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“Great wine and great time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena
1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
707 942 5105
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Ranked #8 of 61 things to do in Calistoga
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Wine tasting
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Attraction details
Owner description: This old winery has a castle-like main building.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great wine and great time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

Already one of my favorite wines my experience with the staff during our tasting cemented my attraction to this winery. Beautiful place.

Visited May 2012
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261 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Perfunctory Style Disappoints”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

With a name like Montelena, (Mount Helena shortened...) and such a wonderful history and beauty to the place, you expect more than is delivered. We have been there twice now with the first vist 4 years ago, and the "business-like" herd attitude, hasn't changed. The wines are made with quality and consistency, but we were not overly charmed. "Charm" or "personal touch" can't be used to describe this venue. It's all business and "process". It could be so much more. They are "riding on" Bottle shock fame - kind of sad to see.
We did have a "personal" industry tasting which was fairly intimate and pleasant, but our host was pretty light on knowledge and we felt that he wished he was somewhere else. His main contribution was selling us on the features of the "futures clubs". He eventually excused himself and we found him busily serving the masses at the main counter. Impersonal and "busy"... leaves you cold.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yuba City, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“"We aren't set up for picnics."”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

We aren't so into tasting, but rather drinking. We'd rather cut to the chase, buy a bottle, and go enjoy it with some antipasti in the gardens that are so common. This winery has gone through exhaustive efforts to create a lush garden setting, including pond, pagodas, and a graceful swan. However, you are not allowed to picnic without becoming a member of their wine club, making a reservation, and paying a fee that would make you wish you had just gone golfing instead. They do regularly patrol the grounds to evict rouge picnickers. Drive across to SR-128 on the north end of St. Helena and park yourself at St. Clement for a few hours. Chateau Montelena's purpose is to process you through their wine-selling machine. If you are in to that, bring some cash and enjoy.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Gorgeous grounds and estate building”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2012

If you haven't seen the movie "Bottle Shock" before you go, you might want to. It's fun to see the estate building on screen.

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Cold and indifferent”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2012

The grounds and building of Chateau Montelena are beautiful. That's really all I can say. We started off there one morning. When we walked in there was only 1 other couple there. They were in the middle of a tasting. We were in no hurry and were reading the various articles on the wall.

The man started our tasting and really wouldn't talk to us or give us any insight to the wine. We thought that maybe the other couple were big regulars or planning to spend buy a lot. They weren't. Well we didn't necessarily need the guy's attention to know if we liked it. So we tasted the wines.

While we were open to buying wines. We bought a lot during our entire trip to Sonoma and Napa valleys, we just didn't like the wine. Nothing bad, but for us there was nothing special either.

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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