Chateau Montelena
Chateau Montelena
4.5
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
About
This old winery has a castle-like main building.
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  • Michelle
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful grounds and friendly staff
    Have to admit, our main reason to visit was because of the 1976 win and location for filming Bottleshock. This winery is beautiful with lovely tea garden bridges and landscaping that you can enjoy on your own We were lucky enough to meet Bo himself who was gracious enough to take a photo. The wine was great (chard and cab) and the staff were helpful with advice about other places to visit and enjoy. Very low pressure and a lovely visit.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 1, 2023
  • Robert S
    22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chateau Montelena, a pleasant place to visit.
    Chateau Montelena winery in Calistoga, California is a wonderful destination for spending time to walk on the pleasant trails that wander along a lake with two islands that support Chinese style pergolas. The free self-guided tour of the 1882 vintage chateau provided an abundance of history and wine making information. Wine tasting is available for a fee. The entry, parking, lake access and self guided tour are free, making this experience a real bargain. Of course, the proprietors are hoping visitors will taste and purchase their world class wines.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 2, 2023
  • Sara W
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Views and grounds were amazing.
    The views and grounds were amazing! The castle (although a replica), was beautiful. We attended a guided tour, our guide Stephane B was charming, fun, and incredibly knowledgeable. We would highly recommend stopping by for a tasting, or even a snack.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 9, 2023
  • Smrdjenovich
    22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Wonderful Stop
    We stopped in early on our way to Sonoma. We were welcomed by Mr. Barrett and his two dogs. The gentleman at the front door said they weren’t quite open, but we could look inside at the gift shop. There we met Lin, a very kind woman working behind the tasting bar. She told us of the history of the winery and where in the chateau to take a quick look. We saw the famed 1973 Chardonnay as well as a timeline of the chateau. Lin gave us a quick tasting of the Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Purchases were made and we were on our way to our next tasting. Thank you, Lin, and the rest of the staff who were all so welcoming. You made our quick stop a wonderful memory.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 13, 2023
  • TerrasTravels
    Las Vegas, Nevada458 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chateau Mont
    This is a must when you come to Napa! It’s one of the furthest north in the region on the map, but it is so worth it. I didn’t make a reservation in advance. However, if you go early in the morning when they first open, you will probably get in. They also do military discounts which is amazing! Their wines in the wine tasting were really good, The building, and the grounds that you are in our picturesque! Definitely walk the grounds. They have a beautiful lake and bridges, and in the front the building looks sort of like a castle. So definitely get a picture there! The inside seems castle like and cavelike as well. Me and my friends and family had a really good experience and they were great at being informative and making it fun! I would definitely go again!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 2, 2023
  • Tina A
    Flower Mound, Texas72 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceeded our expectations
    Exceeded our expectations. We arrived 45 minutes before our tasting and were so glad we did. The grounds and lake are so beautiful-plenty of photo opportunities. We spent all the buffer time walking around, exploring and taking pictures. Jay was our host and was excellent. He took his time with our group and explained the differences in the wines from year to year due to the climate. We bought 3 bottles to take home with us and then spent more time shopping in the gift shop and left at sundown when the colors of the leaves and the lake water were glorious. I highly recommend you visit if you are trying to decide where to go on your trip to the Napa area.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 5, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles718 reviews
Excellent
391
Very good
198
Average
84
Poor
32
Terrible
13

mogulman
Gypsum, CO312 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We visited about 13 different wineries over 8 days while in CA a few weeks ago. The Montelena tasting (Standup) for $55/person was the worst. We arrived early. We were told we could walk around the place. No way to buy a glass of wine or anything. It is nice outside.

The tasting area are a few small rooms in the top of the building. A few historical items on the walls, but otherwise not much else. No one to explain anything until the tasting.

Then we get to the tasting on-time. There were 3 other people with us. We taste one of the 5 wines after listening to the host explain the wine. Then 2 more people show up about 10 minutes late. The host starts over, and we are just standing there waiting around for the other 2 people to catch up. So they do and then we taste the 2nd wine. Then 2 more people show up after a few minutes, and the host starts over again from the beginning.

Meanwhile, we are standing around waiting while she starts over. Empty glasses. She jokes about if we mind if we start over again. I say "I'm ok with it if you fill our glasses a little while we wait". She says no.

The whole thing took about 45 minutes because of starting over, but the 5 wines we were going to taste could probably have taken 15 minutes with the amount of info we had. Only Winery we didn't buy any wine from to take home either.
Written June 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there! We’re sorry to hear your disappointment with the Taste of Montelena experience. Since our tastings are semi-private, we do our best to accommodate every guest present as well as late arrivals. We will certainly pass your feedback along to our management team to discuss ways we can improve this. If you are open to it, our Tasting Room Manager Sheri Bowen is available to chat more about the experience and can be reached directly at 707-942-5105 x 216.
Written July 26, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

John G
Lafayette, CA92 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
I am giving this a two star just for the beautiful Chateau, grounds and lake. Just wonderful scenery for many great camera shots. However, for the wine tasting experience (which I loved 20 years ago), it was pretty dismal and unprofessional. We walked up the stairs and went to the host area. Talked to them. They indicated the inside was full due to reservations, but we could taste outside on the patio area. We thought it would be okay, and headed over there. I asked the host if we could just split a tasting since it was at the end of the day. He said yes we could split when on the patio. When we got there, the wine server came up with two glasses and started to pour the first wine. I said wait, we just want to split one. He then abruptly and rudely said we could not do that. I pondered then if we should just leave, so we elected to stay. After he poured, I noticed the tasting fee was not on the wine descriptor sheet. I asked and the said it was $55 each. I am really starting to simmer, but my girlfriend said she wanted to continue to we did. We went through 6 wines. All were mediocre to poor, except for the estate cab which really tasted good. It had better be good since it sold for $200 a bottle. We finished the tastings pretty quickly as it really was not pleasant there. Wine server was way too rushed and was bubbling about they had won the French tasting in 1976, a first for an American winery. Well, the current chardonnay was rather poor compared to many other I have had in Napa and Sonoma. Hey Folks, 1976 was a long time ago and has absolutely nothing to do with today. There is an estate room inside with many photos, wine bottles, historic papers, etc. We did visit it and enjoyed it. Most of all we took some nice photos on the grounds.

Overall: very poor customer service. I felt rushed and the $55 tasting fee seemed exorbitant for what we got to taste.

No repeat for us-ever!!!
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi John, we’re discouraged to hear your recent visit did not live up to the expectations of your last one. For our walk-in tastings, we will be sure to communicate more clearly in the future with guests about what the experience entails and implement this in our training procedures moving forward. We understand that everyone has a unique palate and preference for wine. Our style is more refined, as our wines lean more elegant with immense potential for ageability. We invite you to try one of our more elevated tasting experiences to see how our wines evolve over time. Our Tasting Room Manager Sheri Bowen is available to chat if you would like to share more about your experience, and can be contacted at 707-942-5105 x 216.
Written July 26, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Giannamacchia
Asheville, NC13 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
uyer Beware:
First, we visited CM because of its history and role in the Judgement of Paris. We booked this tasting for our fourth wedding anniversary as something “special.”
We just left our Estate tasting ($105/person) and can only say it was disappointing, cold, stuffy, impersonal, and underwhelming.

Pros:
Beautiful gardens and grounds (which you can see for free).
Good wine.

Cons:
Entirely commercial.
Relies on ego/history over personal engagement and quality of tasting experience.
Outside of the Judgement of Paris, very little emphasis on agriculture, viticulture, and winemaking processes.
Sat in a dark, stuffy room with little light.
Tasting starts with a video (yikes).
Advertised as 90 mins; lasted 40.

Perhaps some of this was also due to the fact that the strangers we were paired with made some problematic comments, to which Vince, the host, just laughed at.
We felt super uncomfortable during this tasting and while we appreciate the money is to pay for tasting high end wines, it was a terrible way to start our anniversary.

After so many other positive tasting experiences, we’d rather have taken our $226 and just bought some high end wine ourselves.

Go elsewhere to avoid this Good Ol’ Boys Club
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Gianna, we’re sorry to hear that your visit was underwhelming and uncomfortable. This falls below the standards we set for ourselves and excellence we strive to achieve with every guest’s experience. If you would like, our Tasting Room Manager Sheri Bowen would be happy to chat more about how we can improve the overall experience in the future. She can be contacted directly at 707-942-5105 x 216.
Written July 26, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TerrasTravels
Las Vegas, NV458 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
This is a must when you come to Napa! It’s one of the furthest north in the region on the map, but it is so worth it. I didn’t make a reservation in advance. However, if you go early in the morning when they first open, you will probably get in. They also do military discounts which is amazing! Their wines in the wine tasting were really good, The building, and the grounds that you are in our picturesque! Definitely walk the grounds. They have a beautiful lake and bridges, and in the front the building looks sort of like a castle. So definitely get a picture there! The inside seems castle like and cavelike as well. Me and my friends and family had a really good experience and they were great at being informative and making it fun! I would definitely go again!
Written November 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tina A
Flower Mound, TX72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Exceeded our expectations. We arrived 45 minutes before our tasting and were so glad we did. The grounds and lake are so beautiful-plenty of photo opportunities. We spent all the buffer time walking around, exploring and taking pictures. Jay was our host and was excellent. He took his time with our group and explained the differences in the wines from year to year due to the climate. We bought 3 bottles to take home with us and then spent more time shopping in the gift shop and left at sundown when the colors of the leaves and the lake water were glorious. I highly recommend you visit if you are trying to decide where to go on your trip to the Napa area.
Written December 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve B
Chicago, Illinois, United States8 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
With another couple, we spent several days attending private tastings at 6 different wineries. Chateau Montelena came in last for price and quality. We had a Library Room tasting and were charged $120 per person. This did not include any kind of tour of the winery or the grounds or vineyard. Our host was affable, but warned us not to go into the vineyards because of all the poisonous snakes. (!)
For tasting, we were only offered wines that ranged between $200 and $250 per bottle, even though less expensive offerings were available. Even with that, our host told us nothing about the tasting notes, the winemaking process or philosophy. No one in our 8-person group bought any wine.
We walked out of there knowing nothing more about Chateau Montelena wines than we did when we walked in. But we felt taken advantage of because we paid so much money for so little: very expensive wines, no tour, and no wine education.
In short, it seems that Chateau Montelena is coasting on its Judgment of Paris reputation and more or less "phoning it in" when it comes to the tastins. Apparently, they think people will pay for the privilege.
If I am ever looking for a worthwhile tasting experience, I will not consider Chateau Montelena.
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Steve, thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit and we are sorry to hear your disappointment with the overall experience. We will use your feedback to continue improving our hospitality training in our Tasting Rooms. Since we are a fully operational winery, we do not offer guided tours or encourage guests to walk in the vineyards for safety reasons. If you would like to discuss this further or share how we can enhance our guests' experiences in the future, feel free to reach out to our Tasting Room Manager Sheri Bowen directly at 707-942-5105 x 216. Thank you!
Written May 25, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

V V
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Friends
Our group of six booked a Library Tasting which is a medium sized room with high ceiling and two bars at the opposite ends. It was decorated with some history information and memorabilia. Our server David was informative and told us about the history of the winery along with geographical tidbits. He answered all our questions and we didn’t fell rushed at all. We all enjoyed their wine and a couple of my friends bought some bottles to take home. The price for the tasting I thought was worth it because we liked both the wines and our server David. We all had a walk down Jade Lake and it was gorgeous to stop at and enjoy.
Written March 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MstrViolinist
Seattle, WA404 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Recommend the "Library" tasting since it's more personal and you taste higher quality wines. We sat at our own table on the patio while another couple was on the other side of a divider and host Vince talked us through the different wines. The wines were all very good, we purchased a bottle of Zinfandel that we both enjoyed.

The grounds are also very beautiful and were very quiet when we visited, not busy at all. The castle is the focus but I really like the lake.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert S
Cottonwood, United States22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Chateau Montelena winery in Calistoga, California is a wonderful destination for spending time to walk on the pleasant trails that wander along a lake with two islands that support Chinese style pergolas. The free self-guided tour of the 1882 vintage chateau provided an abundance of history and wine making information. Wine tasting is available for a fee.
The entry, parking, lake access and self guided tour are free, making this experience a real bargain. Of course, the proprietors are hoping visitors will taste and purchase their world class wines.
Written October 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2Klecks
Sacramento, CA401 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
The grounds and chateau are beautiful and idyllic. Lots of stairs to climb to get up to the chateau. We arrived 45 minutes early and were told we had to wait until our reserved time. That was fine. Barrie, our hostess, took us inside. In the first tasting room, just inside the front door, it was so cold you could hang meat in there. We were relieved to follow Barrie to the end of the hall where the 1973 Paris Judgement bottle is kept. It's a fairly large room and we had to stand at the bar, way too close to 4 other guests. Then a birthday party of 8 to 10 people was brought into the room and seated at the other end. That's when the tasting completely fell apart. The party folks were incredibly and obnoxiously loud. We couldn't hear Barrie at all over the noise. We politely suggested Barrie go over and talk with them about keeping the noise down, but she didn't want to do that. She simply said "some parties are noisier than others". Barrie herself is "wonderful", just ask her. We heard way too much about her background and her life. We had one white wine drinker amongst us and when we asked if Barrie could just pour our friend Chardonnay (they were out of anything else white, but would get restocked soon), Barrie replied she would pour our friend red wines and she might like one of them. Ridiculous and rude. We won't be back, and we wouldn't recommend this experience to anyone. There are way too many fabulous wineries in Napa to spend any time at this one.
Written June 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, thank you for taking the time to write about your recent visit to the Chateau. We're sorry to hear your disappointment with the Taste of Montelena tasting and overall experience at the winery. While all of our tasting offerings are semi-private in shared spaces with other guests, our Estate Ambassadors strive to offer an educational and enjoyable experience for everyone. We will be sure to implement your feedback in our Tasting Room to enhance the experience of future visitors and hope for another opportunity to share the full Montelena experience with you, the right way. If you would like to share any additional feedback, feel free to reach out to the Tasting Room Manager Sheri Bowen directly at 707-942-5105 x 216.
Written June 6, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Chateau Montelena - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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Chateau Montelena is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM



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