Castello di Amorosa
Gracing a hillside in northern Napa Valley, commanding the attention of even the most world-weary traveler, sits Castello di Amorosa. It’s an authentically-styled, 13th century Tuscan castle, the likes of which you’d expect to find in Italy rather than in the middle of California’s Wine Country. Oh, it’s a winery, too, but the castle is the real attention grabber, complete with moat and drawbridge, secret passage ways, torture chamber and dungeon.
Arched entry of Castello di Amorosa
Dario Sattui, winemaker and owner of Castello di Amorosa, always had a fascination with medieval architecture and a particular affection for castles – he had owned ancient properties in Italy, including a castle outside of Florence. When Sattui settled in Calistoga, it was his dream to build a winery that would replicate the old world architecture he was so enamored with. After much research and scouring to find the perfect craftsmen, building of the castle began. Painstaking detail went into every aspect of construction to ensure the authenticity of the medieval structure. Millions of bricks and chiseled stones were set in place by hand, Italian ironwork was hand forged and frescoes on the walls of the Great Hall were hand painted by Italian artists.
The Great Hall (photo: David Ball)
When completed, Sattui had a 121,000 square foot castle/winery with 107 rooms (95 devoted to winemaking) spread over eight levels above and below ground. It took 15 years to build, but when the doors opened to the public in 2007, Sattui had realized his vision of creating the only authentic Tuscan medieval castle and winery in America.
Wine barrels at Castello di Amorosa (photo: David Ball)
Guided tours of the castle, paired with wine tastings start at $33 per person. If you wish to explore on your own, $18 will get you restricted access to the castle and 5 to 6 wine tastings. Castello di Amorosa produces primarily Italian style wines and a popular non-alcoholic grape juice.
More Information: Castello di Amorosa
4045 North St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515
Hours: 9:30am-6:00pm Mar-Oct; 9:30am-5:00pm Nov- Feb
Open Daily except Dec. 25th