A Piece of Italy Near Home
September 20, 2009
I’m sitting here at my laptop completely exhausted from having started and half finished five different projects today. Thank goodness for a good glass of red wine at day’s end. I’ll be featuring some of these projects this week, but first I must share with you the final stop we made on our weekend getaway to Napa over the Labor Day holiday.
I was fortunate enough (in my pre-baby lifetime) to have traveled to several different European countries. Upon return, I always said that one of the nicest things about living in the Wine Country is how reminiscent it is of many of those European regions I’ve toured. In winter, Sonoma’s hills are so green, it’s like Ireland and Northern France. In summer, the dry hills, vineyards, and countless wineries of Napa remind one of southern France or Tuscany.
One such place that is sure to transport one to Italy is Castello di Amorosa in the Napa Valley.
I’m always a little apprehensive when touring what some consider out-of-place attractions, for fear that they’ll be, for lack of a better term, theme parkish. I didn’t get that feeling here. This castle is an adult playground, and a guaranteed delight for any adventurous wannabe knight.
Dario Sattui spent over $30 million and 15 years constructing this medieval castle in Calistoga. It was just completed last year. He paid such close attention to detail, and was so focused on authenticity, that he hired masons to shape every stone by hand. The stones, timbers, and doors are all imported from Italy.
Here’s a glimpse at this worthwhile stop, worthy of a movie set:
Great dining hall with inlay coffered ceiling and frescos
The corridors, hidden hallways, niches, and hideaways are too many to count. There’s a dungeon and torture chamber on site as well. The owner/builder/winemaker D. Sattui comes from a family of winemakers dating back to 1885. At the castle, he specializes in Italian style wines, including pinot grigios and Tuscan blends.
If you’re ever in the Napa Valley, Castello di Amorosa is a great place to spend an afternoon adventuring, exploring, and sampling wines and chocolates. And it was the perfect last stop on our weekend getaway.
More projects coming soon !
Happy blessed Sunday.