Once a year my friends and I take an annual trip to the Napa Valley wine country. We bring our wives and make a long weekend out of it. Even though we do different tastings, we always pick one winery that we spend the afternoon at. We take the tour, do the tastings and the food & wine pairings. This year we picked Castello di Amorosa. In Italian, this means “The Castle of Love”.
It is the only authentic 13th century medieval Italian Tuscan castle, complete with a drawbridge, and winery built in America. As soon as you drive up the road and see the castle, you feel transported in time. It is in Calistoga, one of the many towns in the Napa Valley. It was built by Dario Sattui, a 4th generation Italian winemaker, starting in 1994 and opened its doors in 2007. It is not a replica of one castle, but Dario took what he liked best from multiple castles and combined it to build Castello di Amorosa. It is built on 171 acres and has 107 rooms. Most of these rooms are for the winemaking and wine storage. Some of the other rooms that you get to see on the tour include a medieval church, dungeon and torture chamber and the wine barrel room. One of the most impressive rooms is the Great Hall. It is a 2-story room with replicas of Tuscan frescoes painted by Italian artists. It also includes a 500-year old fireplace.
There are many events that take place during the year at the winery. One of the most popular is during Harvest Season. You can grab some friends, create a team, and join in the largest Grape Stomp Competition in the country. Or you can just come and cheer on your favorite team.
After pampering my senses with the hand-crafted Italian style wines, I bought a case. I am going to give a bottle to each of my friends who I went on the trip with. Of course, I will attach a Penless wine tag and include a video of our afternoon at Castello di Amorosa. Good Friends, Good Wine!