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“Delicious; friendly crew”

von Strasser and Lava Vine Winery
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Calistoga Wine Country Sip 'n' Cycle Bike Tour
Ranked #8 of 67 things to do in Calistoga
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We really enjoyed our visit to Lava Vine (it ended up being one of our favorites). The guys there clearly enjoys good wine and explains each wine well -- and introduced us to some interesting and wonderful food pairings. Especially loved their Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Port. We even got a chance to take in some terrific music by John (a clearly talented, conservatory-trained musician). Hope to be back again soon!

Thank Roadwarrior Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 - 142 of 177 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2012

Went as a party of 16 and they were very accommodating. They may have been the smallest winery we went to, but definitely the friendliest and all the wine was great! Highly recommended.

Thank HeyLO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2012 via mobile

Call and make an appt. we were met with enthusiasm and an outdoor table with comfortable furniture awaited as well as our first tasting. Katie sat w us and was a sheer joy. The wine is spectacular and the vibe friendly and relaxed like your at home w friends.

Rudy Von Strasser happened by and was such a nice man. We were given a tour of the caves as a special treat.

We have always loved this wine and the people are as quality as the wine.

Thank 10008rrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

A group of 8 of us stopped here during a limo wine tour. It was our first stop of the day and a beautiful location. Our winery guide was very pleasant and we sat in a beautiful cave for our tasting. We even got a visit from Rudy Von Strasser and found him to be very personable! The property itself was also pretty. I think we were all pleasantly surprised with the wines....we all bought some!

This was definitely one of our favorite stops during our two days of wine touring. I would highly recommend vineyard both for the wines AND the experience!

Thank Pamela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Had a wonderful tasting experience at Von Strasser. It is a small vineyard tucked away in the Diamond Valley producing some incredible wines. Definitely worth the trip.

Thank maz0118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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