Castello di Amorosa is one of the American top-notch historical sites located in the heart of Napa Valley at Calistoga, California. It is an authentic 13th-century medieval castle, also one of the only Tuscan styled castle that can be found in the country. Dario Sattui, the fourth generational Italian winemaker, and entrepreneur build the castle after his great- grandfather who migrated directly from Italy to California and started an outstanding winery in San Francisco. Dario Sattui spent over fourteen years to build the Castello di Amorosa. However, despite the medieval architecture and structure of the castle, it one of the tourist’s prime attraction in Napa Valley for its finest winery and wine tasting tours that operate throughout the year. The castle is producing twenty-five hundred liters of wine per year, and it is sold directly to the customers within the premises of the castle, not outside the castle.
About the Castle & Winery
The construction of the castle took over fourteen years to complete, and the interior consists of eight levels of both above and below ground with nearly one hundred and seven rooms. The castle is covering almost twelve thousand square feet of the land and was built in a 13th-century spectacular Tuscan architecture featuring a ditch, a drawbridge, five defensive towers, a lawn inside, a church, knight chamber and torture chamber. The torture chamber having an authentic three hundred years old iron maiden which was bought from Pienza, Italy for thirteen thousand dollars, as well as several other types of equipment including spike-covered interiors, are placed in the torture chamber of the castle. The great hall has many attractions, among the most attractive, are the frescoes painted by the two notable Italian painters, and they took almost one and a half year to complete the painting at the hall of the castle. All the work related to masonry, iron, and wood was done and finished by hands just as all the crafting techniques were used in the ancient era. The material used for the construction purposes are the locally quarried stones, paving stones, the Terracotta roofing tiles and nearly eight hundred thousand bricks brought directly from Europe.
The winery realistically and regally characterizes an era of lavishness with its extravagant architecture and magnificent 13th-century atmosphere. The underground area of the castle spreads over two acres housing all the wine-tasting rooms where visitors can enjoy tasting the finest wines which are just sold within the castle. Due to the reason of Napa County in which there are some restrictions and limitations the Castle is not given on rent for any wedding or related program, even not a reception program, else only for fundraising and corporate get to gathers the Castle is lent on rent.
Castello Di Amorosa Tours & Wine Tastings
While exploring the charms of the castle, visitors can walk up to the edge of the castle to take in the breathtaking views of the sweeping vistas of Napa Valley and surrounding hills. Visitors can climb up to one of the five defensive towers to take in far-reaching views of the countryside of Napa Valley. Inside the walls of the castle, everything is exactly as it was in the 13th century. From the Tuscan courtyard filled with lodges and wells to the spectacular fresco covered Great Hall similar to the Sistine Chapel, and a Church. There are four more levels underground to explore; here, visitors will find a labyrinth of hallways, storage rooms, dining areas, and prison chambers. Of course, it wouldn’t be a real castle without a torture chamber. All the equipment is placed in the torture chamber that was used to torture an individual in the 13th century. The two-acre of the area at the underground level is the barrel cellar storing over eight thousand liters of wine. There are over twenty different wines to taste, and they are all defined by the fine wine characteristics. They also make the finest grape juice in the country.
From March to October, the Castello di Amorosa welcomes its visitors from 10:00 AM to 6 PM, whereas from November to February, it is opened from 10:00 AM to 5 PM. During the welcome hours, visitors can take a guided tour of the castle and get indulged in the premium wine tasting experiences within the walls of this castle. The guided tours are usually about two hours including walking tours following by Italian-style wine tasting. Visitors can also take the Specialty Wine Tasting Tours ranging from cheese and wine pairing, to royal food and wine pairing, or chocolate and wine pairing, and more. Visitors are treated with royalty within the premises of the castle.
Premium and Free Tours of the Castle
If you are planning on to explore the core charms of the Castello di Amorosa, then taking the premium tours is mandatory. As the premium tours are guided by the tour host through the top-sites of Castello di Amorosa on both below and above ground levels, with wine tasting stops and guidance. However, the free tours will help the visitors to see around the castle and even taste their finest wines at the main tasting rooms.
Top Attractions in Castello di Amorosa
The Courtyard: the entire castle depicts the era of the 13th century. Thus the courtyard is one of the greatest sites to explore the historic charm. It consists of an open space for performances and gatherings, an upper room for notability, and a well.
The Dining Area: it is one of the most visited areas in Castello di Amorosa, which can be visited without taking any premium tours. The walls of Dining Area are covered in a spectacular painting with wooden structure of the roof. Immerse yourself browsing the painting depicting the historic era.
The Fermentation Area: it is the area where fermentation process of the wine takes places. Visitors can see the giant steel tanks which were brought directly from Italy for the finest fermentation process of wine, and also, they are the most expensive fermentation steel tanks in the country.
The Armory: as the visitors wander through the underground levels of the castle, they’ll find many medieval pieces of armor, some are made locally, and some were brought from Europe. Visitors can also find many other pieces of equipment including the metal spears, and other spiked metal armories.
The Great Room: it is one of the most visited areas of the castle, and the room took nearly two years to complete. It houses many barrels of wines and tasting areas where visitors can enjoy tasting the wines and even sip the finest grape juice.