property tour, ending at the vineyard's tasting room for a custom food and wine pairing menu. It's true what they say - it's all about who you know.

Happy Couple Stayed Summer 2018
Guest
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Play Dog Days of Napa

dog

I get antsy on long drives to California's wine country. There's only so much panting I can do from my backseat perch as we drive down the winding country roads before I'm barking in anticipation of what awaits me on my arrival at Calistoga Ranch. Bacon - crisp, greasy, delicious slices of bacon - hidden throughout the hotel's vineyards. I mean, I even get my own in-room dining menu with bones and treats. This is no ordinary dog's life for me.

Lucky Pet Stayed spring 2018
Guest
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#AlwaysAuberge