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Tank Garage Winery
March 30, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

5 Reasons to Visit Napa Valley Right Now

Old Faithful Geyser

geyser shooting

Did you know that there is a geyser in little Calistoga?
In the early days of the National Geographic Society, Old Faithful Geyser of California was declared one of only three “faithful” geysers in the world because of its regular eruptions. This geyser has also proven itself to be a good predictor of earthquakes. When the geyser’s regular eruptions are delayed or diminished, an earthquake is likely within the next couple of weeks in the 500 miles surrounding the geyser.
Old Faithful Geyser of California soon became one of the most visited places in the American West. The rainbows that form in the predictable sprays of mist are a wonderful feature in this serene setting at the top of Napa Valley. To this day, Old Faithful Geyser of California remains one of the most photographed places in the State of California.

1299 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA, 94515

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

hot air balloons above napa

Experience Napa Valley like never before as morning winds carry you gently above corridors of grapes and between the mountains of one of the most magnificent valleys on Earth. If you book through Calistoga Balloons, soar 2,000 feet above the valley, vineyards, and mountains for an inspiring way to get a birds-eye-view of Castello di Amorosa, Palisade Cliffs, Mount St. Helena, Old Faithful Geyser, Sterling Vineyards, and Chateau Montelena, the winery featured in the movie Bottle Shock. Your adventure begins just after sunrise when the morning sunlight enhances the natural beauty of Upper Napa Valley. Flights depart at sunrise, between 6:00 and 7:30 am, and last 3 - 4 hours.

1458 Lincoln Ave #15, Calistoga, CA, 94515

Grab a Bite at the Farmstead restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch

outdoor cafe

Housed in a former nursery barn, the restaurant at Farmstead is the heart of Long Meadow Ranch with modern American farmhouse cuisine, a lively open kitchen, and indoor and outdoor seating. This farm-to-table experience revels in the talents of chefs, farmers, cattle ranchers, winemakers, and restaurant managers that create a Napa Valley experience like no other (we’re lookin’ at the Dungeness crab cioppino). They also have a general store, where you can find fresh produce and artisanal provisions.

738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574


Check out Napa Valley Distillery

speakeasy style bar

We may be home to the best wine around, but there are dozens of breweries and a number of distilleries that you won’t want to miss. Located in true 'speakeasy' style, this is the first Distillery in the City of Napa since Prohibition. Engulfed in a sea of wine, Napa Valley Distillery is truly a hidden gem. family-owned and operated by Arthur and Lusine Hartunian. After working as a limo driver, a Las Vegas stickman, a professional poker player, and insurance salesman, Napa Valley Distillery founder and frontman Arthur Hartunian began Napa Valley Distillery in 2009 over a Poker bet! They create a variety of rare and unique artisanal spirits, bottled cocktails, and cocktail ingredients in very limited quantities.

2485 Stockton St Napa, CA 94559
707 265-6272


Stay at the Calistoga Motor Lodge

trellis and pool

The Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is an epic ode to the Great American Road Trip of the '50s, '60s, and '70s, and the spirit of exploration it evokes. Whether it's backroad wine country or a relaxing mineral bath, their backyard can be your backyard, and it's anything but ordinary. Framed by vineyards and bike trails, their stylish Mid-Century Modern digs are the perfect foundation for those looking to find their next great adventure from the perfect home base. Perfectly placed at the head of the Silverado Trail, in the heart of California's scenic wine region, the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa feature 50 rooms and suites, two Mineral Water Pools, and a Mineral Water Hot Tub, and a Full-Service Spa.

1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515


Time Posted: Mar 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM Permalink to 5 Reasons to Visit Napa Valley Right Now Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
March 23, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

Dopamine and Stir Fry

stir fry and wine bottle

Go bold or go home with this unconventional food pairing. We decided to pair Dopamine with one pan beef stir fry. A little bit of savory, a little bit of sweet, and a little bit of spice from the garlic-soaked noodles marries perfectly with the smokiness of the wine. Dopamine can take a little heat so don't be shy! 

The wine: 
We asked our winemaking team to go for bold on this one and bold they went with 61% Tempranillo, 26% Graciano, and 13% Syrah. The Tempranillo and Graciano clusters were de-stemmed and spent about 20 days on the skins prior to finding their homes in neutral oak for 15 months. We employed extended maceration during fermentation  And, because we’re cool like that, we blended in a small percentage of foot-stomped and whole-cluster fermented Syrah that adds a faint whisper of smoke and bold bramble-berry characteristics.

The Ingredients:
1 pound flank steak
Choose your noods (soba, udon, egg, rice, and even spaghetti noodles will work)
1 white onion
5 shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup minced garlic
1 cup shredded carrots 
2 stems bok choy
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup green onion

The sauce:
Minced garlic
2 tbsp sesame oil
As much soy sauce as your heart desires 

The process:
Heat a medium to large-sized pan on medium heat with a little bit of sesame oil. Sear the flank steak on both sides until desired temperature is reached. Once cooked, add in a whole sliced white onion. Next up, add your shiitake mushrooms. Drizzle in some of the pre-made sauce. Let simmer. 
Add in the shredded carrots, bok choy, and noodles and stir until fully cooked. 
Once plated, sprinkle green onions on top and voila! You just made one pan stir fry.

dopamine and ingredients

Time Posted: Mar 23, 2021 at 8:13 AM Permalink to Dopamine and Stir Fry Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
March 17, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

10 Cool Things to Do in Napa Valley

Grab a Burger from Gott’s Roadside

Gott’s Roadside was founded in 1999 in Saint Helena by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott. Gott’s California-inspired dishes and seasonal specials use locally sourced ingredients and purveyors such as Niman Ranch beef, Zoe’s bacon, Panorama Bakery bread, and Osprey Seafood. Gott's modern approach to American roadside classics has something for everyone including dishes like the California Burger with a fried egg, Zoe's bacon, and balsamic onions, Ahi Poke Crispy Tacos, Chicken Kale Caesar, and hand-spun organic shakes. There’s something about their cheeseburger, fries, and shake combo that will rock your world.

Located at 933 Main St, CA-29, St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-3486

hamburger, drink, fried in tray

Enjoy a Mud Bath at Solage, an Auberge Resort 

Come to Solage to detox, retox, and repeat. Solage is home to an award-winning 20,000 square foot Spa Solage, which showcases the renowned Calistoga mud and mineral water therapies that have attracted spa-goers to this northern stretch of Napa Valley since the 19th century. The Bathhouse at Solage delivers the ultimate wellness experience, featuring exclusive geothermal pools with temperatures that range from icy cold to a comforting 98°, and a soothing 103°. They use mineral-enriched mud personalized with essential oils. The best part? You’re not sharing your mud. Instead of a communal mud bath, expect a private, three-part detoxifying treatment that begins with mud combined with volcanic ash, geothermal mineral water, and an aromatherapy blend of essential oils that you select yourself. Treat yo’ self.

Located at 755 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 226-0800

Hike the Beautiful Trails of Skyline Wilderness Park

Lake Marie via Skyline Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Napa, California that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as moderate. The park opened on April 5th, 1983. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. The park has 25 miles of multi-use fire road and singletrack trails of various skill levels. Later additions included an RV camp area, a tent camping area, and a picnic area with a cook shack. Local horsemen proposed a riding arena, show office, and bleachers, and money was raised to construct these. Now, Skyline holds a series of horse shows each year. Napa Valley is so green right now, the flowers are blooming, and daylight savings just hit so it’s time to get out on the trail. The views here are endless. 

Located at  2201 Imola Ave, Napa, CA 94559
(707) 252-0481

person hiking green hill

Shop for Vintage Clothes at Wildcat Vintage Clothing

One of the best shops for vintage clothing is Wildcat Vintage Clothing. Wildcat is a unique vintage and retro clothing store for guys and gals who want some sass and class on their ass! This store rocks its own style and encourages customers to do the same. 

Located at 931 Coombs St, Napa, CA 94559
(707) 224-3162

Ride a Bike through The Napa Valley Vine Trail

Take advantage of the sunshine for a ride through the valley on the Napa Valley Vine Trail. The coalition that built the trail is a local nonprofit that aims to construct a walking/cycling trail system that will connect the entire Napa Valley. Upon completion, there will be 47 safe and continuous miles of level, paved, dog-friendly trails stretching from the ferry terminal in Vallejo to Calistoga. More than 300 trees have been planted that will eventually shade trail users. At present, the continuous section goes from Kennedy Park in south Napa to the north end of Yountville in the valley’s center. If you want to do the entire trail, start your ride at Kennedy Park, a public space on the Napa River with softball fields, sand volleyball courts, picnic sites, and a formal garden. If you ride 2.5 miles north on the trail, you’ll hit the Oxbow Public Market, a bustling food hall that features restaurants, vendors, local produce, and a riverside deck overlooking the “oxbow” in the Napa River. This is the perfect place to stock up on snacks for your ride.

Located at 3299 Claremont Way #4, Napa, CA 94558
(707) 252-3547

Pose for an IG Pic in front of the Napa Valley Welcome Signs

Nothing says “you are here” like a photo at the Napa Valley welcome sign along Highway 29. “Welcome to this world-famous wine-growing region... and the wine is bottled poetry...” it reads. There are actually two matching welcome signs in the valley. The south sign is located near Oakville, south of Robert Mondavi Winery on the edge of the historic To Kalon vineyard. The north sign is just south of Calistoga. These iconic signs are beloved. I mean…did you really go to Napa if you didn’t take a photo with the welcome sign?

napa valley sign

Pretend you’re in OG Napa Valley at Turtle Rock Bar & Cafe

The world’s best egg rolls, according to Napa locals, can be found at Turtle Rock, a 1960s institution that’s one part bar, one part general store. Hundreds, if not thousands, of dollar bills, hang from the ceiling of this divey biker’s haven, which is a popular stop-off for locals heading to and from Lake Berryessa. In fact, it’s really the only place to pull over for a snack in the rural area. Turtle Rock’s giant egg rolls are so notorious that they sell over a thousand on summer weekends, but they often have other specials too, like burgers, tri-tip, pulled pork, and monthly Taco Tuesdays. 

Located at 2000 Capell Valley Rd, Napa, CA 94558
(707) 966-2246

Chill by the Pool at the Calistoga Motor Lodge

Designed by New York-based design firm AvroKo and inspired by the Great American Road trip, the Calistoga Motor Lodge is the best version of a classic roadside boutique hotel. There’s a pretty good reason why travelers have been coming to Calistoga for over 150 years to soak in the geothermal pools. There are three located at the Calistoga Motor Lodge, all fed from nature’s own underground hot springs. Post-soak, chill out by the outdoor pool with cabana beds and loungers. They also recently introduced Adult Swim Only to enhance social distancing while ensuring that all guests receive their own time and space at the pool. 

1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-0991

Grab a slice of Pizza from Pizzeria Tra Vigne 

In-The-Know locals go to Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant, a wood-fired pizzeria in the heart of St. Helena Wine Country. Casual spot for Northern Italian cuisine with a quaint, old-world feel & tree-covered courtyard. Thin-crust, sourdough pizzas star on the menu, which also includes an incredible array of delicious salads, fun, tasty, Italian small plates (think made to order mozzarella), sandwiches, pasta, and other wood-fired specialties. Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant is a beverage oasis, boasting a seasonal craft cocktail list, an increasing selection of craft-brewed Northwest-focused beer, and an eclectic, affordable selection of local wine on tap and in the bottle. Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant offers wine country flavors at friendly, affordable prices.

1016 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-9999

Introduction to Tank

Welcome to Tank. A home away from home where you never dream alone. At Tank, we’ve set out to do something different. We specialize in the art of the blend and we only release limited one-offs so we never put out the same thing twice. Our winery is set in a 1930s gas station turned tasting room aka your next favorite place to hang. Tank started out as a dream to make wines with soul and purpose. No business plan, no exit strategy, just a mission to do cool shit. We source fruit from California’s most sought-after vineyards (and some obscure ones, too) to make the most unique wines you’ve ever experienced. Come on by and hang with the Tank crew while we pour you through limited-release wines! If you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of this crazy ride.


Time Posted: Mar 17, 2021 at 9:00 AM Permalink to 10 Cool Things to Do in Napa Valley Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
March 3, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

Tenacious Tempranillo

You’re getting into red wine. You’re craving something different. Something savory. Enter Tempranillo, Spain’s #1 wine grape.” - Wine Folly

Where is Tempranillo From?

Tempranillo is a red grape varietal from Spain. The name means “little early one” referencing its earlier ripening than many other Spanish red grapes. The first official mention of Tempranillo was in 1807. Although, Tempranillo is thought to have originated in the Iberian Peninsula and has been around since Phoenician settlement, over 3,000 years ago. In 2015, Tempranillo was the fourth most widely planted wine grape variety worldwide with 232,561 hectares (574,670 acres), of which 87% was in Spain where it is the most planted red grape variety.

Why we love Tempranillo

Tempranillo can be light and fresh, luxuriant and profound, or sophisticated and worthy of aging. Tempranillo grapes have moderately thin skins, creating a ruby-colored red wine. On its own, tempranillo is typically medium-bodied but it is often blended with other grapes to make a more full-bodied wine. It is found primarily in Northern and Central Spain and Portugal. Tempranillo is more neutral than it’s bigger bodied red counterparts so it is known for acting as a blending grape with Grenache and Syrah. 

All of our Tempranillo Wines

We’ve tackled Tempranillo quite a few times. From our vault, our very first wine ever released in 2014 was called Never Dream Alone, a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Zinfandel. The Tempranillo was grown on “extreme terroir” 1,600 feet up on Atlas Peak in Napa Valley. The Zin is old vine goodness from Chiles Valley. This combination produces inspiring notes of wildflowers, black cherry, butter, cinnamon, plum, peach and dried cloves.

In 2015, we created Las Californias, a blend of 67% Tempranillo and 33% Graciano. Lets face it, California doesn’t really need another Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend, so we decided to let Tempranillo play the part of Cabernet Sauvignon and provide the framework, backbone, structure and ageing ability, while the Graciano (loosely playing the part of Merlot) brings deep color and strong aromatics.

Fast forward to 2016 with the release of Jonny Oro. Tempranillo, Syrah, and Mourvedre prove to be a match made in heaven, which sometimes looks a lot like Calistoga, CA. Sweet red raspberry on the nose, with hints of tobacco and rich leather, bravely followed by a juicy palate full of red fruits, white pepper, and a little bit of brown sugar.

Lick is next on our Vault journey, released in 2017. Big, expressive Syrah from Calistoga comes together with Tempranillo and a touch of Carignane to make a wine so good you'll want to lick the glass clean. There's no doubt that Lick is one of our richest and most seductive blends to date. The notes of freshly cracked pepper combined with flavors of dark berries and silky tannins are what make this wine completely irresistible.

Last but certainly not least is The Art of Surfing, recently released in 2019. For this blend, Bertus starts with Tempranillo from Shake Ridge Ranch, a vineyard in the Sierra Foothills that straddles the ridgeline at 1,700 feet above sea level. Tempranillo is a Spanish varietal and Bertus loves its tannins and cherry flavors. To complement tempranillo’s lush tannins and cherry flavors, Bertus added a small lot of Sangiovese and Barbera, two lighter Italian varieties he feels will add additional brightness to our sun-kissed blend. One thing is for sure, Bertus got something very right with this one. Juicy aromas of cherries and cocoa make way for a smoother ride across the palate and mouth watering finish. 


Dopamine bottle with tiger label

The moment you’ve been waiting for. Enjoy your dose of Dopamine, a ferocious 2019 Sierra Foothills red that packs a punch with 61% Tempranillo, 26% Graciano and 13% Syrah. We asked our winemaking team to go for bold and bold they went. The Tempranillo and Graciano clusters were de-stemmed and spent about 20 days on the skins prior to finding their homes in neutral oak for 15 months. We employed extended maceration during fermentation  And, because we’re cool like that, we blended in a small percentage of foot-stomped and whole-cluster fermented Syrah that adds a faint whisper of smoke and bold bramble-berry characteristics. The Tempranillo in Dopamine went through two delestages during early peak active fermentation. So how does it work? First, separate the juice from the solids by racking, where the wine is drained off the fermentation bin into a clean tank. Then take some of the seeds/stems out and gently pump the juice back onto the solids. Warmer temperatures are better for extracting tannin so this process softens the tannins and helps to create a juicier wine.

Introduction to Tank

Welcome to Tank. A home away from home where you never dream alone. At Tank, we’ve set out to do something different. We specialize in the art of the blend and we only release limited one-offs so we never put out the same thing twice. Our winery is set in a 1930s gas station turned tasting room aka your next favorite place to hang. Tank started out as a dream to make wines with soul and purpose. No business plan, no exit strategy, just a mission to do cool shit. We source fruit from California’s most sought after vineyards (and some obscure ones, too) to make the most unique wines you’ve ever experienced. Come on by and hang with the Tank crew while we pour you through limited release wines! If you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of this crazy ride.


Time Posted: Mar 3, 2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Tenacious Tempranillo Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
February 22, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

The Beaujy Backstory to Gamay

On the hunt for an inexpensive alternative to Pinot Noir? Then let’s get beaujy. 

hand holding wine bottle to sky

What is Gamay?

Gamay is a light-bodied grape originally thought to have first appeared in the village of Gamay, south of Beaune, France, in the 1360s. It most likely arrived from Germany with unenthusiastic welcome; the dukes of Burgundy even tried to outlaw its presence as they were unenthused by its unfamiliarity. It is a cousin of Pinot Noir and today grows primarily next to Burgundy in Beaujolais, France. It has become increasingly popular in France, Canada, Switzerland, Oregon, and New Zealand. DNA analysis shows that Gamay is actually a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Gamay is easy drinkin’ and typically has lively acidity and low tannin. Gamay offers fruit-driven, candied characteristics with notable flavors of black currant, raspberry, banana, potting soil, and violets. If you find that you’re into Gamay and Pinot Noir, also give Grenache and Barbera a try. You won’t be disappointed. 

Background of Beaujloais wine region

You simply can’t mention Gamay without talking about Beajolais, France, where 75% of the world’s Gamay is produced. It is located immediately south of Burgundy in eastern France. There are three major classifications to the wines produced in Beaujolais. Beaujolais or Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais-Villages (slightly less tart, intense fruit, earthy, banana), and Beaujolais Cru (bold, complex, dark fruit, violets). The region's highest-quality wines are those of the ten Beaujolais 'crus' – ten vineyard areas long recognized as the finest in the area. The Gamay grape used to produce these distinctive wines is an early ripening, acidic variety. For this reason, carbonic maceration has become the accepted method for making most red Beaujolais wines. Whole clusters of grapes are sealed into fermentation tanks and pumped with carbon dioxide. Without any oxygen, fermentation begins inside the individual berries and the grapes end up crushing themselves from the weight of the alcohol produced during said fermentation.

What is a Beaujolais Nouvau wine?

As far back as the 1800s, it is French tradition for Beaujolais growers to gather and celebrate the end of the harvest by toasting the vintage with some of the young wine produced that year. Beaujolais Nouveau is a separate category outside of the regional classification system. Beaujolais Nouveau is released to the public annually on the third Thursday of November, just a few weeks after Gamay grapes are harvested. It’s not a wine to be cellared or saved and is instead best enjoyed while its vibrant red fruit character and high acidity are fresh. By law, all grapes in the region must be harvested by hand. 

How is Gamay different from Napa Gamay?

A more obscure French varietal, Valdiguié, was misrepresented in California as “Napa Gamay” for decades. This mistake wasn’t corrected until 1980, when the ampelographer Pierre Galet identified it as Valdiguié. Californians continued to bottle Valdiguié as “Gamay Beaujolais” until 2009. So it’s not uncalled for that a Gamay lover might have a bone to pick with Valdiguié.

Tank's first Gamay, Little Secrets

pop tags around wine bottle and flavors

Like passed love notes during spring bloom, our very first Gamay is full of Little Secrets, not meant to be unveiled. But we’ll make an exception with this bottle. Because we’re talking about carbonic macerated Gamay, Beaujolais Nouveau style. It takes approximately 5-15 days for carbonic maceration to complete and our Little Secrets spent 7 days carbonically macerating. You heard that right. On the nose, experience rose petals, dried cherries, and Hawaiian Fruit Punch. On the palate, this wine is fresh as hell with notes of herbaceous membrillo, blood orange, juicy peach, and Hubba Bubba bubblegum. With bright acidity and a satin texture, this wine will enamor you. 

Gamay is hard to find, but that didn’t stop us. And after several years of searching, we finally landed at the Barsotti vineyard sitting pretty at 2,800 ft above Placerville in the El Dorado appellation of the Sierra Foothills. The grapevines were planted in 2005 by badass local stonefruit grower, Ron Mansfield for Bay Area winemaker, Steve Edmunds. Together, Steve and Ron envisioned growing the first true Gamay Noir in California in the decomposed granite soils of Barsotti. Days are warm and dazzling with cool and crisp evenings that ensure the fruit ripens slowly while preserving freshness. There's something about the combination of Gamay and Granite that creates a wine with a huge personality.

Introduction to Tank

When we opened Tank Garage Winery in 2014, we didn’t know if it would turn into Napa’s coolest winery, or work at all for that matter. In fact, for a while, it seemed like it wouldn’t. Napa Valley just didn’t seem ready for an old garage pumping out eclectic wine blends and vintage vibes. The people that drove by looked confused and if they ever stopped, it was to try and get gas. Nobody seemed to get it. But then, we found you. If you are reading this, thank you for sharing our dream. Thanks for helping us build Napa’s most fun wine tasting experience. Thanks for supporting us when the odds are stacked against us. We’ll keep pushing boundaries in winemaking. We’ll keep doing cool shit. And we promise to keep rockin’ and rollin’.

Time Posted: Feb 22, 2021 at 2:45 PM Permalink to The Beaujy Backstory to Gamay Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
February 17, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

History of Calistoga

History of Calistoga

fog over Calistoga hills

Calistoga, California is situated at the northernmost tip of Napa Valley in California’s Wine Country. It is Northeast from Santa Rosa and south from Clearlake. On this end of the valley, living is easier. It’s small and quaint and the roads are quieter. The 5,000 folks who live here retain the town’s rustic charm. Wineries here are farther and fewer between. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city occupies a total of 2.6 miles. Calistoga is the perfect segue from Napa Valley Wine Country to Sonoma County Wine Country. With Calistoga being such a small town, walking and bicycling are the best ways to get around. Calistoga is the closest Napa Valley town to Knights Valley and Healdsburg.

History of Calistoga

Napa Valley was once the home of many indigenous people. The Wappo lived in Calistoga during the Spanish colonial era of the 1700s. In this era, Napa Valley was controlled by the Mission San Francisco de Solano in what is now called Sonoma. After mission properties were disposed of by the Mexican government following their Independence, Napa Valley was divided into Ranchos in the 1830s and 1840s. At the same time, the first American settlers began to arrive. Samuel Brannan was the leader of a settlement expedition landing in what is now San Francisco in 1846. Brannan purchased 2,000 acres in 1885 to develop a spa that reminded him of Saratoga, New York. When the railroad completed construction in 1868, Calistoga became a destination and a proponent of transportation.

Where did Calistoga get its name from?

The town’s name is derived from Brannan’s tipsy mistake of wanting to call it the Saratoga of California, which instead came out as the “Calistoga of Sarafornia.” 

Calistoga differences vs. St. Helena, Yountville, and Napa

Calistoga and St. Helena are both lovely towns only about 15 minutes away from each other. As you move further south, you’ll hit Yountville and then Napa. All three cities have their own charm. Compared to St. Helena, Calistoga is more picturesque with mountain and vineyard views surrounding the town from all angles. The largest distinguishing factor of Calstoga versus its neighboring towns is the geothermal hot springs. To get a nice soak in, Indian Springs Resort is highly popular for its spa services, including mud baths. St. Helena has been referred to as the Beverly Hills of Napa, featuring the most exclusive shopping. Yountville is very folksy and has more Michelin star restuarants per capita than any other US city. Hit all three cities to experience the best of what Napa Valley has to offer. 


mustard between vines

Fun things to do in Calistoga

Calistoga is home to countless wineries, restaurants, hotels, boutique shops, and spas. Calistoga is the perfect place for hiking, biking, golf, swimming, horseback riding, or simply strolling the downtown strip. Calistoga is a haven for geothermal activity and many of the spas use the area’s natural mineral hot springs. It’s also known for the Old Faithful Geyser of California. Back in the day, The National Geographic Society declared the Old Faithful Geyser of California one of three “faithful” geysers in the world because of its regular eruptions. The geyser is known to be a good predictor of earthquakes; if the eruption is delayed or lessened, it’s pretty likely an earthquake will occur in the following few weeks in the 500 miles surronding the geyser. Millions of years ago, a nearby volcano erupted and lava buried the surrounding trees, essentially fossilizing them in the Petrified Forest, located on Petrified Forest Rd. 

Featured Wines


We’ve used famed Calistoga fruit in several of Tank bottles. Most recently, we used 69% of Petite Sirah from Kalin Vineyard in Calistoga in our retired Bring Black Roses. Exposed to sinisterly hot summer days, and chilly nights, this stuff concentrates deep, dense flavor and color. To round out the blend, we turned to our old friend with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from Temple Ranch to add a bit of lush opulence, and lastly, 14% Zinfandel for some spice. Together these forces deliver a wine that’s oozing with black fruit character. The dark ruby color is sexy, but the black cherry and rose petal aromas really make this wine seductive. On the palate, we get these silky smooth, round flavor reminiscent of blackberry cobbler plus raspberry, huckleberry, and some cocoa for good measure. Really, though, this wine rules.

We also used Calistoga fruit in our uniquely blended 50% Syrah and 50% Skin-Fermented Viognier to create one of the most exceptional examples of winemaking to ever come out of our garage. We began with Syrah from one of the best sources in our state, Calistoga’s own Frediani Vineyard. This fabled vineyard is home to some of Napa Valley’s oldest vines, which thrive under the hot Calistoga summer days, producing fruit with opulent black fruit flavor and pepper spice. The first thing you’ll notice once you pour Reborn is the pronounced tropical aroma overflowing from the glass. Trust us, you’ve never smelled a red wine like this before. Once you take a sip, the Syrah’s lush blackberry and blueberry flavors intermix with apricot, peach, and vibrant acidity from the Viognier. The tension between these two grapes create something that’s almost indescribably delicious, like a floral cherry cola with tanning, structure, and pepper spice. Bertus’s gambit paid off once again.

Introduction to Tank

Welcome to Tank. A home away from home where you never dream alone. At Tank, we’ve set out to do something different. We specialize in the art of the blend and we only release limited one-offs so we never put out the same thing twice. Our winery is set in a 1930s gas station turned tasting room aka your next favorite place to hang. Tank started out as a dream to make wines with soul and purpose. No business plan, no exit strategy, just a mission to do cool shit. We source fruit from California’s most sought after vineyards (and some obscure ones, too) to make the most unique wines you’ve ever experienced. Come on by and hang with the Tank crew while we pour you through limited release wines! If you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of this crazy ride.


Time Posted: Feb 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to History of Calistoga Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
February 3, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

A Little Mendocino AVA Spotlight

Mendocino Vineyard during fall


The Mendocino AVA is an American Viticulture Area in Mendocino County, CA that is foggy, cool, and covered in redwood forests. Winemaking has a lengthy history in Mendocino with 108 local wineries still producing. During Prohibition, nearly all wineries were eradicated and replaced with fruit and tree nut orchards, but some remains of those deserted wineries still exist. Today, Mendocino is well-known for dominating the green wine movement, with ¼ of grapes in the region grown and farmed organically. This AVA is known for its Mediterranean climate, growing grapes like Carignan, Charbono, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zinfandel. A plethora of wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties purchase Mendocino grapes to blend into their wines. There are over 550 vineyards and over 50 wineries in the region.


Mendocino AVA is one of the northernmost wine regions in California with two very different climate zones separated by the Mendocino Range. Mendocino County has 10 diverse appellations within it and almost a quarter of the region's wine grapes are organically grown. The ridges are above and surrounded by coastal fog, coining the name “Islands in the Sky.” The vineyard soils of Mendocino are mostly deep alluvial. Close to the Russian and Navarro Rivers, the soil is more of a gravelly-loam and thin scree. North of Ukiah, vines are often planted with an eastward orientation, and further south, vines are planted with a westward orientation to prevent heat stress. To the west, the Pacific fog drifts in, blanketing the valley with thick, cool fog, dominating the climate in Anderson Valley. With so much moisture, rain can sometimes be an issue. The climate season in Mendocino county stimulates a shorter grower season of approximately 268 days compared to the average 308 days in Sonoma.  

fall leaves


In the cooler region, you will find the appellations of Mendocino, Mendocino Ridge, Anderson Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. In the warmer region, you will find Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Cole Ranch, McDowell Valley, Covelo, and Dos Rios. Anderson Valley opens to the Pacific, producing cool climate wines like Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines.  Cole Ranch, the smallest AVA, is known for its production of Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. McDowell Valley cultivates Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and  Zinfandel. Ukiah Valley is known for its warm to hot climate and grows Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel. Mendocino Ridge boasts vineyards about 1200 ft and primarily produces Zinfandel. 

Featured Wines


Our 100% Chenin Blanc, Bohdi, comes from the Enlightenment Vineyard in Ukiah. Originally planted as Valdiguié, the now 85-year-old vines were grafted in 1980 to produce Chenin Blanc. Farmed naturally and organically, we picked and whole-cluster-pressed our Chenin Blanc using native yeast fermentation in a barrel with a partial natural malolactic fermentation to create a wine that’s both fresh and creamy. 

We head back to Fox Hill Vineyard in Mendocino County for another riff on Cal-Ital wines for our 2019 Money Honey, which is 65% Sangiovese, 25% Primitivo, 8% Negroamaro, 2% Dolcetto. This 60-acre vineyard, just north of Hopland, sits on the upper Russian River between 700 and 1,400 feet in elevation. The vineyard's gravelly loam soils blossom amazingly high-quality, complex fruit, despite low yields. Owners Lowell and Barbara Stone have their entire property planted with these incredible Italian varietals and we just keep coming back for more.

Fox Hill Vineyards sign


Our winemaker, Bertus, scored us fruit from the mother-f'ing Shake Ridge Ranch for Cool Confusion, a retired wine blended with 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. Yes, the world-famous Amador County vineyard owned by legendary viticulturist Ann Kraemer. If you aren't familiar, read up, this is mythical territory when it comes to terroir. Situated 1,800 feet above sea level, the cool air from the Sierras makes for a long growing season, helping fruit retain fresh acidity and texture. To make a wine from such sacred vines is an absolute honor.

Introduction to Tank

Hey there! Welcome to Tank Garage Winery, the coolest winery in Napa Valley. No... really. Visiting the tasting room is like taking a trip back in time to a 1920s gas station turned speakeasy, pouring rad as shit wines and playing bomb as hell music. Cool California vibes mixed with vintage decor bring to fruition the most quirky encounter you’ll get at a winery. We think tasting wine should be easy, chill, and accessible for everyone and that’s the experience we’ve created at Tank. No judgment. No pressure. No frills. Everything we do is with our heart and soul.


Time Posted: Feb 3, 2021 at 11:46 AM Permalink to A Little Mendocino AVA Spotlight Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
January 29, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

The Wine Pairing You Need For Mardis Gras πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’›


With Mardis Gras on the horizon, we thought it was high time for a little Cajun flare. Angels With Dirty Faces was a knockout pairing for this classic Cajun stew. The liveliness from the Sauvignon Blanc and the texture from the skin-fermented Viognier match perfectly with the bold flavors and spice from the Gumbo. We think you'll agree this is a recipe worth repeating. πŸ˜‰

Score $10 off your next 3+ bottle order with code: INTHEKITCHEN at checkout through February 7th. Happy cooking and talk to you soon!

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Makes approximately 1 gallon

Gumbo Ingredients:
Oil, as needed
1.5 lbs Andouille Sausage, sliced into 1/4" rounds
2 medium Yellow Onions, small dice
6 ribs Celery, small dice
2 ea Green Pepper, small dice
1 head Garlic, minced
1 cup dark brown ​Roux
​1 ea Whole Chicken, shredded
4 qts Chicken Stock
Bay Leaf
Thyme Sprig
Cajun Spice Blend, to taste
Salt, to taste
Filé Gumbo Powder (optional)

For the Chicken Stock:
1 Whole Chicken
1 Onion, halved
2 ribs Celery, roughly chopped
1 ea bay leaf
1 tsp Peppercorns, whole

For the Roux:
1 cup Bacon Grease (can substitute butter or oil)
1 cup Flour

For the Cajun Spice Blend
equal parts:
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Black Pepper
White Pepper
Smoked paprika
Note: This spice blend is great on everything and can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one year. 


For the Chicken Stock (can be made 1-2 days ahead of time):
Step One - Place whole chicken, onion, celery, bay leaf and spices in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 1-2 hours. 

Step Two - Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Strain stock and reserve for future use. 

Step Three - Once the chicken has cooled, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Set aside for future use. 

For the Roux (can be made ahead of time):
Step One - Melt bacon grease in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed pan and whisk in flour to combine fully. The mixture should resemble wet sand. (Note: while you can absolutely substitute butter or oil, there is nothing that compares to the flavor the bacon drippings add to this stew. Save your bacon drippings for future use when you're whipping up breakfast on the weekends. You'll thank me later.)

Step Two - Over medium heat, use a high-temp spatula to stir your roux constantly until it resembles a deep chestnut or chocolate brown color. This will take approximately one hour. Pay close attention at all times, as a roux can burn very quickly. Alternatively, the roux can be cooked in a 350º oven by combining fat + flour in an oven-proof vessel for 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the desired color is reached.

Step Three – Once the desired color is achieved, remove the roux from the pan immediately, as it will darken further as it cools. 

For the Gumbo
Step One - Add 1-2 tbs of oil to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to ripple, add Andouille sausage and cook until browned, approximately 5-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from the pan and set it aside for future use.

Step Two - Add onion, celery, green pepper and 2-3 Tbs of the Cajun spice blend to the pot and sweat over medium heat until onions are fully translucent and the remaining vegetables are tender. Be sure to use a spatula to scrape off any stuck-on bits from the sausage! Add garlic and stir until fragrant, approximately 2 more minutes. 

Step Three - Add roux and chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine, making sure there are no lumps of roux remaining. Season to taste and add the thyme and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil and lower heat to simmer for one hour, skimming any fat as it accumulates. 

Step Four - Add shredded chicken and sausage to the pot and stir to combine. Simmer for an additional hour. Season to taste. 

Step Five - Remove the Gumbo from heat and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.  Season to taste and serve over warm rice with a side of your favorite cornbread. Top with an optional sprinkle of filé gumbo powder and chopped green onions!

Note: Gumbo is one of the most customizable dishes you can make! Swap out proteins depending on what you have on hand. This stew can be made as thick or thin as you like it and spiced according to the amount of heat your palate can handle. This is a great dish to make ahead of time and the flavor will continue to develop. Store for one week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Recipe by Grace Coyne

Time Posted: Jan 29, 2021 at 12:00 AM Permalink to The Wine Pairing You Need For Mardis Gras πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’› Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
January 27, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

The Sierra Foothills...

vineyard in volcanic soil


Nothing pairs better with a glass of wine than the stunning landscape of the Sierra Foothills. The Sierra Foothills AVA is an American Viticulture Area located in (you guessed it) the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range and was established in 1987. Wine grapes were first planted in the foothills during the California Gold Rush in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Foothills have been known as “Gold Country'' since the mid-1800s when folks from all over came to seek the motherlode.  Once the gold ran out and Prohibition hit, wine disappeared until the 1970s when it was rediscovered by winemakers from Napa and Sonoma. The AVA is approximately 2.6 million acres and encompasses 12 counties and well over 100 wineries. The foothills are one of the oldest wine regions in California and houses six AVA’s and includes Amador County, Calaveras County, El Dorado County, Mariposa County, Nevada County, Placer County, Tuolumne County, and part of Yuba County. If you’re looking for beautiful vineyard lodging, wine produced from organic grapes, and food to complement it, you’ll find it in the Sierra Foothills. 

hand full of dirt and shale


Foreign settlers searching for gold recognized the familiar Mediterranean climate of the Sierra Foothills and planted vineyards and olive trees. Today, vineyards are situated between 1,500 and 3,000 feet. This level of elevation sees all four seasons but generally hosts warm days and cool nights. The climate here is ideal for growing varietals like Zinfandel, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc that can prevail through many temperatures. Around 2,000 feet, the soil is mostly decomposed granite that’s been eroded from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Around 3,000 feet, the soil is primarily finely crushed volcanic rock, dredged up over ten million years ago in Lake Tahoe. Both the granite and volcanic rock have good drainage but little nutrients, forcing the roots to search deep in the soil for food and water. 

vineyard on slope


There are six sub-AVAs in the Sierra Foothills: California Shenandoah Valley AVA, El Dorado AVA, Fair Play AVA, Fiddletown AVA, and North Yuba AVA. The Shenandoah Valley AVA includes portions of Amador and El Dorado County and became an AVA in 1983. Also established in 1983, the El Dorado AVA is known for growing Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Thirty-two wineries live in the Fair Play AVA and it is the California AVA with the second-highest average elevation. About 20% of the wine produced in Amador County comes from the Fiddletown AVA. Renaissance Vineyard and Winery is the largest producer in the North Yuba AVA with 44 acres of vineyards planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and Roussanne.

Featured Wines


At Tank, we source fruit from the foothills often. Returning to the Sierra de Montserrat Vineyard, we used Graciano for Marlenas from Reseda. We love the punchy cherry elements of this variety, so we ollie-stomped the fruit before allowing whole-cluster fermentation to do its thing. We gave the same treatment to the Syrah, which we scored from the fabled Snows Crossing Vineyard. Lastly, because we’re addicted to it, we cut in some Viognier, a white grape variety, that adds acidity to help the red juices become the best version of themselves.

Influenced by Beaujolais nouveau-style wines, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a 2019 vintage red wine from the Sierra Foothills, spending just three months in barrel and bottled with minimal filtration to preserve the bright, fresh characteristics. Because of this, there will be sediment inside each bottle from the winemaking process that tells you it is legit. At the core of this lighter-bodied red wine is 60% Pinot Noir, supported by 26% Cinsault, 13% Valdigué, and 1% Mourvèdre. This is our first time working with Valdiguié, which was once fairly popular in California and referred to as "Napa Gamay" until 1980 when genetic testing proved it wasn't.

Introduction to Tank

Hey there! Welcome to Tank Garage Winery, the coolest winery in Napa Valley. No... really. Visiting the tasting room is like taking a trip back in time to a 1920s gas station turned speakeasy, pouring rad as shit wines and playing bomb as hell music. Cool California vibes mixed with vintage decor bring to fruition the most quirky encounter you’ll get at a winery. We think tasting wine should be easy, chill, and accessible for everyone and that’s the experience we’ve created at Tank. No judgment. No pressure. No frills. Everything we do is with our heart and soul.


Time Posted: Jan 27, 2021 at 11:45 AM Permalink to The Sierra Foothills... Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
January 20, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

Becoming a MADE Member...

There are so many chateaus and castles in the valley, but there’s only one gas station tasting room and it’s sittin’ pretty in Calistoga, California. Cool California vibes, vintage decor, and unusual blends bring to fruition the most quirky encounter you will get at a winery. If you’re looking for something a little different to enjoy and share with friends and family, then you know we’ve got the coolest wine club in Napa Valley. 
The benefits of membership are endless. To start, there is absolutely no cost to join. Our unique wine club gives you a number of perks: 10-20% off wines and merch, 2-6 free tastings every time you come into the garage, discrete access to our members only speakeasy lounge, and tickets to our garage sale parties we host a few times a year. You will also receive a free shirt or hat upon sign up! 
We release wines 5 times a year in February, April, July, October, and December and members may skip up to two consecutive releases. With tons of flexibility, our members have the option to fully customize their shipments prior to billing to ensure they get the wines they really want. 
One of the most unique parts of our wine club is access to our hidden speakeasy lounge in the back of the garage. The back room alone took a whole year to renovate. Through the curtain, you’ll find a gaudy chandelier and lounge seating with gothic velour wallpaper. Old photos of Napa during the 1920s line the walls in ornate gold frames. It’s a different kind of vibe back there. Secret, sultry, and just for you.

Tank Garage Winery exterior at night

Come on down! A few times a year we throw a garage sale party (timed around the club release) where we open the garage door, park a food truck, and pour unlimited wines. While rocking out to some sick jams, feel free to roam and use our giant cornhole boards and giant Jenga or try to nab the high score on the lot of old pinballs machines stationed inside. Our parties are legendary (we may or may not have had the cops shut it down in the past). 

Tank Garage Winery party with people playing games

We’re always pumping out rad new wines so as a wine club member, you will always get to try something different. You will never get the same thing twice since every bottle is a one-off and we have handpicked them just for you. In addition to red wine, white wine, and rose, we also dabble in the dazzling worlds of orange wine, sparkling pet nats, natural wine, carbonically macerated wines, and so on. We collaborate with tattoo artists, digital artists, and photographers to create some of the most eccentric labels you’ve seen on a bottle. So if you’re adventurous and love trying new things, we’re the winery for you. 

If you’re game, join the club and get to know our wines, the vineyards we source our fruit from, and the rad folks who bring them to you. It’s one you won’t forget.

Time Posted: Jan 20, 2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Becoming a MADE Member... Permalink
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