As we entered into the unknown city , the landscapes drastically changed from vast grey expanse of dryness and hills to acres of farmland filled with grape vine , we were welcomed into the greenery of the land which left a sweet poignet smell of over ripened grapes. literally the wine was all in the air . As a popular saying goes ” wine is bottled poetry” .. what a poetic way to describe this intoxicating drink !!
Finally we made it to our destination ” castello di amorosa” . The winery cum castle made to adapt the 12th and 13th century architectural style with beautiful murals , complete with a basement wine tasting room , beautiful courtyard adorned with begonias of red, pink colors and the fabled “Torture Room”.
The Castle is surrounded by moat on one side and by vast expanse of grape vines on the others.
We started from sunnyvale around 1.30 and it took nearly 3 hrs to reach there which included our short break at starbucks and traffic ofcourse.The weather was sunny and sweaty and the drive felt like ever , so it was a breath of fresh air when finally we stepped into the lush green of the valley, the beautiful napa valley.This was a special trip as my parents were also visiting me all the way from India. 🙂
We got our General pass tickets from the counter at the entrance and were handed a self guided map for the inside tour. guided tours were available too with additional charge of another 10 dollars.(General pass being 25 dollars). The guided tour brought with it some advantages like entry into the torture room . after some brainstorming we decided on the general pass and miss out on Torture room .
This place is what you call a Class Palace with all sublities to seduce a wine drinker. be it the expensive and artful silver wares or the handcrafted wine glasses , it felt like what it may feel to be standing on a Ball room of a grandeur decades back when the land was guarded by the knightes and enticed by queens!!.
As you enter the castle after few steps, on the Left side is the Great Hall, adorned with elegant murals on its ceiling and wall.In the center was a long table with sitting capacity of around 25 people , it looked like a longggg dinning hall. my mind was weaving all types of stories .Images cropped into my mind when knights and queens would be helding Grand dinners on similar Diners and having a Gala time.
The downstair wine tasting room makes a dramatic entrance to an underground dungeon. The dimly lit light and the intoxicating smell of wine feels the room with an aroma of medieval times!. People were busy in enjoying their wines and cheese .
in addition to the wine the place is a small marketplace for classic silver wares and home decors. i must say they were beautiful but a bit too expensive. AS for us , the funny thing is , wine is not our drink !!so sorry to be not able to give a good feedback on the quality of wine of the winery!! but by the amount of wine people were buying from this place it looked like a Good inventory of classic wines!
Near the courtyard on left side is the Fattori , which was a kind of factory for all types of products with grape seed. the room was filled with a sweet smell of grape seed oil and was decorated with enormous Barrels . some steps to the left of it was a small hall where a documentary on wine making was going on. it was that kind of place where u can immerse in the grandeur of a long lost era and enjoy the state’s finest wines.
As i walked on the stone set floors , i could not take my eyes off from the beautiful begonias all around the courtyard.There was a chapel on the right of Fattori , which was empty when i took a tour inside of it. It was a peaceful place with beautiful paintings in its wall depicting the Baptism ceremony.
The path gave away to stairs leading to the first floor of the castle. Passing through narrow corridors i reached the rooftop , where i was welcomed with a cool breeze and the setting sun. The view from the top was worth all the distances we travelled today . Vast expanse of grape vine ,surrounded by mountains and the Castle looming on one side with its flag flowing high in the wind , made a sight to remember my whole life.