Royal Tasting at Castello di Amorosa
Imagine tasting excellent wine in a Tuscan castle and later riding through the vineyards in a horse-drawn carriage – in the Napa Valley. At Castello di Amorosa you can create your own VIP experience with plenty of style. This beautiful winery was inspired by the owner’s love of medieval castles and wine.
The Reserve Tastings are held in a huge private room with comfortable leather chairs and stone tables. Castello di Amorosa produces hand-crafted Italian wine and offers an extensive list of whites and reds. White wines include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanco. Their reds include Sangiovese, Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Barbera, and a Super Tuscan. They produce 20,000 cases annually and most is sold at the winery.
For gourmands, the Royal Pairing showcases wines paired with food, an excellent way to experience the wine. The pairing is preceded by a tour of the castle and winery. Sign up in advance for this option. The menu changes frequently.
Riding through the vineyards in a horse-drawn carriage was a highlight of the visit. The estate covers 175 acres, with a lot to see and learn about the vineyards. The vines were turning shades of gold and orange as the harvest was concluding, and the sun shone brightly. Views of the castle are quite breathtaking from this vantage point and gave me an appreciation of this dream-turned-reality.
Dario Sattui of the V. Sattui wine family first conceived of the idea for a large winery. His dreams got away from him, and the result was a 120,000-square-foot 13th century castle with eight levels. The castle contains a moat, drawbridge, battlement towers, great hall, torture chamber, winery, tasting rooms, and a chapel. The best way to explore the castle is on one of their tours.
The majority of the building materials were brought over from Europe in container ships, salvaged from historic properties. The craftsmanship of the castle is remarkable; they insisted on using medieval construction techniques to add to the authenticity. Doors weigh 1,000 pounds and were made in Italy, and there is a 500 year-old Italian fireplace and hand-painted frescoes inspired by Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Buon Governo” (Good Government) in Siena, Italy. Construction took more than 15 years.
Visiting the winery: Allow several hours to explore the winery and taste the wine. Schedule the Reserve Tasting and Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour in advance. There isn’t a restaurant at the winery, so you might want to dine before your visit. Read Calistoga, California; Napa Valley’s Favorite Spa Town for restaurant suggestions.
Details: Castello di Amorosa is located at 4045 North St. Helena Highway in Calistoga. Call (707) 967-6272 or visit the website for more information.