CASTELLO DI AMOROSA
Unforgettable in Every Way!
If you are looking for an eye opening, jaw dropping, one of a kind wine tasting experience, Castello di Amorosa is the place for you! Located in the northern end of Napa Valley, Castello di Amorosa, (Castle of Love), brings a slice of Italy to Calistoga, featuring hand-crafted Italian style wines inside an authentically designed, 13th century medieval Tuscan castle. Dario Sattui, the owner, mastermind and designer of Castello di Amorosa, set out in 1994 to build an 8,500 square foot building without cellars to replant historic vineyards only. Twenty years later, with his ownership of ancient properties in Italy, knowledge of and intense passion for medieval architecture, the property evolved into a 121,000 square foot castle and winery with four separate levels underground and four levels above.
The most impressive quality at Castello di Amorosa is its authenticity. The medieval designs and construction methods employed to create the castle, encompass 107 rooms, 95 of which are devoted to winemaking, five defensive towers with battlements, 1,000 pound hand-hewn doors from Italy and over 170 containers of handmade antique bricks and tiles brought over from Europe. Additional authentic features include a drawbridge, watch tower, courtyard, torture chamber, loggia, deep-well, secret passage ways and an outdoor oven.
There is more! The Great Hall with a coffered ceiling features hand-painted frescoes inspired by Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Buon Governo” (Good Government) in Siena, Italy and showcases a 500 year old fireplace. All ironwork was hand-forged by Italian artisans over an open flame and wines sold at Castello di Amorosa are crafted in Italian handmade, state-of-the-art, triple-jacketed fermentation tanks.
There are three ways to fully experience Castello di Amorosa. The winery offers a one hour tasting tour for $18 per person (free for wine club members), which includes a tasting of five premium wines in their main tasting bar and access to two main levels including the front ramparts, chapel, Great Hall, courtyard, stables and Knight’s Hall.
They also offer a two hour guided tour for $33 per person, deep below the Castle, where you can see the wine caves, old vintage rooms, armory, torture chamber and the Grand Barrel Room. You will sample wine from the barrel followed by a tasting of five premium wines in one of the Castle’s private tasting bars.
Lastly, you can enjoy an interactive two hour tour and tasting hosted by their castle sommelier for $69. After you tour the winery, you will be seated at a large Tuscan table in their beautiful Royal Apartment overlooking the majestic northern end of Napa Valley where you will sample an assortment of wines including their reserve wines, paired with small savory bites. This tour is offered by reservation Friday-Sunday and available midweek by appointment.
Castello di Amorosa employs Brooks Painter, a veteran winemaker of more than 30 years, and produces a number of varietal wines such as Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Rosato di Sangiovese, Pinot Nero, Barbera, Primitivo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and more.
As you can see, there are many wines to enjoy. Their most popular are the 2011 Fantasia, an Italian style soft sparkling wine with bright aromas of cherry, exotic flowers and wild berries, the 2011 Pinot Grigio Mendocino County, a crisp, dry white wine made in the Italian style with a fragrance of aromatic herbs and a hint of mineral and earth in the nose and the 2009 Sangiovese Napa Valley, with perfumed aromas of dried flowers, red plum, sweet exotic spices and wild berry flavors framed by supple, toasty oak.
If you asked Dario Sattui what kind of experience he wants for his customers, he would say, “May your visit to Castello di Amorosa be memorable and everlasting.” You will find out on your own that it is simply unforgettable.