Behind the Scenes
It’s not often that you need to use Google Maps to navigate your crew around a building. But Castello di Amorosa, a staggeringly big castle lording over vineyards in the heart of the Napa Valley, made us wish we had downloaded directions on navigating around the enormous compound, which boasts more than 100 rooms. A few crew members looked particularly freaked out when they finally got to one of our locations; they admitted to taking a wrong turn and ending up in the castle’s authentically outfitted torture chamber, complete with a 300-year-old iron maiden and creepy prison chambers. The whole place is the unbounded dream of winemaker Dario Sattui, one of the most creative and crazy (in a good way) dreamers we have ever interviewed.
Get the Inside Scoop on Castello di Amorosa: Get a taste of Tuscany at Napa Valley’s amazing castle and winery
You don’t have to travel to Italy to get inside a Tuscan castle. Instead, take a tour of 107-room Castello di Amorosa, a winery built in the style of a 13th-century medieval castle, and perched on a small hill overlooking the Napa Valley just south of Calistoga. Complete with moat and drawbridge and taking over 15 years to complete, the castle was designed by the winery’s owner, Dario Sattui.
In Dario’s words, Castello di Amorosa is an “authentic castle, though fancified. We either used construction methods and materials that would have been used 1,000 years ago, or we used very old hand-made materials that had survived up to modern times.” A fireplace predating Christopher Columbus adorns the Great Hall, and a wrought iron dragon from the times of Napoleon hovers over the massive main door. The fresco-adorned Great Hall is another highlight, an impressive visual pairing with Sattui’s award-winning Italian-style wines. A variety of castle and vineyard tours and tastings are offered, including Royal Food and Wine Pairings and Wine Aficionado experiences, focusing on Sattui’s most exclusive wines. Take a virtual tour of Castello di Amorosa . And if you are looking for more California Wine Country experiences, click here.