Castello di Amorosa opened in 2007 and took 14 years to build. It has 8 floors, four of them underground cellars, 107 rooms and is officially 121,000 square feet (not counting cellars). The stone was quarried locally, supplemented with 1 million bricks from Italy and entirely hand-squared. In the hills behind it there is a system of wine caves that go back nearly a quarter of a mile. It even has a proper torture chamber, presumably for those who insist on drinking Chardonnay.
Built by a member of the Sattui family, who are 1880’s era San Francisco vintners and who got shut down during prohibition, the current Sattui patriarch got started again in 1976. He built his first stone winery in 1984. The family celebrated 130 years of winery operation in 2015, minus prohibition of course, (plead the fifth).
Napa county has a bit of a troubled relationship with this tourist powerhouse and has issued cease and desist orders saying they can’t hold a Catholic mass (what unlawful transubstantiation? srsly?), that they can’t hold weddings or wedding receptions (they can hold corporate retreats and fundraisers...), and has generally exhibited the sort of Calistoga hissy-fit towards new buildings that the county is famous for. Napa is apparently unbothered by the chickens and emus that roam the grounds though. Go figure. Amorosa has quickly become one of the most popular wineries in the area, which should give you an idea of why the local machine wants to keep it in check.
The castle caught on fire in 2016, allegedly due to an unattended candle in the torture room. I would have liked to be the firefighter writing up that report. Being, you know, stone, the castle suffered minimal damage.
The other interesting tidbit that I found was that they make a botrytised Gewürztraminer, among the usual array of reds. This is the ‘noble rot’ and it’s very rare for a California winery to be moldy enough to manage it. Terroir is the name for localized climates in wineries. It has unique terroir.
Xander thinks it’s small and unimpressive, but what does he know?
It makes me feel happy for the warm feeling from the sun onto the castle ^.=.^
But a cease and desist order? Oh, California.
I write stories in my spare time. None are published. They are just for me. I have a set of stories about 6 siblings. Each has their own story from their own point of view. In one section of each story is their mother who is getting remarried. I wanted someplace beautiful and meaningful to the story. I researched and found the Castle of Love. (Castello di Amorosa) I thought it was beautiful and was impressed by the idea of an American castle. Yes, I a aware that they don't do weddings. My story is fiction and just for fun.
It's so funny, I am actually at the scene in my last characters story. You have given me more information than I had. I am going to use it!
This is the first time (on DA .. cause it's not my habit, probably) I see an artist makes intense atmospheres and describes personal experiences like this.
And the story (also the background linked) of this castle it's soo much interesting and funny, specially for your point of view .. chickens and emus XD
--> "... (what unlawful transubstantiation? srsly?)" and the cherry on the pie "Go figure"
I understand what you mean with ruin a place, not giving the respect it deserves
I'm totally surprised and satisfied to read your adventure and how you drew it
Ps: I'm not a wine connoisseur, not so much expert in this .. so don't blame me if I have seen something wrong or strange...
"California winery to be moldy"?? .. you mean the process of fermenting/brewing the aroma and the taste of the wine?
And that place plus the clima is a bit incompatible for the wine's fermenting?
(I'm not so good in english by the way, let it gooo .. let it gooo)