“Castello di Amarosa” translates to “Castle of Love” in Italian and indeed it is.
Boasting 107 rooms covering 121,000 square feet on 170 acres, this castle makes it impossible to get bored. It even has a moat, drawbridge, great hall, chapel and torture chambers (rest assured nobody has actually been held or tortured.) The castle officially opened it’s doors in 2007 and has been flooded with mystified visitors ever since.
Castello di Amorosa Winery is the creation of Dario Sattui whom already owned a winery in St. Helena named V.Sattui (and still does). He modeled the castle after 13th century Tuscan architecture, and it was a labor of love that took 13 years to create. Dario currently owns other properties including a Medici palace in southern Tuscany that is being converted to a period hotel.
One of the many great things about Castello di Amarosa is that it’s the perfect combination of European flair in addition to being an architectural marvel. Oh yea, and the wine is good too. It’s like a “triple threat” to average tasting rooms because it truly transports you. Especially considering they offer four different tours daily. Some of the staff members are Italian and the tasting room and gift shop sells beautiful Italian made products ranging from tapestries to gourmet foods.
The Castello’s winery has a broad list of wines that it creates in it’s massive cellars.
While we were there, we tasted several different wines. While all of them were good, there were a few that really stood out. One of which was their 2009 “Zingaro” (The Gypsey) which was a spicy Red Zin/Primitivo blend. I’m not even a Red Zinfandel lover, but this one could easily convert me.
Another was their dry 2011 Gewurztraminer Mendocino County which was an exotic blend of rose petals, lychee and cinnamon. I really am a pushover for a great Gewurztraminer. Yum.
And finally, their 2008 IL BARONE Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon. It was dense, dark and spicy with the right amount of oak.
In short, Castello di Amorosa is NOT to be missed whenever you’re in Napa Valley. If I had to select 5 things to do and see while you’re there, this is definitely one of them.
The tour and tasting lasts about an hour and a half, and reservations are suggested (you can also just do a tasting without a tour). The castle is open seven days a week from 9:30am-6:00pm March-October and 9:30am-5:00pm November-February.
Cheers and Ciao everyone!