There are several hundreds of wineries in Napa Valley and I am pretty sure most of them, if not all of them, make great wines. But just like in any business, In order to stand out from the rest, you have to market yourself to be different – and Castello Di Amorosa did just that.
I first heard about the castle from my friend Kim Geis who is a resident in Napa. When she found out that I was visiting there last year, she insisted on bring me to this winery that was designed like an Italian tuscan castle. In 2010, I spent over 2 months in Italy and got to see some pretty authentic medieval castles there so it was going to take a lot to impress me. So my initial reaction to her was “a real italian castle in Napa? Come on Kim, it’s going to take a lot to impress me…” Boy was I in for a big surprise!
Driving along highway 29, we passed by Napa, Oakville, St. Helena and the famous “Welcome to Napa” sign. As soon as we entered the town of Calistoga, I turned left into the winery. As I drove long their long winding path that lead to their parking lot, my reaction took a complete different turn. “Oh wow, there really IS an Italian castle in Napa.” The owner Dario Sattui, who also owns V. Sattui winery just down the road built this castle using materials all imported from Italy – brick by brick. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I got to tour the castle with one of their tour guide Cynthia (I’m not sure what her official title is), who gave us a detailed description about the castle. I was so impressed with what she had to share. Her passion for the castle infused with little bit of humor & sarcasm made the tour very enjoyable. I have been back to the castle total of three times now and every time, I brought back a different group of people to share this experience with. I also made sure that Cynthia was the one that gave us our tour. On my most recent visit, I became their member even though I live in Chicago. I wanted to be part of what they were doing.
Next time you visit Napa, be sure to stop by this castle and request Cynthia to give you the tour. You will thoroughly enjoy your visit, not to mention their great wine. Dario took his dream and made it reality simply by doing it. Castello Di Amorosa (or Castle of Love) will inspire you to be different and teach you to follow your passion!