Kickin’ It in Calistoga Wine Country
Cottages for Couples
Built in 1948 and renovated in 2000, the Aurora Park Cottages in Calistoga, California invite visitors, not always wine tourists, to relax, kick back, and snuggle in. Welcome to a cozy, but modernized, rendition of the romantic getaway destination. It’s a cottage. Not a hotel, motel, or B&B with squeaky floors and voices next door. This is your ideal home, complete with refrigerator, tea and coffee sets, and breakfast baskets in the morning. Oh, and don’t worry, you’re in the wine country so there is definitely a wine opener and glasses in the room. There are six cottages to stay in, so groups are invited to book together too.
You’ll likely be greeted by Kate, the warm, engaging proprietor who will immediately make you realize you’ve chosen the right place to stay. Let’s learn a little more about this charismatic woman who is a staple of the Aurora Park Cottages.
Let’s Hear it for Kate!
Kate began as switchboard operator and desk clerk in a hotel in the late 70’s beginning in San Francisco and came to Calistoga to begin inn-keeping here in 2009. She lives in the house across from the cottages where she welcomes the new guests. A lifetime of experience has honed her personal attentiveness which is reflected in the overwhelming, glowing reviews about her repoire with the customers.
Escape to the era of folks enjoying each other’s company and romantic evenings sipping wine on the deck of your cottage on a wine country adventure without the stress of work and other obligations. If you should need more wine or food, just head back down the quarter mile to downtown Calistoga and imbibe. Park and walk. Stop and sip. Opportunities abound door to door and it’s easy to understand why folks return and are so loyalty to the area. Join the others with comments in the bedside journal for guests to comment.
Aurora Park Cottages
1807 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga, CA 94515
707-942-6733 | www.aurorapark.com
Email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make a reservation. Tell her you heard about them here!
Start that Wine-ing!
Schramsburg Winery in Calistoga
Oopsey, the original 1860’s bottle of Jacob and Annie’s champagne was broken during the rush to avoid the vast 2017 Santa Rosa fire. Not to worry, it was lovingly glued back together and is on display in the reception area. Cool as that is, it’s only the first of the awesome items on the wall. Beginning with the photo of President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-Lai sipping a descendent of Jacob’s champagne, similar moments are captured with every president up to the present.
Leaving reception, the hand dug tunnels house two and a half million bottles of various champagnes and a photo op with several barrels carved with the House insignia in front of a wall of viable champagne in process. The even, cool temperatures aren’t just good for the visitors on a hot summer day, it’s perfect for the bottles of champagne that are heralded as elite. Tastings of a variety of champagnes follow the tour.
Chateau Montelena Takes French
Unchanged since its 1882 construction, the façade resembles a fortress. The tasting room oozes elegance. The Asian-style Jade Lake in front of the estate vineyards beckons us to slow down and savor the moment. This winery savored a special moment with its blind tasting win over the best French wines in 1976. This put Napa Valley in the world wine business. The movie ‘Bottle Shock’ is a retelling of this major event that so shook the wine industry that the winning vintage, Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 1973, is housed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute. This historical decision is also known as the ‘Judgement of Paris’.
Visitors can follow the zig zag walkway out into the lake, free of charge. The pagoda-like islands are strictly for use by club members, but others can enjoy the view of the chateau and vineyards from the walkways. The distinct zig zag pattern is an homage to a Chinese legend that evil spirits can only travel over the water in straight lines.
1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA
707-942-5105 | www.Montelena.com
In the Tank
Finally, this quirky little Tank Garage Winery is a jewel of a wine stop when you notice the 40’s style gas station turned winery in Calistoga. The décor is a tasteful combination of days gone by and cool retro.
The wines are only sold at this Calistoga location, and although there is no vineyard attached, you’ll cozy up to the bar and feel right at home with the amiable servers. The wine labels tell you so much about the atmosphere. Titles such as ‘Too Much to Dream’, ‘Love Now More Than Ever’, and ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ beckon us to sip and stay a while. Not fancy, not presumptuous, and definitely not to be missed.
Tank Garage Winery
1020 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga, CA
To learn more about the Zinfandel grape, check out our blog post!