Posts Tagged ‘Castello di Amorosa’
Do you fantasize about reciting your vows like a fairy tale princess in a castle wedding equipped with a wooden drawbridge, a medieval fireplace and scenic stone towers? Well, even though Castillo di Amorosa does not allow for weddings because of a Napa County ordinance, it does allow for one of the most romantic rehearsal dinner where they host the best wine education tour and tasting outside of Italy.
Amidst the deep green forest high above the Napa Valley vineyard floor lays Castello di Amorosa, (Italian for Castle of Love) a majestic Italian castle that opened in 2008. Rebuilt stone-by-stone by Italian artisans featuring hand-painted murals, a torture chamber and a wine cellar jam-packed with luscious Italian varitels that are only sold on-premise.
Open daily for wine tours and tasting, this romantic winery is also the perfect stop on destination wedding tours of wine country. Enjoy the “The Romance of Italy: The Wines of Napa Valley” tour where you get to ride in a horse drawn carraige before you taste wine. What could be more romantic? More than a tourist attraction, this beautiful venue offers an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perhaps reconnect with your grooms Italian culture and provide a back-drop that is only made for movies.
Happily-ever-after is guaranteed.
For more on Autumn Millhouse and her book Romantic Napa Valley, An Insider’s Guide for Couples, click here. Autumn Millhouse is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in wine, food and romantic getaways. She is also an international trekker who has wined and dined across the globe from Barcelona to Beijing . A self-proclaimed “hopeless-romantic” and author of Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples, Autumn also has a bi-monthly column called Love Vines published in Napa Valley Life Magazine. She resides in Napa Valley where she cultivates her wine and food relationships with top chefs, winemakers and a slew of other foodies. Besides, sniffing, swirling and sipping wine daily, Autumn is currently working on her next travel book Romantic Sonoma Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples.
Calistoga is the ideal setting for a romantic love story: Enchanting castles, a secluded mountain setting, hand-crafted luscious wines, steaming mineral springs, mouth-watering delicacies and picturesque surroundings. Below is a complete itinerary for a weekend hideaway.
Romantic Quarters – However you choose to arrive, make sure to check into the Mt. View Hotel & Spa located in heart of Calistoga. Rule number one of seduction is setting the scene and Mt. View Hotel & Spa happily succeeds. This newly renovated art-deco cosmopolitan hotel seduces every guest effortlessly. Set in a historical 1917 building, it boasts a variety of artist cottages, balcony suites and guestrooms and is the backdrop to many loves stories, including the romance between the proprietors, Michael & Stephanie Woods. With amenity-filled rooms, including winery suites which are paired with local romantic wineries, there are numerous packages to choose from, lovingly created by General Manager Andrea Hoogendoorn, giving guests endless reasons to cuddle and kiss. 1457 Lincoln Avenue (800) 816-6877
Vino & Cuisine – BarVino offers an extensive wine list, three-course menu specials and small plates with big bites. Once you’ve checked into your hotel, BarVino is conveniently located next to Mt. View Hotel & Spa with an entrance in the front lobby. The ambience is hip, modern which translates into a city vibe. Either as a local hoping to escape or a tourist wanting to unwind BarVino provides the best of the both, city sprawl, and urban crawl.
Morning Jolt – Start your morning off right and increase your personal karma by supporting a local poet who also owns the most popular organic roasting house in town. Coffee at Yo el Rey is the best in town and a great place to meet and converse with locals. Located right off Lincoln avenue, Yo el Rey also features local underground art on its walls. Some examples are large stunning photographs by local travel photographer Liza Gershman, and poems hand written by the eccentric owner, J. Kirk Feiereisen. 1217 Washington Street (707) 942-1180
Quintessential Romantic Wineries – Sterling Vineyards, “one of the more spectacular wineries in Napa Valley,” according to Frank Prial of The New York Times. At this hilltop winery, the reserve tour and tasting at 11 a.m. starts with a tram ride up the hill to the winery, where you will gasp at a nearly 360° aerial view of the valley. These stunning views are sure to set the perfect tone for your romantic day. Your experience at Sterling will also include vintage wine tasting and an escorted winery tour lead by an experienced guide. 1111 Dunaweal Lane (707) 942-3300
Larkmead Vineyards embodies the picture perfect wine country atmosphere; an astonishing 90 plus wines scored by Robert Parker for their 2006 collection, an on-premise wine dog, picturesque vineyard views and a contemporary interior, there is no need to go beyond Calistoga to experience Napa Valley. Make an appointment in advance and allow time to unwind, learn about wine and soak up the wine-country lifestyle. 1100 Larkmead Lane (888) 743-7446
On weekends, every half an hour, there is a tasting tour at an incredible new winery, Castello di Amorosa, the castle of love. Allow yourself to be guided through this Italian-inspired castle to explore the stairway-filled towers, a medieval torture chamber, vast wine cellars, and Italian artisan hand-painted murals, “where no detail was overlooked,” says The Boston Globe. If you have never had the pleasure of exploring ancient European castles, this is your chance to tour an accurately replicated version crafted entirely from select materials imported from Italy. The result has every ounce of character inherent to an authentic Italian castello. 4045 Saint Helena Highway (707) 942-8200
Relaxation & Leisure – Center your spirit and bond over the “couples indulgence” package to start your morning off right at Mt. View Spa where they practice the ‘art of relaxation’ daily. Enjoy an array of hydrotherapy baths, personal steam rooms and well-deserved massages in their blissful green-friendly spa that is accessible by appointment to anyone seeking the sublime.
Calistoga is a walking town and it allows you to spend a day without having to drive, which is rarity nowadays. After your treatments, start with walking down to the Calistoga Bike Shop and rent a bike for a self-guided bike tour. 1318 Lincoln Ave (707) 942-9687. Pick up some picnic supplies at Palisades Deli, also located on Lincoln Avenue, and hit the two hottest wineries within biking distance.
Newly-opened Lava Vine Winery & Tasting Room is the perfect spot to ride your bike up to, park and drink some amazing wine. Syrah is their signature hand-crafted wine however the Viognier is worth noting as well, and my personal favorite. This small production winery has a laid back vibe, an outside seating area and friendly staff making your intimate tasting a delightful experience. The best part is that they hand deliver any wines you’d like purchase to your hotel so you can continue biking without the hassle. 965 Silverado Trail (707) 942-9500
At the foot of Mount St. Helena resides a world-class winery that takes serious winemaking to a revolutionary level — literally. Notoriously know as the inspiration for the recent movie Bottle Shock, Chateau Montelena remains grounded in a traditional beauty that honors its beginnings. At the legendary Paris Tasting of 1976, Chateau Montelena’s ’73 Chardonnay defeated the French Meursault-Charmes ’73, history was born and California wine started on the path to its well-deserved fame. Hidden behind the winery under layers of green ivy emerges a classic stone castle carved into the hillside, reminiscent of an old French chateau. More than a simple tourist attraction, it functions as a unique wine tasting facility; and a serious winery calls for serious tasting, so make sure to experience the Library and Current Release Tasting, which feature some of the rarest and most highly-sought California wines. 1429 Tubbs Lane (707) 942-5105
Keep on Romancing….
About Autumn Millhouse
Autumn Millhouse is a local travel writer, international trekker and self-proclaimed “hopeless-romantic”. Author of the hugely popular Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples, she is currently working on two books with similar themes dealing with travel and romance. In Calistoga, her book is available at Copperfield Book Store, Solage Spa, Castello di Amorosa and Sterling Winery. Check out her blog at www.romanticnapavalleybook.com.