Calling all wine enthusiasts who crave a whole new wine tasting experience. Yes, I mean YOU! Aren’t you ready for something other than the predictable tasting rooms of the valley? Well my friend, cue your sense for the unusual because we’re going to taste wine in an authentic 1920’s railcar – lastly restored in the 1970’s. I’m not talking about the Napa Valley Wine Train. Nope, this is different. It’s the perfect alternative to a traditional winery setting. And best of all, it’s wine country’s best kept secret!
Welcome aboard to Heibel Ranch Vineyards in Calistoga, CA.
The charming and historic town of Calistoga is located in the northern end of Napa Valley, and is the ideal spot to hang out on a sunny afternoon, explore boutique shops, galleries and cafes…and to taste wine! As you stroll down the main street of Lincoln Ave, past Palisades Deli Café, you’ll come across the Calistoga Depot. This former train platform houses two vintage 3-car trains, each one having been lovingly refurbished to reflect its original mid-century details. And at the very end of the line (railcar 12) resides Heibel Ranch Vineyards.
When you come for a visit, you’ll most likely receive an enthusiastic (and a bit slobbery) welcome from Chachi, the four-legged winery mascot. If Chachi’s there, you’ll also get to meet Trent Ghiringhelli, winemaker & co-owner of Heibel Ranch with his parents Helen Heibel Nelson & Bruce Nelson. Trent’s wife Marion (originally from Bordeaux, France) designed the Tasting Car décor & also oversees the winery’s sales and marketing efforts. Trent will be sure to share stories about the ranch’s long history, which dates back to when his grandfather bought the Aetna Springs Resort in 1945.
The Flight Tasting is $20 per person and showcases four (4) wines from their collection: 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Lappa’s (proprietary red blend of Cabernet, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah) and a Zinfandel dessert wine. Delightful and complimentary with 2 bottle wine purchase!!!
Railcar Tasting Room:
1458 Lincoln Ave, Railcar 12
Calistoga, CA 94515.
Book a Flight Tasting
In the mood for an off-road experience? Then make a reservation for their Back Country Tour of the family ranch. You’ll cruise around the vineyards in a 1960’s jeep as Chachi (and his human Trent) guides you to a picnic table near their private lake where you’ll enjoy a wine tasting. The tour is $250 per couple or $100/person for groups of 3-8 persons. Complete details about the outdoor excursion and directions to the ranch will be provided with appointment confirmations.
Book a Back Country Tour
So, will it be tasting wine in an old train or at the vineyard ranch? Share your experience from Heibel Ranch Vineyards in the comment section below… and don’t forget to let us know which tasting adventure you enjoyed!
Louise Veron – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at VinoVisit.com
Originally from Bordeaux (France), I moved to the Napa Valley to work for VinoVisit.com in 2015. I just finished my trilingual Master’s degree in Wine Tourism and International Marketing and graduated with honors. As a real food and wine lover, I’m enjoying exploring the area and relating my discoveries from a very French point of view.