Thursday, August 13, 2015

One Man's Vision: Italian Castle Thrives IN US!

Castello di Amorosa is one of the most beautiful wineries we've visited in the gorgeous Napa Valley.

Castello di Amorosa is a castle and a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doors to the public in April 2007, the castle is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui, who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885 after emigrating from Italy to California .

The winery sits on property that was once part of an estate owned by Edward Turner Bale.

The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet (11,200 m2). Key details and building techniques are architecturally faithful to the 12th and 13th century time period. Among many other features it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet (9.1 m) great hall with a 22-foot (6.7 m)-high coffered ceiling.
The torture chamber has an authentic 300-year-old iron maiden which Sattui states he bought for $13,000 in Pienza, Italy, a replicarack, prison chambers and other torture devices.

The great hall features frescoes painted by two Italian artists who took about a year and a half to complete and showcases a 500 year old fireplace.

The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. Extending into the hillside adjacent to the castle lies a labyrinth of caves some 900 feet (270 m) in length. Beneath the castle are a 2-acre (8,100 m2) barrel cellar and tasting rooms where visitors can sample the wines-all sold only at the Castle.

Trust us, no visit to Napa Valley is complete without a stop here!

All photos copyright 2015 by Dan Cirucci.

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