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    A Castle in Calistoga, Napa Valley

    by travelgourmet Updated May 21, 2013

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    The Castello di Amorosa Castle and Winery sits high on a high in Calistoga. A thirteen year dream project of Dario Sattui and still building. This is a must see winery and a welcome sight for the wineries of old and the ones in the future throughout Napa Valley as it represents the premier wine region of the world topped by a castle, the Castello di Amorosa Castle and Winery.

    Huge isn't the word, massive might be better as the Castle is four stories high and four stories below ground. Made with stones imported from Italy and set in a beautiful 16th century motif, including a moat. The wine cellars are long, deep underground and beautiful to behold. A tour of the Castle is a must to fully appreciate what has transpired here in Calistoga. There are more photos in my Castle Travelogue

    A MOAT RUNS AROUND IT THE CASTLE DRAWBRIDGE DOOR WINE IS STILL THE GAME PROTECTOR OF THE CASTLELLO DI AMOROSA
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    WINE, CHEESE, AND BREAD

    by travelgourmet Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    Napa Valley is large, not just Napa, but with Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga, all part of the Valley ,but Napa is the name known throughout the world. In the heart of this area is the V. Sattui Winery. Located in St. Helena, it is the only Winery to also have a gourmet Italian deli and also one of the few places in the Napa Valley to picnic. Open spaces with tables and benches to enjoy your wine, cheese, and bread. Maybe throw in some olives and salami and make a total picnic. The grounds of V. Sattui are set out so that the Winery and the Deli are both within a few steps of each other.

    The buildings are typical wine country decor with fountains in the courtyard and stone facades with wood timbers and archways. The view is pure magic. A bonus to all, is that Darryl Sattui, the present owner, may greet you from behind the wine tasting bar, and will chat up a storm with anyone willing to listen to his love of wine and of making the best wine possible. The tastings here are free of charge and Darryl or others will give you more tastes of different wines, till you find the one that charms you the most. Buy the bottle and go out to the picnic area and enjoy the taste with all in your party, except the person who has to drive.

    The reason that you may find a wine to your liking is because there are over 54 Gold Medals awarded to V. Sattui wines during 2004 alone, and was voted "Best Winery in California" out of 595 wineries. You cannot enjoy wines and not be tempted to drink more of V. Sattui wines at one sitting. Open every day 9 am to 6 pm (Nov.-Mar.,9-5) You can only purchase V. Sattui wines at the winery. Drive safely.

    THE CHARM OF V. SATTUI WINERY PICNIC ON THE GRASS AT V. SATTUI WINERY
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    V Sattui Winery

    by Court94403 Updated Mar 25, 2013

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    This will be as tip will be as brief as possible because I love the Napa/ St Helena area I probably could sit here and discuss this place for hours. A visit to Napa sould not be missed. V.Sattui is a fourth-generation family-owned winery. Established in 1885, they do weddings, private tours and picnics. However there is a free self guided tour and museum. My favorite part of V. Sattui is the Wine Tasting Room which is accessible by passing through their Itallian-style rustic deli. By the way, stop by after you have picked up a nice bottle of wine, and trust me, you will. You can have a nice little picnic on the winery grounds. No reservations are needed to taste the wines or use the picnic grounds nor are you obligated to buy any of the wines you have tasted, reservations are required for parties of 10 or more. Open from 9 am-6 pm daily. 9 am-5 pm in the winter. They are open everyday except Christmas. They also sponsor special events during the year. Please check V. Sattui's online calender of events.

    Tasting fees are as follows for a selection of six wines: $10 for Premium wines, $15 for Reserve tasting, memberships for the wine clubs require their own fees please check website for prices.

    My favorite wines: White Riesling, Muscat and the ever popular Gamay Rouge.
    V. Sattui has just been awarded the 2013 Winery of the Year.

    Wine Tasting Room @ V Sattui Winery V. Sattui Entrance to the winery
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    WINNER OF THE 1976 GRAND TASTING IN PARIS

    by travelgourmet Updated Dec 6, 2012

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    The little winemaker who could, did, and started the wine revolution in California beginning with the Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay which won the grand taste off with French white Burgundies vs the California Chardonnays and the story became a movie in 2008 called "Bottle Shock". Chateau Montelena has been around since 1896 and became wine world famous with that taste off in 1976 Paris, France.

    Today, Chateau Montelena has a wonderful tasting bar, tours, and a lake garden that adds to the beauty of the Napa Valley. Make sure you walk around to see the stone castle from the front by the lake. The Tubbs started the vineyard in 1890's, The Frank family took over in 1958 and built "Jade Lake"but no major winemaking from the prohibition in the 1930's until 1972. Most of the credit for the wine and the win in Paris goes to Jim Barrett, Vitner, who took over the vineyard in 1972 and rebuilt the vineyard and the winery. Bo Barrett, eldest son of Jim, took over as Winemaker in 1982 and is still involved at Chateau Montelena. As stated by Jim Barrett; "I wanted to do something to make people happy." Well, I'm happy and I believe you will be too when you visit Jim Barrett's dream. Who says dreams don't come true.

    Allen Rickman as Steven Spurrier in Parking lot entrance to tasting room Chateau Montelena's tasting bar The Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Time Magazine article
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    More Wine Tasting 101

    by machomikemd Written Apr 23, 2012

    Basic Wine Tasting tips start like this:

    Start with a clear wine glass then pour a little wine into your glass. If you are tasting several wines, begin with the lightest (sparkling wines, roses, then light whites followed by full-bodied whites) and progress to the heaviest (light reds to more full-bodied reds followed by dessert wines). This will help keep your taste buds more sensitive so you can better appreciate each wine in the series. Swirl the wine a couple of times by moving the glass in a circular motion to aerate the wine and release vapors, evaporating from the sides of the glass for you to smell. Make a small sip that fills your mouth maybe halfway. Before you swallow, let the wine slide across your tongue from front to back and side to side. after that swallow a whole shot so that you can be able to appreciate the wine's character whether is is sweet, acidic, sour, full bodied, bitter, etc.

    you can also spit out the remaining wine as the wineries offer receptacles for you to spit out wine if you feel like it.

    wine tasting among the oak barrels have some wine the wine glass wine tasting outside pouring wine
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    Check Out the Grapes and Vineyards!

    by machomikemd Updated Apr 23, 2012

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    for a more personal experience, you have to see the different kinds and varieties of grapes grown in the napa valley area whether they are seedless or not, green, violet, maroon kind of grapes to be able to get the feel of the basic of good wine which is the GRAPE! but other factors are also put into the character of the wine grown like the climate, soil, oak barrels, the harvesting time, but again the main ingredient in a good wine is the GRAPE!

    choose a vineyard to view and taste their wines! most vineyards offer tasting tours with some free while others charge at least $ 5 for wine tasting for really exceptional and high price wines. You can log on the website below for a listing of Napa Wineries who offer wine tours and wine tasting.

    Driving to Napa Instead of Taking a tour bus is better so that you can have your own pace in cheking out the Grapes and Vineyards.

    group yum! grape more grapes with my brother
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    Walk Around The Grape Vines

    by machomikemd Written Apr 23, 2012

    Some of the Wineries in Napa Valley allow visitors to see their assorted Grape vines and you can go through them even pluck some grapes to taste (but the grapes are mostly semi sweet, not that too sweet, ok). You can savor these grapes dedicated to wine making but it is better to drive to Napa than booking a bus wine tour so that you can savor these grapes and the wineries that you choose to visit and do wine tasting so that you can do them at your own pace.

    You will see how they grow the grapes and there is also many aerial industrial fans around the area as to keep the frost away since frost can ruin a good harvest of the wine making grapes.

    the large vineyards grape tasting my mom pose me posing grapes anyone?
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    Wine Workers

    by machomikemd Updated Apr 23, 2012

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    This Bronze Mural that you can see in napa valley, along the silverado road in CA Highway 29, is a tribute to the various, nameless wine workers, namely the faceless pigeages (French winemaking term for the traditional stomping of grapes in open fermentation tanks) who stomp on grapes all day just to produce the world famous napa wines that we know! You can see his mural, it is locates along Highway 29, going to Napa and you can even stop at the mural and take pictures around. This mural is called "The Grapecrusher". The bronze sculpture was made by noted artist, Gino Miles, was erected in 1987 and is dedicated to the workers who labor in the vineyards.

    There is another Napa Valley Sign and it is located in Calistoga near the Castello Di Amorosa. I will do a separate tip for it.

    nice tribute going to napa where? need a map along the Highway 29
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    V. Sattui Winery (wine Tasting)

    by machomikemd Written Apr 21, 2012

    The V. Sattui Winery is easily on top of the Wine Tasting lists in Napa since it is easily accesible via the Saint Helena Highway and Dario Sattui has a penchant for Collecting Awards for his wines hence the popularity of wine tasting here and at the Castello Di Amarosa.

    The Main Tasting Room is located in the center of the Winery and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday a wine tasting of 6 of their wines cost $ 10 and for the exclusive and reserved wines, it's $ 15. They have a huge assortment of red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot or Pinot Noir. White wines like the Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, plus a number of sparkling wines (Champagne OK! ) and Rose' wines. This winery even surpasses the main wine making and the Italian Style Castle of Dario Sattui's Castello DI Amorosa, where all of the wines sold in V. Sattui Winery comes from, plus where most of the grapes are harvested.

    packed to the wine tasting area choose your poison the list popular
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    V. Sattui Winery

    by machomikemd Updated Apr 21, 2012

    The V. Sattui Winery, just beside the Saint Helena Highway is a destination by itself. This wine store, Italian market place and mini foot stall cum wine tasting and souvernir store plus picnic garden and wedding destination, is a brainchild of the 5th generation vitner Dario Sattui (he also owns the bigger Castello Di Amorosa in Calistoga, a few miles north of the V. Sattui Winery, see my tips there). This is easily one of the more popular destinations in the whole Napa Valler Area since it is packed full of people everyday.

    This winery even surpasses the main wine making and the Italian Style Castle of Dario Sattui's Castello DI Amorosa, where all of the wines sold in V. Sattui Winery comes from, plus where most of the grapes are harvested.

    The Main Tasting Room is located in the center of the Winery and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday a wine tasting of 6 of their wines cost $ 10 and for the exclusive and reserved wines, it's $ 15. They have a huge assortment of red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot or Pinot Noir. White wines like the Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, plus a number of sparkling winea(Champagne OK! ) and Rose' wines.

    I will do a separate shopping, picnic tips here at the winery.

    ok to the winery entrance italian market me
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    Castello Di Amorosa (3)

    by machomikemd Written Apr 21, 2012

    Final Part of my Castello Di Amorosa Tips with more pictures. See my V. Sattui Winery Tips too.

    Yes, there is an Italian Style castle in Napa valley, Particularly at Calistoga and it is owned by the Indefatigable Vitner Dario Sattui, of the V. Sattui Winery Fame. It is located farther along the the N. St Helena Highway, Just After the Welcome to Napa Valley Sign in Calistoga. Although the V. Sattui Winery has more people coming and going to it, this is a more pleasant destination among Dario Sattui's Places. The Castle is huge by Napa Standards and has a total space of 121,000 square feet. The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground and among the many amenities inside excluding the win tasting is a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet (9.1 m) great hall with a 22-foot (6.7 m)-high coffered ceiling.

    The General Admission Price is $ 18 per person and includes wine tasting of 5 of their wine varietals and parts of the castle tour. For $ 28, you can have wine tasting of 6 premium reserved wine varietals of the property.

    If you want to have a free wine tasting, then join their wine club.

    for a Wine Tasting and a more thorough tour around the castle, the cost is $ 33

    Opens: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm everyday

    the courtyard the red grapes wine tasting 101 the admission general admission ticket about dario sattui
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    Castello Di Amorosa (1)

    by machomikemd Updated Apr 21, 2012

    This Castello Di Amorosa Tips will be a three part tip with more pictures around.

    Yes, there is an Italian Style castle in Napa valley, Particularly at Calistoga and it is owned by the Indefatigable Vitner Dario Sattui, of the V. Sattui Winery Fame. It is located farther along the the N. St Helena Highway, Just After the Welcome to Napa Valley Sign in Calistoga. Although the V. Sattui Winery has more people coming and going to it, this is a more pleasant destination among Dario Sattui's Places. The Castle is huge by Napa Standards and has a total space of 121,000 square feet. The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground and among the many amenities inside excluding the win tasting is a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet (9.1 m) great hall with a 22-foot (6.7 m)-high coffered ceiling.

    The General Admission Price is $ 18 per person and includes wine tasting of 5 of their wine varietals and parts of the castle tour. For $ 28, you can have wine tasting of 6 premium reserved wine varietals of the property.

    If you want to have a free wine tasting, then join their wine club.

    for a Wine Tasting and a more thorough tour around the castle, the cost is $ 33

    Opens: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

    welcome prices the view the castle tour group
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    Castello Di Amorosa (2)

    by machomikemd Written Apr 21, 2012

    Part Two of My Castello Di Amorosa Tips with more pictures!

    Yes, there is an Italian Style castle in Napa valley, Particularly at Calistoga and it is owned by the Indefatigable Vitner Dario Sattui, of the V. Sattui Winery Fame. It is located farther along the the N. St Helena Highway, Just After the Welcome to Napa Valley Sign in Calistoga. Although the V. Sattui Winery has more people coming and going to it, this is a more pleasant destination among Dario Sattui's Places. The Castle is huge by Napa Standards and has a total space of 121,000 square feet. The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground and among the many amenities inside excluding the win tasting is a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet (9.1 m) great hall with a 22-foot (6.7 m)-high coffered ceiling.

    The General Admission Price is $ 18 per person and includes wine tasting of 5 of their wine varietals and parts of the castle tour. For $ 28, you can have wine tasting of 6 premium reserved wine varietals of the property.

    If you want to have a free wine tasting, then join their wine club.

    for a Wine Tasting and a more thorough tour around the castle, the cost is $ 33

    Opens: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

    al fresco dining the oak barrels wine cellar more wine cellars private dining area
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    Culinary Institute of America At Greystone

    by machomikemd Written Jan 13, 2012

    This is the home of the Budding Chef's who want to be the next Mario Battali or Wolfgang Puck or Kat Cora or Bobbie Flay. This area of Napa is one of the of the four Locations of the World Famous Culinary Institute of America. The sprawling complex houses their culinary school, A Spice Islands Market, Vitners Hall of Fame and their showpiece Restaurant, the Wine Spectator Restaurant (where the budding Master Chefs and apprentices make their famous meals wherein the menu is changed every week). I will do a separate resto tip on the Wine Spectator Restaurant. They also sell famous wines but unlike most wineries, they don't have a wine growing area on the Campus. The place may be high end but is sure is a nice place for Romantic Activities.

    According to their Website:

    Located in California's lush Napa Valley, the CIA's California campus features a wide variety of innovative professional development programs. Our teaching kitchens are among the finest professional education facilities in the world. Programs are centered in a demonstration theatre and around a series of cooking islands in the 15,000-square-foot teaching area, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, minutes from world-class vineyards and some of America's top restaurants.

    While on campus, students also benefit from our 15 acres of vineyards, the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, the Sutter Home Organic Garden, the Cannard Herb Garden, the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, the DeBaun Theater, the Ken and Grace De Baun Café, and the Spice Islands Marketplace (campus store). Collectively, our programs and facilities emphasize the cooking and baking traditions of many cultures; fresh, seasonal ingredients; health and nutrition; and sustainable agriculture.

    to the campus outside choices Al Fresco Dining inside
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    Have A Picnic at NAPA Valley!

    by machomikemd Written Jan 12, 2012

    Napa Valley area (including the areas of Calistoga, Saint Helena, Carneros, Sonoma, Yountville and more) are not only famous for their World Famous New World Wines but also for Group Picnics, especially by locals and Californians Alike. While Most Foreign tourists and out of State people concentrate on the wine tours and the wine trains, locals and Bay Area people would often to the Picnics on the Grounds of these famous Wineries!!!!!

    Most Large Scale Wineries in the Napa Valley Area offer Picnics on their huge and sprawling estates and gardens for lunch and dinner and for special occasions or parties. Most of them have set meals or offer Barbecue Style Buffets. All of them have house rules that only food and wine purchased on their estate are allowed to the picnic gardens. most are open from lunch and dinner and some on sunday brunches too and evening parties for select groups.

    crowded private room to the picnic area hey let's go to the picnic area more picnic area
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