One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is to find a new and exciting experiences in the Napa Valley; I am also always looking for the next great bottle of sparkling wine (or bubbles). This particular Saturday found us driving up to Calistoga to visit Sterling Vineyards. Established in 1964, Sterling Vineyards is one of the most iconic wineries in the Napa Valley. Known for it’s aerial tram, impressive architecture, stunning views, and iconic wines my friends and I were excited to venture up to Calistoga to try the new Sparkling Experience.

Calistoga is a pretty and pleasant 20 minute drive up valley from Yountville. We enjoyed a nice drive up the valley, admiring the green hills and vibrant mustard flowers in the vineyards. Once we reached Sterling Vineyards we picked up our tokens for the aerial tram  and headed up the mountain. The aerial tram is a fun novelty that takes you to the winery, located 300 feet above the valley floor. Once we reached the top, it was a short walk to taste our first wine, a lovely splash of Sterling Chardonnay.

Next, we were directed up to the top of the winery where the seated wine tastings experiences take place. Our table was laid out with personalized menus and four sparkling wine glasses, we  knew were in for a treat! The Sparkling Experience consists of four very different bubbles all paired with a fresh seasonal bite from the Sterling Culinary team.

Our first wine of the tasting was the Sterling Prosecco paired with melon, prosciutto de Parma, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. The prosecco actually comes to Sterling all the way from Italy! The grapes grow in the Northern part of Italy right at the base of the Alps. The wine was crisp with flavors of honeydew melon and green apple which complimented the sea salt and melon perfectly. Starting off the tasting with something from Italy was a nice treat and made for fun comparisons throughout the the tasting.

Next was my favorite pairing, but not my favorite wine of the bunch. I am always a big fan of sparkling rosé and the 2016 Sterling Rosé did not disappoint. There were aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry blossoms and raspberries followed by hints of fruit flavors, balanced nicely with a creamy texture. The Rosé was paired with a truly delicious raspberry sorbet with micro mint. Taking a sip after having a bit of the sorbet mellowed out the fruit flavors and really showcased how smooth and creamy the Rosé is. I am already planning to have this pairing by the pool this summer.

Next up was the 2016 Blanc de Blanc. Made with 100% Chardonnay from Sterling’s vineyard in Yountville. The Blanc de Blanc was my favorite wine of the day. The nose was crisp with lots of notes of green apple and citrus. The palate was the perfect amount of tart and creamy with hints of apple and lemon cream. The Blanc de Blanc was paired with one of my all time favorite things: a “classic” deviled egg topped with pacific coast caviar.

Our last taste for the Sparkling Experience was the 2012 Vintage Brut paired with a potato croquette with black truffle aioli. The Brut had all the wonderful baked bread and toast notes that you hope for in an aged sparkling wine. The croquette pairing brought out the subtle minerality and complex flavors. Created in the Methode Traditinnelle used in France, the 2012 Vintage Brut was definitely the most complex of all the bubbles we tried.

No trip to Sterling Vineyards is complete without taking in the breathtaking view from the terrace. We decided to do a quick pass through the self guided tour and enjoy the mild winter afternoon and stunning scenery.

Whether you are visiting Napa Valley for the first time or for the 100th time Sterling Vineyards is sure to have an experience that is right for you!

Sterling Vineyards
1111 Dunaweal Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
(800) 726-6136