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Chateau Montelena Winery

chamont

After seeing the movie Bottle shock Mike and I were curious to check out one of the wineries that put Napa on the map. The Chateau is nestled in the hills of Calistoga. They definitely took some creative license with the film since the drive up didn’t look at all familiar. The estate on the other hand was as beautiful as it was on screen. For $15 we got to taste the following 4 wines: the Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Montelena Estate Zinfandel, and Potter Valley Riesling. I was kinda bummed that we didn’t get to try a Chardonnay. The wines didn’t disappoint. They were all yummy. We ended up bringing home a bottle of the Zin. After the tasting we were sent off with a map of the property so we could go on a self guided tour. We took a quick walk around the grounds as it was a gorgeous day and the vines were filled with colorful fall leaves. It was fun to visit a place with such rich history.

Tasty Tip: By the way, the tasting fee is not waived with purchase which I find chintzy.

Tasting Room Hours
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily
(except major holidays and the third Saturday in May)

Website: http://www.montelena.com/

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Solbar at Solage

I had heard rave reviews about Solbar the restaurant in the new Solage resort in Calistoga. A bit off the beaten path, Solbar is an interesting mix of hip Napa style and a tropical island. The dining area is split in two — indoor and outdoor. It’s very open and airy and when you are inside you still feel like you are outside, as one main wall is open to the patio. Very much like you would find in a Hawaiian restaurant. Our group of 6 decided to sit on the patio next to the beautiful fire/water display. Mike and I had dinner with 4 friends so we sampled the majority of the menu (Hi- DB, CB, R & JB). We started off with a couple orders of the flatbreads & spreads to share and a bevy of unique mixed drinks. The breads were light and flavorful and the drinks refreshing. The appetizers that followed were the sliders, a mixed green salad and I had the asparagus soup. No complaints there. The dishes were enjoyed by all. Dinner then arrived for everyone except me. I had ordered the sliders as my main course and the kitchen forgot them. No worries …I was actually not super hungry that evening — for a change. Our server was very apologetic for the mix-up and she removed the charge from the bill. Other entrees included the yellow fin tuna, barbecued pork buns, pasta with fava beans and roasted lamb. When my sliders with bacon, cheddar and ten-hour onions arrived they were not all that they had been built up to be. Prior to coming I had a bunch of people tell me to try the sliders. They were tasty but a bit bland, they needed a sauce of some kind (maybe it was left off in the rush to get to my table?). I actually prefer the sliders at the Paragon restaurant in San Jose. For dessert we had the cinnamon sugar doughnut holes and a mix of house made sorbets. The sorbets were the hit of the night. Some were still talking about them the next day.

The food was good but the setting was magnificent. It was a great spot to hang out with our friends. I would go back to have cocktails and dessert anytime.

Rating:

Website: http://www.solagecalistoga.com/dining/index.shtml

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