Go back in time to 13th-century Tuscany when you visit Castello di Amorosa, the fascinating project of vintner Dario Sattui. The castle and winery opened its doors to the public in 2007, but the Sattui name has a long history with winemaking in the Napa Valley. Stroll around the architecturally faithful medieval-themed structure and admire its period furnishings and decorations. Indulge your senses with delectable wines on a private tasting tour and pair the Italian-style flavors with local cheeses.
You’ll be whirled back to the Middle Ages when you first see the stately Castello di Amorosa. Cross the drawbridge over the moat to reach the enormous stone fort and begin exploring the two-level structure, which contains an interior courtyard, a chapel, chambers and a great hall. The castle’s cavernous great hall has a high-coffered ceiling and is decorated with gorgeous frescoes and a 500-year-old fireplace.
The man behind the masterpiece is a fourth-generation winemaker whose great-grandfather founded the V. Sattui Winery in 1885 after migrating from Italy. Taste the Sattui wine prestige for yourself when you visit the main tasting room. Try a selection of Italian-style wines made from grapes such as cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, pinot bianco and merlot.
Join a guided tour to get access to the castle’s lower levels, which contain a torture chamber, armory and grand barrel room. The torture chamber contains an iron maiden that dates back 300 years. Pairing tours are available for a more tantalizing tasting experience. Taste local cheeses, chocolates and charcuterie matched with sumptuous wines or book your place on the Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour.
The castle is less than 10 minutes’ drive east of downtown Calistoga. Add the Castello di Amorosa Winery to your wine-tasting tour of Napa Valley. Take advantage of the Napa Valley Wine Train and book your place in the pretty Pullman car to enjoy a gourmet on-board meal combined with a wine-tasting tour of the castle. There are fees for general admission and wine-tasting tours of the castle. The castle is open to visitors year-round, except for Christmas Day.