Saturday, April 20, 2013

Napa Valley adventures: Castello di Amorosa

 If you have been following my blog, you know that we traveled to San Fransisco and Napa Valley over spring break.

One of our favorite stops was the Castello di Amorosa. This winery is in Napa Valley near Calistoga.  We knew with our travel schedule that we would have the chance to do one wine tour and my husband did some research in advance to see which might be the best option.

We left a little to chance.  We didn't call ahead for our reservation, but we thought since it was the off season that we would be safe.

After a wonderful breakfast, we took off for the castle in the rain.  On the way, my husband called for a reservation and we were lucky that we could catch the next tour.  While we knew that the castle was reported to be really cool, we were not prepared for the dramatic facade.
 The castle was amazing!  It was hard to believe that it was built in the last 20 years.
 The proprietor had almost all of the materials shipped to the site from Europe, using stone and other items from demolished castles.  He hired artisans who used traditional methods to do the metal and stone work, and murals.
 At the center of the castle is the courtyard.  It is a beautiful gathering space, even in a steady rain.  I loved this space and could imagine having great parties here.
 The vineyard was really beautiful.  The vines had yet to leaf out, but seeing them in lines across the acres was really spectacular.
 As part of the tour, we had the chance to see the production floor.  The ag nerd in me longed for more time talking about how the whole cycle from planting to glass worked.
 Even the equipment barn was beautiful construction.
 Around the castle, we had the chance to see a collection of wine production equipment.  It was fun to contrast the vintage items with the high tech equipment.
 We had the chance to walk in the storage areas and learn about this portion of production.  This part of the castle was part spooky and part awesome!  We learned that the castle has Halloween parties in the lower floors of the castle - fitting.
 We had a mini tasting in the wine storage area.
 At the end of our tour, we had the full wine tasting and enjoyed several different samples of the wines offered.
 We loved this chicken house in the tree!
The whole place was really beautiful and dramatic.
 This might be my favorite picture of the trip.

No comments: