Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Back Trackin', Cali Edition - A Castle or Winery? Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley

Aaahhh...Napa Valley, I miss you. I am going to find a way to get back, but in the meantime, I will reminisce with all of you about our trip there. I remember tasting (okay fine, drinking) lots of exceptional wine and overcoming my distaste for red wine. What I learned is that I do like red wine; I just had not been able to drink GOOD red wine. Our trip consisted of three or four full days (I forget which) of driving through pretty country roads, visiting wineries and eating perfectly cooked meals. I can safely say that I did NOT have a bad meal anywhere in the valley. Of course at that point, I never thought I would blog about food so no stories of my food outings, but perhaps I'll share with you where I went some other time. For this post though, we'll focus on the wine.

One of the more memorable wineries we visited was Castello di Amorosa. Would you forget a structure that looks like a medieval castle right in Napa Valley? I don't think so.

You seriously feel like you are in medieval Italy, and you haven't even gotten inside yet! I think I was ready to storm the castle (Princess Bride reference...I couldn't resist).

I think Husband J and were still trying to get over the whole grandiose/over-the-top feel of our surroundings for the first fifteen minutes. Most wineries in Napa are rather small and understated or very modern conference center-like structures that can handle crowds. The castello was something altogether different.

We took some time to explore the nooks and crannies of the castle including this little lookout point.

The castle was not just a facade with modern buildings either but rather a real life castle complete with all of the rooms that you could imagine a castle having.

A great room with wall to wall murals and complete with Christmas tree (we were there right after Thanksgiving but before Christmas)

The Inner courtyard

A chapel on premise. Many medieval castles actually had one. For modern folks like us, this is usually used for wedding ceremonies.

At that point, I'd almost forgotten that they sell wine there. Well, not really. :) I think this is one of the Chardonnay barrels. I have to admit that I tend not to like oaky tasting Chardonnay.

The Castello's wine tasting area

As for the wines, they were not my favorite that I tried. I tend to like fruity red wines or those with a bold, spicy flavor. Most of the Castello's wines had more of a bitter, tannic taste. Not my thing, really. That being said, I had fun just being there, and I applaud the Castello's owner for being bold enough to build a structure like this in the middle of the bastion of American wine making that is Napa Valley.

Who says wineries are boring? :)


BigAppleNosh said...

Looks like such a fun structure! I think I'd have more fun exploring than wine tasting :)

Sugar said...

Come back to Napa!! Mr. Spice will show you around!


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