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Calistoga's Downtown main street, Lincoln Avenue, is remi- niscent of a Spaghetti Western movie set; it's where the annual Harvest Table event—with 1,000 feet of dining tables lining the street—is held on the second Sunday of September. Landmarks in the form of plaques, street signs, restaurants and inns pay homage to California's first millionaire, Samuel Brannan, who founded Calistoga in 1861 as a resort town, made acces- sible by railway construction (a project he spearheaded from San Francisco). Up to 10,000 years before Brannan came to town, the Native American Wappo tribe was lured to the healing geothermal waters of Calistoga, as are many visitors today. On a day trip 25 years ago, Ingrid Summerfield, President of Filament Hospitality, fell in love with the healing town, which was reminiscent of her European roots. While she was working in San Francisco, a travel journalist from Germany had suggested she explore a little town at the top of Napa Valley. "You need to work with a hotel in Calistoga," the journalist had insisted. That advice stuck in the back of Ingrid's mind until she suc- cumbed to the enticement of a day trip, and as a result, moved to Calistoga, where she applied her hotel management expertise at the iconic Indian Springs Resort, working with local owners Pat and John Merchant to develop and strengthen its bohemian con- cept. During her time at the resort, she fell in love with Calistoga and decided to spend even more time locally. Eventually, Ingrid and her partners bought a neighboring property, the Sunburst Calistoga. The team is re-branding the hotel with a fresh, new con- cept designed to reflect the zeitgeist of the American road trip. In a perfect complement to Calistoga's rustic yet upscale vibe, the Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa, a 50-room boutique resort, is a great addition to the town. The property will feature a new spa with soaking tubs and a spa garden, and in a nod to the volcanic ash- turned-mud scene in town, there will also be a clay bar. The road trip concept of "back to home" is casual, social, relaxed and approachable for both the Millennial generation and the perpetually young at heart. The resort will feature a new restaurant set to open later this year. In Calistoga, authenticity is a recurrent theme, continuing with a stop at Paul Block's Wine Barrel Furniture workshop to witness sustainability at its wine-country best. "I ask a used wine bar- rel what it wants to be," is Paul's mission statement. Best known for his wine-barrel chairs, benches and end tables sold in several shops downtown, Paul has since added a new product to his line: grapevines. Depending on its curvature and structure, Paul de- cides what each retired vine will become: a wall sconce, chandelier or four-arm upright statue. For a small-town feel, Calistoga can pack plenty into a visitor's daytrip—or a longer itinerary, including milling flour at the historic Bale Grist Mill or hiking the Oat Hill Mine Trail. Although it offers plenty to do outside of wine, Calistoga still holds wine at its forefront, with over 50 wineries ranging from boutique producers and small-production wineries to large-pro- duction facilities. Unpretentious, approachable Calistoga, with its unique combination of high-end options and down-home Old West feel, is a recipe made for the pleasure of visitors. Plus, its excellent year-round climate and mix of activities make anytime a great time to visit. To plan your visit, go for more information. Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa is open- ing in late spring. PHOTO COURTESY OF FILAMENT HOSPITALITY PHOTO: CREDIT: CHARLENE PETERS PHOTO: CREDIT: CHARLENE PETERS Paul Block works on sanding serving boards made from wine barrel covers naturally stained by fermenting grapes. A Wine Barrel Furniture end table created from a retired wine barrel and grapevines. "I ask a used wine barrel what it wants to be" —Paul Block ■cr

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