Visiting wineries isn’t exactly what you plan a family vacation around, but whether you are in the area and want to make a day trip, or you’d really like to check out Napa wine as part of your family’s trip, Sterling Vineyard may be the answer. With tram rides, child-friendly tours and welcoming treat, you can all learn about winemaking together.
It all begins with a tram ride up the mountain which is enjoyable for kids of all ages. It is a view of Napa Valley that you can’t get anywhere else in Wine Country. This Diageo-owned winery spans not only through this huge Calistoga property, but through acres of vineyards throughout Napa. When you reach the top you understand that Peter Newton accomplished exactly what he wanted when he built this – an unusual experience for all. Since its inception in 1964, Sterling Vineyards reputation as a destination has grown as popular as that as a top winemaker. Over 200,000 people visit here every year.
Once you reach the top of the mountain, the Sterling Winery tour works better than most for the family because it is self-guided. Winemaker Michael Westrick appears on video in television sets throughout the tour, showing visitors how Sterling produces its wine from grape to bottle. You can go along at your own pace without having to start at a certain time or holding up a group if the kids want to linger.
When you reach the end of the self-guided tour, you also reach the deck, where the views are even better to that on the tram. From the railings you can read about the various areas Sterling gets its grapes from, including Diamond Mountain Ranch and Wildlake Ranch. You can also taste some wine while enjoying the view. When you are ready to check out (and possibly purchase) more wine, you will find a large tasting room at the end of the tour, also offering beautiful views of the valley. It’s a great place to try an assortment of their incredible wines, including the 2006 Three Palms Napa Merlot and the Sterling SVR Reserve, or the Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay for white wine drinkers.
The Sterling Vineyards tasting room offers grape juice for those under 21 and will even provide kids with coloring books and crayons. In the summertime, you can make it a night out with the Sterling Silver Screen Series of “Movies Under The Stars.” For less than the cost of going to a movie theatre, you can bring the family to these charitable events, with pre-show wine tastings, cartoons and family-friendly films.
For more information about tours and wine at Sterling Vineyards, visit their website .