Castello di Amorosa
Stroll Through A Real Tuscan Castle On Your Wine Tasting Adventures
Tuscany move over. After spending three weeks wandering through Tuscany, Italy, I had to pinch myself during my recent tour of Castello di Amorosa to make sure I was back in the Napa Valley, just south of the geysers in Calistoga, CA.
Grab your binoculars to spot the entrance though, because, as tradition has it, the castle is secluded deep into the high hillside, thwarting possible intruders.
Opened in April 2007, Castello di Amorosa is the real life, fantasy dream come true of Daryl Sattui, a name you might already recognize from the Sattui Winery in St. Helena. That's where any similarity ends though.
As soon as I arrived, I parked the car and looked up heavenward, knowing full well, that riding a horse would have made the experience even better. As with all medieval castles, horses could rest at the hand chiseled, dragon headed horse ties Daryl commissioned and brought over from Italy.
Bring your comfy walking shoes for the one and half hour tour. The many acres are planted with vineyards, and the castle, with all its wonders, had me spellbound while newly appointed tour guide, Bill, regaled our group with tales of knights, the great hall, multi directional watch towers, flags, the chapel with a real medieval confessional to bare your soul, and yes, of course, the wines! They cannot be purchased anywhere in the world but here.
Short of a few modern touches like the one of a kind, triple jacketed wine making equipment, a catering kitchen for the many private events, and modern plumbing, the rest of the castle is authentic right down to the bricked up windows keeping the medieval taxes down. The number of windows determined the castle's taxes. Who knew?