Sterling Vineyards: The View is Much Better Than the Wine


When we went to the restaurant Nepenthe in Big Sur, the view was better than the food. But that was okay because the view was utterly spectacular and the food, while nothing special, was enjoyable. As you might have figured out by now, I'm a big fan of scenery. So when I was planning our day trip from San Francisco to Napa Valley, I wanted to go to the prettiest winery. I soon learned that Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga had the best views — you ride a chairlift to the winery from the base as if you're at a ski resort. Now everyone also said that Sterling's wine didn't match the views. But I figured so what if they didn't have the best wine?

Well, I was disappointed by how short the wines fell. I probably would have been less disappointed if the weather had been nicer because then perhaps the views would have made up for it. When I saw the list before we boarded the chairlift, I was optimistic because the bottles weren't cheap; they ranged from $26-40, which is more than I pay when I go to the wine store. Of course, cost doesn't equal quality, but more expensive wines are supposed to be better.

Four tastes (two red, two white) were included in the $20 per person admission fee. The wine just really wasn't to our taste. But that's the thing about taste — everyone's is different. We heard the guy at the table behind us (at Sterling, they come around and serve you each taste) asking how he could join the wine club because he wanted to get their wine delivered to his home every single week. So for him, it seemed that Sterling Vineyards had the best views and the best wine. He must have felt like he hit the Napa Valley jackpot.

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