It's Easy to Love Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga

One of the more popular wine tasting places in Napa Valley is the Castello di Amorosa in the little town of Calistoga. On my first visit to Napa Valley, I went there with family thanks to the wine club membership of my sister.

While we were not fully able to explore the castle and vineyard, we had such a good time. Our visit included reserve wine tasting and we had quite a lot of wine to drink.

Castello di Amorosa 

The Castle

Being a Italian medieval castle in America makes Castello di Amorosa a unique tourist draw in Napa Valley. While no real royalty ever lived in the castle, it was constructed using methods of the old world. Just like how real castles were made. According to their informational brochure, the castle was built using the same methods and materials employed 700-800 years ago such as antique bricks from Europe, old materials and furnishings from Europe, and tons of hand-chiseled local stone.

The vineyard

Owned by Dario Sattui, Castello di Amorosa literally means "Castle of Love" in the Italian language. It is a Tuscan castle he built to honor his Italian heritage and a testament for his deep love for medieval architecture.

The Great Hall
The Great Hall

The castle is as real as it can get with a moat and drawbridge, a chapel, a great hall, defensive towers, courtyards, stables, a deep well, prison and torture chambers, and of course wine cellars.

Here are some quick facts about Castello di Amorosa:
  • Type of building: 13th century medieval Tuscan-style castle and winery
  • Actual construction took 15 years to complete
  • 121,000 square feet or 3 acre of rooms
  • 5 defensive towers with battlements
  • 2,000 pound hand-hewn doors from Italy
  • 107 distinctive rooms (95 devoted to winemaking)
  • 8 levels, 4 are underground (castle is 2/3 underground)
  • Doors and windows made by Italian artisans and feature leaded glass in windows
  • More than 200 containers of antique bricks, tiles, doors, windows, and furnishings were brought over from Europe
  • Features include 5 towers, ramparts, 3 courtyards, a Great Hall, a Noble's Apartment, a chapel, a deep well, 2 vaulted loggia's, an outdoor oven, a prison and torture chamber, an armory, a knight's room, wine aging cellars, tasting rooms, and beautiful brick vaulted ceilings.

Wine Tasting 

As I already mentioned earlier in the post, our visit included a complimentary reserve wine tasting big thanks to my sister's wine club membership at Castello di Amorosa. My sister has a preferred wine associate that goes by Vincenzo, quite a bubbly guy of Italian descent. It wasn't hard to like the guy as he was not only bubbly but also lively, amiable, and possesses a good sense of humor.

Being a wine club member, my sister is a frequent visitor to Castello di Amorosa. The last time she visited though have been a few months ago. And Vincenzo was just too excited to see her again. She's brought in lots of visitors to the castle and for sure she's been quite a boon to their wine sales over the years. One could understand Vincenzo's excitement.

I'd say they give my sister preferential treatment when she visits. Usually, there are certain limits to wine tasting. The limit is more or less about 6 glasses but we were allowed to taste way more than that limit. I'm pretty sure we each drank more than 10 glasses of wine in about an hour or two. We were buzzed when we were done. Some wines are also not served to everybody specially the reserved ones. But we had about 3 or 4 glasses of those premium wines.

As far as I remember, we tasted Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Il Passito Reserve Late Harvest, Merlot, Sangiovese, Dolcino Gewurtztraminer, and Sinalunga. 

The Vineyard 

The views going into Castello di Amorosa were fabulous and refreshing. The road leading to the castle is lined with well-trimmed Italian cypress trees. 

While the vast expanse of the vineyard is planted with rows and rows of grape plants. It was already autumn when we visited and the yellow hue of withering leaves were a lovely sight.

Location and Contact Information

Street Address: 4045 Saint Helena Highway, Calistoga, California, USA 94515
Telephone Number: (707) 967 6272
Facebook Page: Castello di Amorosa
Twitter: @TheCastello
Business Hours:
  • 9:30 to 6 p.m. (March to October)
  • 9:30 to 5 p.m. (November to February)

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About Thadz

Brothers Janus and Thadz document their travels around the United States and occasionally around the world.


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