Resting near the top of Napa Valley is a Tuscan-inspired castle called Castello Di Amorosa (Castle of Love) in Calistoga, CA.
The castle – built only using materials available over 700 years ago for authenticity – is surrounded by gorgeous property with 30 acres just for grapes. If that’s not impressive enough, the wines are only sold at the winery or on the online website.
The castle maintains a medieval vibe with rooms including a drinking well, church, stable, and torture chamber, as well as outdoor features such as a moat, drawbridge, and five towers.
There are different options for admission.
You can book a tour which gets you into the private rooms and entire secret floors for $40 dollars a person and includes a tasting in the barrel room. General admission is $25 which lets you walk around the open grounds like the great hall, chapel, stables, and many courtyards with a tasting of 5 wines in the main tasting hall.
I did not pay the extra to grab a tour because the grounds I saw were stunning enough but by all mean go for it if you get the chance to visit. The other options go up from $40 which are their food and wine private tasting, cheese and wine tasting, or their deluxe tour.
But what about the wine?
They produce over 30 wines a year including pinot bianco, pinot grigio, sangiovese, sauvignon blanc, semillon, and many other tuscan native grapes.
My tasting menu alone let me choose from over 24 wines and one non-alcoholic grape juice made from muscat grapes which was delicious.
- The Gioia- a sangiovese rose that was rich in berry flavor yet bright and lighter on the palate than I expected. ‘Summer porch pounder’ would be a great use for this lovely pink drink.
- The Dolcino – slightly sweet Gewurztraminer that was also a perfect summer wine. It had just a hint of sweetness that made it quench my thirst in the warm castle cellar. Put it on ice and pair with the sunshine.
- Now best for last: La Fantasia, a dark slightly sparkling rose wine that was juicy and fruity. It tasted exactly like the sweet sparklings I drank in Italy years prior. It was refreshing and perfect for any sweet wine lover with a bottle price of $30.
The wines range from $23 to $98 per bottle. That may not scare some of you, but after a week in wine country it adds up fast. Luckily, there’s a discount on 12 bottles.
If you ever want to feel royal and drink great wine at the same time, I highly recommend giving at least most of your day to exploring this work of art.