Wine Tasting at Castello di Amarosa

This past Monday I went wine tasting with my parents at the beautiful Castello di Amarosa just outside Calistoga in Napa Valley. Dario Sattui is the owner and creator of this Tuscan castle, who also owns and built up the famous V. Sattui winery in the footsteps of his great-grandfather. Castello di Amarosa has only been open since 2007 after 30 years of researching and building the castle using methods and materials that would have been present in medieval 13th century Italy, allowing this “Castle of Love” to be as authentic as possible. It it a truly stunning architectural work, and I really felt like I was back in Europe when our guide was taking us through the castle grounds. I’m so glad that we visited. ????

My parents and I took part of the guided tour with a cheese and wine pairing at the end, totaling about 1 hour and 45 minutes in length. It was definitely worth it, and afterwards we were allowed to walk around parts of the castle by ourselves that weren’t being used for wine production.

If you want to find out more about Castello di Amarosa, you can visit its main website here, or more specifically visit Dario Sattui’s blog about the history of his castle here.

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It’s too bad that it was a rainy day when we visited, but the castle was still just as beautiful. ????

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Am I back in Europe? It sure felt like it!

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In order to be “authentic”, the castle actually has to have livestock on its grounds! I love that they chose sheep! ❤

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A stunning, impressive entrance to this “old” castle.

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Another requirement for the castle to be considered “authentic” is to have a moat…

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… and a drawbridge! I wonder if they’ve ever had to use it. ????

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One thing that I noticed while walking around the castle is that much of the metalwork is dragon themed. All the metal rings attached to the outside of the castle were being held by metal dragons (a place to tie up your horse?)…

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…and even the faucets in the bathroom were shaped like dragons! (I have to say this was so cool. I really want these in my own bathroom!)

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This is the Great Hall. Two brothers hand painted all these Italian-style frescoes you see in here floor to ceiling. Amazing!

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A beautiful view of Napa Valley. One of the many great features of Northern California. ????

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These vats were currently fermenting white wine (though the castle only grows red grapes on its grounds due to the climate). The white grapes were brought in from vines growing along the coast.

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This barrel was taller than me! That’s a lot of wine!

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Part of our guided tour included us being led through part of the castle’s MASSIVE underground (4 levels, almost 80,000 square feet, and over 80 rooms to be exact). We didn’t go through the whole underground though, only a tiny part of it.

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We also visited the castle’s underground armory and dungeon!

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This is one of the underground wine cellars. It’s so cool!

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After our tour around and under the castle, our guide led us back up the courtyard so we could go into the special tasting room for our cheese and wine pairing.

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Everything was so elegant, I loved it!

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These were the cheeses that paired with the seven wines we tasted. The only one that matters to me is the far left. It is called Mt. Tam, and it is an amazing Triple Crème Brie made by Cowgirl Creamery. It is so delicious! SO. DELICIOUS.

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Out of the seven wines that we tasted, the two whites were my favorite, but the picture of the red wine in a glass looked better so that’s what ended up here. Between the two whites, I preferred the Pinot Bianco to the Chardonnay.

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And that concludes my visit to Castello di Amarosa! I’m really hoping I’ll be able to come back and visit after I graduate for their Midsummer Medieval Festival in June. If you’re ever wine tasting in Napa Valley, you must come to this beautiful castle and winery! ????