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Published: October 24th 2011
Calistoga Wine Country
Grapes of Calistoga vineyards
Calistoga has always been one of those places I wanted to visit. Not because of the wineries, but because I often heard about it while growing up in the 70's in California. It was one of those places that everyone was going to just like Mendocino. Kenny Loggins was singing about it, it was all the trend....and I never got there.
Calistoga is a small town with an old western feel to it. I am still rather surprised about all the small towns north of LA. LA is so large and different to anything we are discovering along this trip. Seems like once you get up and out of LA, everything is small and unique unto its own. Calistoga was no different. We walked the little town and then headed out to visit a winery. We are not particularly into wine and most everyone tastes red wine which is something neither of us ever drink. We kind of feel out of it and quickly realized that if a winery doesn’t have a beautiful garden or good restaurant connected to it, there is not much reason for us to be there. After a short visit to a small winery we headed back
Paul admiring grapes
to the Santa Rosa area as we found the landscape of Sonoma County more pleasing than the landscape of Napa.
Some of the wineries are small and family owned while others are like theater productions. We visited the winery of Francis Ford Coppola and it was like a TV set; opulent and with much of his personal tastes. We enjoyed a lovely (although quite expensive) lunch on the terrace there.
I think the most outstanding winery we visited for gardens was the Ferrari-Carano winery. I have included some photos and have to say that the gardens at this winery are equal to any I have visited in Europe. The owners clearly have a passion for everything fine and you can see this in all that they do. I might add that they seem a very romantic couple as well for all the beautiful sculptures they have gifted to each other on various occasions. They are beautifully displayed throughout the winery gardens.
Next stop Big Sur and more beautiful California Coastline.
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