Castello di Amorosa is expected to open to the general public later this month, some thirteen-plus years and nearly $30 million since plans for the winery were first hatched. Daryl Sattui, he of the St. Helena winery V. Sattui, has been working to build this authentic-looking, 121,000 square-foot Italian castle on a hillside off Highway 29 just south of the small Napa Valley town of Calistoga.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Castello di Amorosa “…sports a dry moat, drawbridge, iron-gated entrance, five towers with battlements, a church, a great hall, gargoyles and wrought-iron sconces.” The castle will reportedly have 107 rooms on seven levels (four of which are underground), and Castello di Amorosa will take a page from V. Sattui and sell its limited production wines exclusively at the winery–with “no outside distribution”.
Having recently re-read one of our favorite books, James Conaway’s Napa, we couldn’t help but wonder what folks like Jack Davies, Jim Hickey or Dewey Anderson (or any of the others who supported the county’s ag preserve) would think of such activity taking place in the quiet, northern-end of the Napa Valley.
We’ve reached out to Sattui to ask him a few questions about his new venture and he has graciously agreed to chat with us later this month. Over the weekend, we received an email from Sattui stating “Our winery and vineyard will be open for visitation, sampling of the castle wines and wine sales around April 9 – 16, 2007. No appointment required.”
In the meantime, we noticed the website said “Castello di Amorosa Wine Sales and General Info” and provided an address. So, we dropped by to see if we could get more details. While there didn’t appear to be anyone on-hand to answer our questions, we did snap a couple photos–here’s a glimpse of what we saw:
The castle isn’t visible from Highway 29, in fact, if you’re not looking closely for the address posted on the Castello di Amorosa website (4045 North St. Helena Highway–aka Highway 29–in Calistoga) then you’ll likely whiz right on by. Here’s a tip: headed northbound on Highway 29, the driveway up to the castle will be on the left-hand side. You won’t go all the way into downtown Calistoga–in fact, if you see a small green sign on your right for “Maple Lane” then you’ve gone too far. At present, here’s the signage:
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our interview with Sattui later this month…