We tagged along with our friends Bob and Bren to Napa Valley for an entire day's worth of wine tasting. Our first stop was Castello di Amorosa. This wine tasting experience was inside a castle complete with a moat. Yep, a moat surrounding the castle. But don't judge them with their themed appearance. Their castle may look out of placed in Napa as if it was beamed from Europe to California but their wines for tastings are good to very good!
It was sunny when we left the city around 8:30 a.m. but it was overcast when we got to Napa a little over an hour later. I am not at all familiar with the history how the castle came to be but in fairness to the winery, the vineyard surrounding the castle was absolutely stunning. The wine tasting was $18 per person and allows you to taste up to five wines. The tasting fee is not waived even with a wine purchase. You can do a self walking tour of the castle though the winery also offers a tour for an additional fee. The view of the Calistoga landscape from the castle's towers is excellent. We got to the tasting room early so we were the first ones to wine taste. Since Bren was our designated driver, he was just there to hang out.
[to read my other Wine Tasting blogs, click here ]
And now for the wine tasting. Though a tasting allows you to sample five wines in the tasting menu, I was able to taste more than that from Bob and Mijo's glasses. This way, we were able to compare. Here are the ones I tasted: 2009 Napa Valley Sangiovese, 2010 Barbera Twin Creeks Vineyard, 2009 Napa Valley Merlot, 2008 Il Brigante - Cabernet/Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Zinfandel, 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Simpatica Dessert Wine, 2011 La Fantasia Red Wine, 2011 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer Anderson Valley. The three of us all agreed that the 2009 Napa Valey Sangiovese, the 2010 Barbera and the 2009 Napa Valley Merlot are great. Their Cabernet Sauvignon was a little too alcoholic for my taste. It is probably the time of the day or the order of the wines I've been tasting. I was the only one who thought their Brigante is excellent and well balanced. We were not planning to buy anything in this wine tasting trip to add to our collection but We ended up buying three bottles - the Sangiovese, the Barbera and La Fantasia. I also checked out their gift shop and noticed that they have a great selection of souvenirs and wine accessories. Their cork opener has the name Castello di Amorosa inscribed on it which makes for a great gift.
Castello di Amorosa is in Napa Valley and located on North St. Helena Highway in Calistoga, California. ~rl