He Had a Dream… Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley

Castles are rare in this country. They’re not from “our time”. But there’s an allure… a romance about them that draws people. This was no doubt the case for Dario Sattui when he dreamed up Castello di Amorosa.

To quote the man, “I built Castello di Amorosa (Castle of Love) because of my passionate, all-consuming desire to create something extraordinary, to honor my Italian heritage, of my deep love of medieval architecture, and because my commitment to making superior wines in magnificent setting.”

It took thirty years to build Castello di Amorosa, and it was all built using methods and materials used 700-800 years ago. 200 containers worth of materials and furnishings came from Europe, and more than 8,000 tons of local stone was hand-chiseled for the project. This 121,000 square foot castle has eight levels, four of which are underground, and has all the elements of a medieval castle… a moat, drawbridge, 5 towers, high defensive ramparts, courtyards, a deep well, church, stables, outdoor oven, Great Hall, and even a prison and torture chamber.

I would love to go back to this place to photograph the grounds while nearing harvest… with vines full of grapes and turning leaves, but that was not the case during this visit. Instead, the ground was soggy and it was not yet spring, thus most of my focus was on the interior, and the animals of course!

As I mentioned in my last post, my friend Ellen and her friend Tom joined us for the tour and wine tasting. It was certainly a fun way to spend our afternoon. The architecture is incredible and vast, and the underground is a maze of beautiful arched tunnels. Amazingly none of us got lost! ?

I’m pretty much going to let the images do the talking from here, but you can read a lot more about the place and plan your visit at their website… Castello di Amorosa.  (Disclaimer… no flash or tripods allowed.)

http://journeyinfocus.com/2019/04/19/after-the-storm-petaluma-and-point-reyes/

Casello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Gargoyles

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Gargoyles at the entrance

http://journeyinfocus.com/2019/04/19/after-the-storm-petaluma-and-point-reyes/

Draw bridge

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Castle entrance and portcullis…  funny, no welcome mat

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

The Chapel

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Detail in chapel

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Great Hall

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Banquet table in Great Hall

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Detail in Great Hall

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Arched walkway

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Courtyard

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Barrel room

Large Format Room (doesn’t compute to this “old school photographer”

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Passageway to cellars

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Torture Chamber

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

John and Ellen checking out “The Rack”

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Chair of Nails? Definitely not a Lazy-Boy

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Iron maiden, an original antique

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Armory

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Suit of Armor

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Grand Barrel Room

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Barrel Room

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Night’s Room

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Me, John, Ellen and Tom having a private Wine Tasting with Cindy!

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Castle Tower

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Presses

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Presses and chickens!

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Proud Peacock!

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Free range

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Goat

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Emu

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

Emu… Another one of those faces only a mother could love

Emu, Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

“Are you lookin’ at me???”

Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, California, USA

The Castle

 

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