Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sterling Winery: A Review

The first winery we visited, right out of the barrel was Sterling.

Sterling is located in Calistoga, near the north end of Napa Valley.

Although I had read mixed reviews about this winery, we still wanted to visit it because it is just plain neat--with the cable car ride up the hillside to the winery.

We upgraded to the reserve tasting, so the admission was $30 per person. That is pretty standard around here for tours and tastings. The basic tour and tasting was $25--so we really only had a minor upgrade.

The gondola ride was beautiful and provided a nice way to see the valley in the morning sunlight. It was a beautiful way.

The tour is self-guided--but the positioning of tasting stations along the tour route was really nice and creative. The winery is beautiful. The tour is great and fun to wander around the various stations. Although the tour is not informative about the history of the winery.

Here is the real thing: the wines are not that good! They are so-so wines. Fun to taste, but even though it was our first winery, we knew that these were not the great wines of Napa County. They are OK--and over priced OK. There are much better wines out there.

But the winery is fun and is a must visit kind of place.

Recommendation: Visit this winery. The gondola ride is fun and the construct of the tour is unique. The winery is beautiful and definitely with the visit. Use the wine tastings as a baseline for other wineries.

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