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Sterling Vineyards: Family-Friendly Wine Tasting Experience in Napa Valley

If you're planning a trip to the Napa Valley wine country with kids - I highly recommend checking out Sterling Vineyards - a winery perched over 300 feet above the historic town of Calistoga that offers the best views of Napa Valley.  In fact, you could plan a perfect wine tasting adventure with the kids by visiting both Sterling Vineyards and Castello di Amorosa!

Founded in 1969, Sterling Vineyards has been long held as one of Napa Valley’s landmark, must-see wineries that features an aerial tram/gondola that takes you on a ride up the hill to the winery.

Your visit here starts with a one-of-its-kind gondola ride up the hill to the winery.

Modeled after architecture from the Greek island of Mykonos, where the founder once lived, the winery consists of halls of video exhibits detailing Sterling’s history and wine making processes, as well as a few terraces where you can sip a glass and enjoy great panoramic views.

Sterling vineyards was designed with visitors in mind, incorporating galleries and overlooks that allow guests to view the entire wine making process, with wine tasting stops all along the way.

General admission guests are greeted with a glass of wine to enjoy while strolling along the newly refinished winery overlooks and elevated walkways and learning about the wine making process from grape to glass. And for those who want an even more in-depth experience, there are many packages that feature a more private seated tasting experience featuring winery-exclusive luxury wines and another seating that focuses on gourmet food and wine pairing.

What You Need to Know:

Sterling Vineyards
1111 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga CA 94515

The wine tasting experience starts at $35, which includes a ride on the gondola.  Kids ages three and older are $20.

All tours include a gondola ride with a few different tasting experiences ranging from the Signature (self-guided) Winery Tour, Silver Experience, Polished Tour, Reserve Tasting Experience and the Platinum Experience.

Wine Tasting Experiences:
Signature Winery Tour - $35 per person (Ages 21 and under $20, ages 3 and under free)
Journey via aerial tram ride, enjoy a self-guided tour of the lower portion of the winery & scenic views from the outdoor terraces, followed by a tasting of current release wines.

Silver Experience - $60 per person
Seated wine tasting experience featuring a selection of limited-release wines in the tasting salon.  After the tasting, continue with a self-guided tour and relax on the outdoor terrace.

Polished Tour - $65 per person
Guided tour through the winery while learning about its history and wine making practices. Following the tour, make your way to the main tasting room and delight in a selection of exclusive Platinum Collection wines.

Reserve Tasting Experience - $75 per person
Seated tasting of the most exclusive selections - a range of reserve wines, Platinum and Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon.  Wine flight includes a cheese & charcuterie pairing in the Reserve Room.  After the tasting, enjoy the scenic views from the terraces as you take a self-guided tour of the winery.

Platinum Experience - $85 per person
The top notch offering at Sterling Vineyards that includes a seated one hour wine & food pairing and educational tasting.  You'll enjoy a flight of four small-production reserve wines, perfectly paired with a series of food items prepared by the Sterling Vineyards culinary team.

On our most recent visit, we did the Platinum Experience and were blown away by the food and wine pairings - it is the perfect splurge for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.  The kids got a snack and juice box, while we enjoyed the food and wine pairings.

Overall Impression:
Sterling Vineyards offers a great family-friendly wine tasting experience.  The gondola ride up to the winery will be a big hit with kids and the variety of wine tasting experiences offers something for everyone. 

Lastly, Sterling Vineyards allows you to keep your custom wine glass as a free souvenir, as its included in the price of the tour and gondola ride.

Be sure to add this great winery to your list of stops as you make your way through Napa Valley!