We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Most fun winery ever!”

von Strasser and Lava Vine Winery
Book In Advance
More Info
$149.00*
and up
Calistoga Wine Country Sip 'n' Cycle Bike Tour
Ranked #8 of 67 things to do in Calistoga
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Rudy’s passionate interest in Cabernet Sauvignon lead him to discover a family connection to Eric de Rothschild, and he wrote a letter asking to do an internship at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Each year the Chateau had been hiring an intern from the French winemaking program at Montpellier. Thinking that two minds are better than one, Mr. Rothschild invited Rudy to work for the 1985 harvest as their first American intern. Upon completion, Rudy returned to Napa Valley in the spring of 1986 and became the enologist at Trefethen Winery and Vineyards. In 1988, he became the assistant winemaker in charge of production at Newton Vineyards in St. Helena. Shortly after their marriage in 1989, Rudy and Rita von Strasser set out looking for a vineyard property to serve as a home for their future family as well as future brand. Having already developed a deep passion and talent for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Rudy was committed that the property must be in a microclimate blessed with the ability to grow and produce the finest red wines in Napa Valley. Coincidentally, the old Roddis Estate Winery on Diamond Mountain had just been put on the market, and in a bold move, the von Strasser label was born. From 1990 through 2016, von Strasser Winery made their mark on Napa Valley with their Diamond Mountain District Cabernets. Not only did Rudy spearhead the effort to turn Diamond Mountain District into a distinct AVA (American Viticultural Area), he assembled a core of the AVA’s best vineyards to partner with. On top of his Estate Vineyard, he has made vineyard designated wines from Sori Bricco Vineyard, Spaulding Vineyard, Post Vineyard, Agira Vineyard, Diamond Terraces Vineyard, Rainin Vineyard and Vineyard 2131. Over this period, he achieved unparalleled success as a Cabernet producer. Von Strasser Winery was named Wine and Spirits Magazine Winery of the Year for an unbelievable 13 times over this span. Starting in 2017, von Strasser is making another bold move by relocating their winery and expanding their labels. In late 2015, von Strasser Winery added Lava Vine Winery to their portfolio. Lava Vine, a small Calistoga winery, is known for its ‘alternative varietal’ portfolio of wines. The facility at Lava Vine is currently being expanded to include an ultra-modern fermentation and barrel aging building. The Lava Vine brand already has a loyal following thanks to their great wines and friendly tasting room. Over the next few years, Rudy will slowly expand the Lava Vine brand to focus on Pinot Noir, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Grüner Veltliner. However do not be surprised when offered a taste of Verdehlo, Tempranillo, charbono, or old-vine Zinfandel, and many other treats. And of course, Rudy will also continue to make his world class Von Strasser label single vineyard cabernet sauvignons.
Houston, Texas, United States
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Most fun winery ever!”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

The place for good, small production wine, and entertainment to boot! Get there early and plan on joining in the fun. If you're looking for a stuffy place to taste, keep driving.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Fred B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

177 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    133
    31
    7
    3
    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Roswell, GA
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“More Fun than You can Imagine”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

Felt like I had walked into a long time's friend's reunion...... Jon and Pete were very friendly....played tunes for us on their guitar and banjo.... stayed longer here than any other winery we visited.... and a special chocolate with salt and olive oil... YUM!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank DebMRoswell_GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brentwood, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

The guys who run this are hilarious. Make sure this is the last stop on your wine tour, order a bottle of the Chenin Blanc and prepare to join in the fun

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Spoonyspurs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Atmosphere”
Reviewed August 22, 2012

I would say this is the best winery in the area based on atmosphere alone. However, the wine is also very good.

As others have mentioned, this place definitely does not take itself as seriously as others in the area do, and is much more fun.

They also ask you to try out some food pairs with the wine they serve, straight from their garden or BBQ, which is great. None of the others I tried offered that.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
“Breath of Fresh Air”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

My wife and I walked here after a few days of winery tours and tastings. This place is unforgettable. Not only are their wines very good, but the atmosphere and vibe of this place was exactly what we needed. We love wine but are not high and mighty wine tasters. Sometimes being at a winery that takes it self uber seriously can set an uncomfortable tone. This place was all about good wine, good company and creating a positive shared experience. By far our most favorite winery. And do no sleep on their tasty, tasty wine.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank PGabaldon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed von Strasser and Lava Vine Winery also viewed

Calistoga, Napa Valley
 
Calistoga, Napa Valley
 

Been to von Strasser and Lava Vine Winery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing