Thursday, April 12, 2007

Calistoga AVA Still Pending

Two grandfathered wineries are holding up the creation of a long awaited Calistoga AVA in Napa Valley. Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estates both use the Calistoga name but are not located there nor do they use 75% of grapes from the would-be viticulture area. The current law does not allow wineries to use misleading names but since these wineries were in existence prior to the 1986 law they are grandfathered in. Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena has been leading the charge for a Calistoga AVA and is even trying to line up grape sources for the wineries that don’t meet the requirements. And so the saga continues.


  1. nzhwyActually, Calistoga Cellars is located in Calistoga on Tubbs lane. Calistoga Estate Vineyards is also located in Calistoga on Silverado Trail. I don't believe either winery has ' grandfather' rights as neither was arround prior to 1986. And yes neither winery sources 75% of their fruit from Calistoga. Also Calistoga Cellers is in the process of opening a tasting room on Lincoln, the main street in downtown Calistoga.

  2. Neither Calistoga Cellars nor Calistoga Estate operate a winery. Neither is currently "grandfathered" though their alternate proposal essentially requests their future grandfathering. Meanwhile generations of bona-fide Calistoga growers and wineries find their Calistoga AVA elusive. Wines marketed under these brands are not produced in Calistoga nor the Napa Valley. In fact, the Calistoga Cellars group recently sold their small facility (basically a tasting room) on Tubbs Lane however THEY RETAINED the Calistoga Cellars brand! Now wouldn't Fred Franzia, the largest grape grower in California drool shamelessly over the prospect of acquiring a brand projecting the image of Napa Valley wine (such as Calistoga Cellars or Calistoga Estate for instance)to foist his California Central Valley wines upon unsuspecting customers?