This Castello di Amorosa review has everything you need to know about the fancy Napa Castle Winery. Castello di Amorosa is a medieval castle where you can either get a guided tour or explore the Napa Castle winery at your leisure. Castello di Amorosa is one of the best wineries in Napa Valley. Keep reading more about this Castle of Love!
Castello di Amorosa Review
If you are looking for Castello di Amorosa reviews, then you have come to the right place. My friends and I were lucky enough to have a press outing to Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley. We had a private guided tour of the medieval castle from the kindest and most knowledgeable tour guide. I’ll share lots of nuggets I learnt about the “Castle of Love” below. I’ll also share more on admission fees, the best wine at Castello di Amorosa and top tips for planning your visit to this famous castle winery.
Castello di Amorosa History
Castello di Amorosa was built by Dario Sattui, the great grandson of pioneering Bay Area vintner Vittorio Sattui. After earning an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, Dario traveled around Europe and lived out of an old VW van.
In 1972, he returned to the U.S. and he reopened V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena in 1975. The winery turned a profit in the first year of operation.
Dario, fourth generation winemaker, then created a 121,000 square foot, 13th century, authentically styled Tuscan castle winery, that is Castello di Amorosa today. The same techniques medieval builders had relied on eight hundred years ago were used to build the castle. The castle looks like it could have been built 800 years ago. Dario Sattui built the castle to honor his Italian heritage and deep love for medieval architecture.
It took more than 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled local stone and nearly one million antique bricks imported from Europe to complete the castle. More than 200 containers of old materials and furnishings were shipped over from Europe to decorate the interior. The construction took 15 years and opened to the public on April 7, 2007.
Today, Castello di Amorosa is considered an architectural masterpiece with all the elements of an authentic medieval castle: a moat, drawbridge, five towers, high defensive ramparts, courtyards and loggias, a chapel, secret passage ways, stables, high walls, an armory, and even a torture chamber. There are 107 rooms in total with no two rooms alike.
If you book one of the guided tours like my group had, your tour guide will give you so much more additional information. You can also see the grand barrel room, which is so impressive! The tour made our visit to the magnificent castle winery even more memorable.
Planning your visit to Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa is one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley. It is an amazing and unique experience. The castle is a beautiful place with incredible views and premium wine tasting. Planning your visit to Castello di Amorosa well in advance is recommended. The Napa Castle is popular for tourists and locals alike and books up fast. I have visited Castello di Amorosa multiple times and it has been exciting each and every time.
Castello di Amorosa Entrance Fee & General Admission
A Castello di Amorosa reservation is required to visit Castello di Amorosa. All of the entrance fees or general admission include 5 wine tastings. There are various options available from seated tastings to standing tastings to private tastings. Each one is special in their own way. I have enjoyed both seated and standing tastings over the years and loved both.
For the most updated prices for tastings, visit the Castello di Amorosa website here.
For groups larger than 12, you can contact the castle directly. To enter the castle grounds, you will need your reservation confirmation to drive up the Tuscan inspired driveway. This is a special moment in itself! Have your confirmation handy to make the check in process easy.
Castello di Amorosa Review: Tasting Options
As I mentioned above, there are lots of different options for wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa. Here are some great wine tasting options:
Castello di Amorosa Seated Reserve Tasting
With the Castello di Amorosa Seated Reserve Tasting, you can enjoy a tasting of 5 wines from the extensive Castello di Amorosa wine menu including Reserves and their delicious non-alcoholic grape juice. I highly recommend adding Castello di Amorosa Fantasia and a Cabernet Sauvignon to your tasting list. You can also do a chocolate upgrade for $7 if you have a sweet tooth.
After your tasting, you can explore the Castle on your own and enjoy access to the two main levels. You can tour the Courtyard, Truncated tower, Chapel, Great Hall, Knights Hall, Main Tasting Room, and Gift shop. Make sure you visit the top of the castle as the views are beautiful. We got to sit outside in the sunshine on my last visit and it was fun to have a table so we could chat together as we tasted the wine.
Castello di Amorosa Standing Reserve Tasting
The Castello di Amorosa Standing Reserve Tasting is also a fun option. In the past, I have enjoyed the Castello di Amorosa Standing Reserve Tasting on two occasions. This was great when I went with a large group so we could chat and mingle with different people throughout the wine tasting. With this Napa tasting option, you get to taste 5 Castello di Amorosa wines.
You can explore the Napa castle winery at your leisure with this wine tasting option also. This is the same offering as the seated option, only you will be standing rather than seated. It costs less than the seated option. Be sure to stop at the gift shop when you finish your wine tasting to browse the gifts and unique pieces.
Castello di Amorosa Diamond Estate Tour & Reserve Wine Tasting
This is one of the best Castello di Amorosa wine tours. You’ll get to see the areas that are closed off to the public and get some secrets from your tour guide. Along with the guided tour, you’ll get to taste a selection of five reserve wines, including the Super Tuscan Blend “La Castellana”.
Your wine educator and tour guide will guide you through the Castello’s underground cellars, torture chamber, armory, and the Grand Barrel Room where you will taste a young Cabernet Sauvignon direct from the barrel. After the barrel tasting, your host will escort you to a private tasting bar for a sampling of five current release reserve and small production wines.
Whichever wine tasting you decide to take, you will have such a good time at this beautiful Napa Castle. It is a great place to bring tourists or also a great day trip from San Francisco. One thing to note, due to Napa County ordinance, Castello di Amorosa are only allowed to serve wine tastings.
They are not licensed to allow on-premise consumption of wine by the glass or by the bottle. However, their sister winery, V. Sattui in St. Helena (15 minutes away), is allowed to sell wine for consumption on their property. They have a designated picnic area, as well as a deli. This is the perfect spot to enjoy another tasting or a glass of wine and one of their delicious sandwiches after your castle visit.
Castello di Amorosa Wine Reviews
As I have had over three visits to Castello di Amorosa, it’s time to share some Castello di Amorosa Wine Reviews. Castello di Amorisa has every type of wine from red wine to white wine to sweet and dry. Their exclusive and awarded wine collection includes more than 50 wines!
Castello di Amorosa La Fantasia is one of my favorite wines that I have ever tasted! It’s the reason I went back to Castello di Amorosa the 2nd and 3rd time as you can only purchase Fantasia in person or online from the Castello di Amorosa website. La Fantasia is an Italian style frizzante (soft sparkling) wine which is naturally sweet and lower in alcohol. The sweet wine has bright aromas of summer strawberry, pomegranate, and wild berries, leading to juicy flavors of black raspberry and plum. I have a bottle in the fridge that I cannot wait to open! I highly recommend you taste this on your visit to Castello di Amorosa and treat yourself to a bottle (or two!).
I also loved the Castello di Amorosa Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a bold and balanced Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate, with hints of savory spice. You can enjoy it now or age well for over a decade.
Another favorite was the Castello di Amorosa Chardonnay Reserve. This is a round and balanced full-bodied Chardonnay from vineyards in the southern end of Napa Valley. The Napa Chardonnay has lush notes of baked apple, ripe pear, fall spices, and toasted almond.
There are so many delicious premium Napa wines to choose from and taste at this top Napa winery. These premium wines would be a great gift. The sweet wines are definitely my favorite at Castello di Amorosa. There are many varieties grown to choose from including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Primitivo, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
For a full list of wines, see the Castello di Amorosa wine list here.
Castello di Amorosa membership
If you decide you love Castello di Amorosa, then you can treat yourself to a Castello di Amorosa membership that has lots of perks including complimentary admission. As a Wine Club Member, you’ll become an “Amici del Barone” (Friends of the Baron).
You’ll receive special members only benefits, including the below:
- Complimentary General Admission and Reserve Wine Tasting for Wine Club member and one guest, plus 50% off for two additional guests
- 50% off Premium & Reserve Guided Tours and Tastings for Wine Club member and three guests anytime (4 people total)
- Invitations to Wine Club Parties and Special Events (discounted admission for Member and one guest)
- 20% Discount on reorders of current Wine Club shipments (available to shipping clubs only)
- Access to “Members & Guests Only” Il Passito Club Room (hours vary)
- 20% Discount on Food & Wine Pairings and other specialty tours for Member and a guest
- Special Discounts on Castello wines at Wine Club events
- Newsletters and winemaker’s tasting notes, advance access to new releases, and special online member discounts
Lots of great perks if you are looking to join a winery. The wines are amazing!
As you can see from the Castello di Amorosa pictures I shared and my glowing Castello di Amorosa reviews, we loved our Napa valley castle visit. I highly recommend a visit to the castle! To finish off my glowing review, I’m going to share some FAQs on Castello di Amorosa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Castello di Amorosa open?
Yes, Castello di Amorosa is open! I visited the castle pre-covid and post-covid and both experiences were equally delightful. I highly recommend booking a visit in advance and pretending you have escaped to Tuscany for the day.
Who is the owner of Castello di Amorosa?
As you’ll have seen from the history of Castello di Amorosa above, Dario Sattui is the owner of Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley. The medieval castle is a sister to the V. Sattui winery down the road (another great spot for stopping on your Napa trip).
What are the Castello di Amorosa hours of operation?
Castello di Amorosa is open! It is best to check Castello di Amorosa’s website for the most updated hours. At the time of writing this blog post, the Napa Castle was open weekdays from 10:00am – 5:00pm and on weekends from 10:00am – 5:30pm. You can check here for the latest and most up to date opening hours.
Where is Castello di Amorosa located?
Castello di Amorosa is located on Hwy 29, 3 miles south of the city of Calistoga, on the right; 5 miles north of St. Helena, on the left. There is a large brick gate at the entrance to the driveway. After you pass the entrance, you are led up a Tuscan inspired drive that begins your magical adventure to the Castle of Love.
What is the Castello di Amorosa wine train tour?
There is a very fancy (& amazing) Wine train in Napa Valley. You can organize a Castello di Amorosa wine train tour that involves traveling on the famous Napa Valley train and hopping off to explore Castello di Amorosa. This would be the ultimate fancy honeymoon trip.
Where are Castello di Amorosa wines made?
At the time of writing this blog post, there are 14 vineyards throughout Napa Valley, Sonoma, Anderson Valley, and there is also one in Santa Barbara. One example of a Castello di Amorosa vineyard is at Villa Amorosa, Napa Valley. This 30 acre estate vineyard surrounds the Castello in the rolling foothills of the Diamond Mountain District, and is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Primitivo, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The unique, porous volcanic soils and extended sun exposure above the fog line help to produce rich and powerful Cabernet Sauvignons, with chewy textures and diamond-hard tannins. Fruit from this vineyard goes into Castello di Amorosa’s Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Gioia Rosato di Sangiovese.
Thank you to Castello di Amorosa for hosting my friends and I on this complimentary experience.