My favorite vineyard? Calistoga’s Clos Pegase.
Just outside the town center of Calistoga, you’ll find this gem of a place, where art, history, architecture and wine co-mingle perfectly.
It’s easy to spend a day exploring the grounds. At first, this beautiful vineyard feels a little more like an art gallery than your typical vineyard. There’s incredible works all over the property, from 17th Century fountains to modern sculptures in the gardens. If you’re into architecture, you’ll probably want to know that acclaimed designer Michael Graves designed this place in 1987. The property merges modern and ancient architecture with a nod to ancient Mediterranean culture. According to Graves, the place is supposed to “evoke memories of a European ancestry” and a “timeless sensibility.” I say well done!
For many, the real jewel of this vineyard is underground. The winery boasts 20,000 square feet of caves, with the southern side of the caves housing barrels in a temperature and humidity controlled environment perfectly designed for aging wines. The northern side includes the Cave Theater, a romantic setting for celebrations.
But I know what you’re thinking. C’mon Samantha… tell us about the wine!
On my last trip there, I had the distinct pleasure of joining the Clos Pegase team in tasting 18 barrels. Staff usually practices “expectorating” while they partake in this task. Not familiar with that word? How about if I used the term “spitting” instead? Hey, I know a lot of wine people do this, but I’m just a regular gal who likes her wine. Why spit it out when you can drink it?!
Speaking of the wine, they offer 15 different varietals and have created 29 vintages. They make rose, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and syrah, but their cabernet sauvignon is really where it’s at.