Dear Wellness Seekers,
Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley’s Italian Castle Wine Legacy is a must see, especially for Italian wine lovers. We plan to spend the day exploring the highlights of Napa Valley as to enjoy the extremes of its contemporary offerings. So we set off to our destination experience Castello di Amorosa and arrived late morning. It was clear that this was going to be a busy day by the amount of touring traffic we encountered upon entering but somehow we got lucky to be pointed up the road toward a parking spot just steps from the Castle entrance. It felt like a Cinderella moment in an SUV. A sign of a good day ahead.
When approaching the Castle & Winery one can feel a bit awestruck by its architectural beauty. With our Australian friends Launa & Howie pictured, we opted for a Reserve Tasting experience, got our tickets and ventured in to tour the Castle first. I visited the castle a few years ago in Spring when is was less busy. There were many tourists now moving like swarms of bees along tour routes. So we looked for an alternative direction to enjoy a quieter, more personal view of the surroundings.
The Castle first opened its doors in 2007 and sits on 175 acres of rich soil, a forrest, a lake and a stream. It is a pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Satuii who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885 after emigrating from Italy to California.
The Castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet. Key details and building techniques are architecturally faithful to the 12th and 13th century time period. Among many other features – it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel; a knights’ chamber; great hall with a 22-foot coffered ceiling.
The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. A feature is a 500 year old fireplace that took 18 months to build. As you might guess this labor of love took several years to build.
Our first stop is the Chapel where a powerful spiritual force washes over you in this tiny place. It was easy to slip into Spanista Reflection mode inspired by all the symbols of faith one associates with Italian Catholicism – beautiful sculptures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, frescos and candles flickering in the shadows where sun swept walls were kissed through windows full of streaming light. Among the rows of heavy wood artisan chairs was a special etherial looking creature that appeared to be a permanent occupant – the Chapel Cat.
We moved on to tour all the rooms of extraordinary Italian old world authenticity until we were moved to thirst. There are two tasting room options – one is the underground Grand Barrel Room where there is a large square serving bar and a unique array of castle and winery themed merchandise. The other is our choice – time to head for the Reserve Tasting Room -Il Passito. This secluded and lavish space is perched high above the courtyard. It sets you apart from the mainstream activity. We were fortunate to have a table come available just as we arrived. The room hummed with active conversation of its guests – many languages were spoken. The Wine Tasting Hosts were a buzz with activity. Our Host was very nice and attentive. We sampled four wines – two white and three reds and then asked for their best we could enjoy getting us 2 more as a bonus. Our Host accommodated us with a couple of extra very worthy choice . They Castello di Amorosa Reserve Wines included:
~ 2012 “La Rocca” Chardonnay
~ 2013 “Gewurztraminer” Dry Anderson Valley
~ 2010 La Castellano Cabernet Sauvignon Super Blend
~ 2011 Sangiovese Napa Valley
~ 2010 Late Harvest IL Passeto After Dinner Wine
~ 2010 IL Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ***
We relaxed into the moment once again – searching for a taste of heaven that would appeal to our mood and restore us – a desire to escape to the true heart of Italy’s finest if just for the moment – we found it in 2o10 IL Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley***. Smooth, aromatically pleasing and gets better with every taste. The one we all agreed was the BEST of our tasting time here.
From this experience our Spanista Self Care Takeaway is – never underestimate to power of old world Italian culture to have a profound effect on the soul if you open up to it. The memory embedded by taste experiences seals your deepest sensations into your heart. Because of this we will always recall this very happy moment together when we open an Italian bottle of wine anywhere in the World.
Life is indeed good. What is your favorite Italian inspired wine? Is there a positive memory associated with it?
To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,