Wine Tasting in a Castle in Napa Valley, California
Castello di Amorosa is a winery I had heard a lot about but had not visited until just recently. It certainly made a big impression! I drove up the driveway, lined with cypress trees reminiscent of Tuscany's wine country, and then saw the huge castle, surrounded by vine-covered hills. It is 121,000 square feet, about 2/3 of which is underground, built into the hill, making the perfect place to store wine.
The castle took 15 years to build using authentic materials from Europe. It is cold and sometimes dark inside, like a real castle, but the atmosphere is lively as the endless halls and rooms are filled with happy visitors on a tour or tasting wine. Besides the details of the castle itself, what impressed me was how open the winery is to the community and visitors. People were enjoying the beautiful grounds, from couples on a romantic getaway to families with kids.
Several different tour options are available, from the briefer self-guided tour to the more extensive vineyard tour, and the winery is open every day except Christmas. The winery specializes in lovely Italian-style reds and has won many awards for their wines, including the recent gold in back-to-back years for the Gewurtztraminer Dry.