Raise a Glass of Napa Valley Wine in a Medieval Castle

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    Experience Medieval Europe in the Heart of Napa Valley

    Upon entering the majestic portals leading through lush vineyards, most visitors are not prepared for what meets their eyes at the top of the hill. The Castello di Amorosa is situated on 170 lush acres in Calistoga, California, in the heart of Napa Valley. This authentically-styled replica of a 13th century Tuscan castle is the artistic creation of designer, visionary, and 4th generation vintner Dario Sattui who also owns and operates the V.Sattui Winery in St. Helena, Ca. 

    Photo courtesy of Jim Sullivan, Castello di Amorosa

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    This Medieval Courtyard is a Labor of Love

    It's easy to imagine you are in the Italian countryside as you stroll through the Castello's recreation of an Italian courtyard. Courtyards were the center of life in the Middle Ages, and this courtyard is no exception, as it is the focal point of the castle. Medieval designs and construction methods were used throughout the castle, and more than 170 containers of handmade antique bricks and tiles were transported from Europe to add authenticity to this labor of love. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Raise a Glass in an ltalian Great Hall for the Ultimate Tasting Experience

    The Castello's lavish and ornate Great Hall transports the visitor to another time and place. Artists from Italy were commissioned to recreate Medieval frescoes on the walls, and a 500-year old fireplace from Tuscany dominates one end of the room. The Great Hall holds approximately 140 people for the ultimate in wine pairings and tastings and, not surprisingly, has also been used in many films.

    Photo courtesy of Jim Sullivan, Castello di Amorosa

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    Let it Pour--Tasting is Even More Fun in a Medieval Cellar

    Guests sip a variety of premium wines made right on the premises after enjoying a guided tour of the Castello. Knowledgable guides also offer vineyard tours designed to show you where the winemaking process begins. Wine tasting is, without question, one of the highlights of a visit to the Napa Valley wine region.

    Photo courtesy of Jim Sullivan, Castello di Amorosa

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    Is It Tuscany, or California's Napa Valley?

    California's verdant wine valleys definitely resemble those found throughout Italy, so it is not difficult for visitors to imagine they are in the Tuscan countryside upon arrival at the Castello di Amorosa. Any season of the year is a perfect time for a visit, and even in the winter months, you'll find incredible beauty in the picturesque landscape.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Enjoy a Wine Pairing in a Venue from Yesteryear

    Looking for a unique experience for a special tasting event? Perched above the Courtyard, the Il Passito room is a discreet and charming private room for intimate gatherings. It functions as a unique venue for private tastings that pair the Castello's hand-crafted Italian-style wine with farm-to-table cuisine. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Farm Animals Entertain the Kids at the Family-Friendly Winery

    Kids of all ages can enjoy the farm animals that roam freely outside the Castello di Amorosa. The lush fields are home to goats, sheep, chicken, ducks, and even emu. In true Italian tradition, the Castello welcomes visitors with children, and there are various kids' activities available while parents raise a glass or two.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    The Torture Chamber is a Sobering Experience

    True to Medieval tradition, the cellars at the Castello contain a torture chamber featuring a 300-year-old Iron Maiden with its spiked-covered interior. The Castello was designed to contain all the elements of an authentic castle of the period: a private chapel, a moat and drawbridge, towers and ramparts, a great hall, loggias and courtyard, a massive kitchen, an outdoor brick oven for baking bread, and secret passageways on every level...and an authentic torture chamber!

    Photo courtesy of Jim Sullivan, Castello di Amorosa

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    Even the Castello's Restrooms Are Works of Art

    You would be hard-pressed to find a public restroom elevated to a Medieval work of art on your travels. All the more reason to visit the facilities at the Castello di Amorosa. Magnificent travertine troughs, exquisite paintings on the stall doors, and period music piped in over the sound system make this a "not to be missed" experience when visiting the Castello.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

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    Rediscover Romance in this "Castle of Love"

    Castello di Amorosa loosely translates into "Castle of Love," and there is no doubt lovers will rekindle the flame of amore as they make their way through the castle's many romantic venues.  Napa Valley is a perfect destination for weddings, honeymoons, and romantic getaways.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

About Joanne DiBona

You'll never see Joanne without a camera or two strapped around her neck as she travels around the world to unearth new and exciting destinations to share with her readers. Her professional career includes a long tenure in communications for the San Diego Tourism Authority, where she wore many hats. By far her favorite role was as scenic photographer for the region.  When she’s not adding fresh images to her Scenic Photos website, Joanne can be found singing with her Italian band or whipping up fresh pasta in her kitchen. Joanne is a member of the esteemed Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

Read more about Joanne DiBona here.

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