Oakville AVA

Oakville Collection

Bradley Aden

March 13th, 2023

On Hallowed Ground

Finesse and attention to detail align to make the Oakville AVA truly special. History and mystique form the backbone of this famed growing region. Touted as the finest collection of vineyards in Napa Valley, the superior makeup of bedrock, soils, climate, weather, water, exposure and elevation make it a special. Wines from Oakville are pure and transparent, sculpting the essence and adding subtle nuances to express each unique site.

A History of Excellence

In the very heart of the Napa Valley lies the town of Oakville. Once a steam train stop in the late 1800s, Oakville owes its name to the dense groves of native oak which once covered the area. Today, the Oakville name is synonymous with excellence in winemaking. A unique combination of soil, topography and climate join together here, creating an environment that makes Oakville a viticultural treasure. H. W. Crabb planted the first vineyard here in 1868, 240 acres of land close to the Napa River that he named To Kalon. By 1877, Crabb was producing 50,000 gallons of wine per year.

In 1903, the United States Department of Agriculture established an experimental vineyard station in Oakville. Known as “Oakville Station”, the vineyard has been operated by the University of California at Davis for more than 50 years. The department has conducted critical viticulture research here, including trials of clones, rootstocks, vine spacing, pruning levels, irrigation and more.

The Oakville AVA is 5,700 acres in total and one of the largest vineyard areas in Napa Valley with 5,000 of those acres planted. Oakville’s soils are primarily gravelly and sandy, but a small portion is a mix of clay and sandy loam. It wasn’t until 1993 that the Oakville AVA was officially declared a sub-appellation of Napa Valley. These age-worthy Cabernet routinely exhibit aromas that range from boysenberry, ripe blackberry, and blueberries, with hints of spice, tobacco leaf, and leather.

Cult Status

Oakville’s status as a world-class grape-growing region is solidified in part because of the number of great Napa Valley wineries that call the region home. Known for its pricey cult wines, the excellent publicity of Oakville’s wines can partly be attributed to the unique quality of its soils and climate. This collection of family-owned vineyards is often tended to by meticulous growers.

Producers here focus on cultivating limited parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and smaller parcels of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. Bordeaux-style blends are especially popular here and some critics even compare these wines to some of the finest Old-World Bordeaux labels. Critics claim these Oakville wines strike a perfect balance between lively acidity and sweet fruit. Unlike many other bold red wines produced in the Napa Valley, which tend to taste quite jammy and fruit-forward, Oakville wines are thought to be more complex and earthy. When it comes to growing Cabernet Sauvignon, the region is just right. This helps the Oakville to perfectly express the essential qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon in deep, complex wines that last for decades. Producers can make the style of wine they prefer, rather than that which weather forces upon them.

Old World Heart & New World Style

During the growing season, temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s are common. Nights cool down dramatically, preserving acidity in the grapes. Cool marine air brings fog that can linger until late morning. further chilling the fruit and protecting it from the morning sun. This allows slow, gentle, complete ripening.

Annual rainfall is about the same as Bordeaux, around 35 inches per year. In contrast to Bordeaux, Oakville gets most of the rain in winter. The climate and soils of Oakville allow Cabernet Sauvignon to reach perfect ripeness very year. Known for its bedrock soil, the result of sedimentary deposits from the hills that form Napa Valley. The soil is gravelly, with exceptionally good drainage. Wind and fog arriving from San Pablo Bay affect the morning and evening hours, but their effects are limited by the intervening Yountville Mountains. The western edge features the famous gravelly alluvial fans that include Martha’s Vineyard and to Kalon.

Oakville’s soils can vary considerably. In the east hills the soils are made up of rust red, volcanic rock and iron, mixed into the gravel and loam. A smaller portion of the AVA is a mix of clay and well-drained sandy loam.

Oakville Comes To The Castle

We are pleased to announce the two newest additions to the Castle family. Our 2018 Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon & our 2018 Oakville, Red Blend both produced in the world-famous growing region.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley

This limited production Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the fabled growing region of Oakville. Located in central Napa Valley, Oakville has been noted for its ability to produce award winning cult wines. The wine exhibits hints of opulent dark cherries, blackberry, spice box and espresso bean. Backed by silky tannins and a great mouthfeel. Give the wine time to develop and you will be rewarded with additional layers of complexity.


Red Blend

Napa Valley

This Bordeaux style blend is open and approachable with soft textures. Layers of dark red fruits, licorice, black currant, anise and vanilla are present in the blend. This limited production wine hails from the Oakville AVA, one of the most respected growing regions in the world.

Oakville AVA

Patrick Creek Historic Lodge

Bradley Aden

March 10th, 2023

Patrick Creek Historic Lodge

Nestled in the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, your relaxing weekend get-a-way awaits! Come stay at the Patrick Creek Lodge, located minutes from the Oregon/California border on Highway 199 in Gasquet, California. Just a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find yourself pampered by gourmet cooking, mystified by enormous Redwoods, and thrilled by the trout, salmon and steelhead fishing accessible immediately outside the Lodge doors. Located less than 100 feet away from two rivers, Patrick Creek & Smith River.

Scenic drives, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, relaxing, reading, nature watching, animals, fine dining and good times. Guests can enjoy rafting & kayaking, biking, swimming, fishing, hiking on the many trails, wildlife viewing, wilderness, giant Redwoods, scenic drives or relaxing in this beautiful wonderland. The tallest Redwood in the world was recently discovered only few miles away from the lodge.

Fish Salmon & Steelhead in the famous Smith River, available throughout the fall and winter. Cutthroat trout fishing is available throughout summer! The Smith River is the last wild river in California and the fifth cleanest river in the world. Its breathtaking crystal green color provides one of the best kayaking & rafting rivers in California! It offers thrills for everyone – from novice to expert. Swimming opportunities abound. Ocean fishing is only 25 miles to the west in Crescent City.

The first lodge was built in the late 1800’s and called Patrick Creek Stage Station. The present lodge was built in 1926 and became a popular stopping place for travelers. Regular patrons come from Crescent City and southern Oregon and all over the U.S. to enjoy the area. The lodge serves a wonderful Sunday brunch, boasts a huge stone fireplace and log beams. It offers private cabins and caters outdoor weddings and receptions.

San Francisco to the lodge is six hours along the spectacular Hwy. 101. Portland is five hours away. Only a day trip from Reno, Yakima or Boise. Come experience PCHL and have a fabulous time along the way.

Book Now

Snow Day

Bradley Aden

February 28th, 2023

Snow at The Castle

Snow Day!

A rare snowstorm hit Napa County early Friday morning! The occurrence marks only the second time it snowed at the Castle since opening in 2007. The snow made for a marvelous winter scene in the early morning hours.

Besides our animals staying in their pens for a bit longer in the morning, not much was effected at The Castle. At this time of year, snow poses no risk to our grapevines. Vines are dormant in their annual hibernation between fall’s harvest and the bud break in spring. During this time, the snow is just another form of water to the grapevine.

Napa Valley’s average elevation is just a few hundred feet above sea level, making the snow that much more of a rarity. Some wineries located in the higher elevations got up to a foot of snow. A drive through Wine Country looked more like a trip through Tahoe than wine country.

Snow at The Castle

Freezing Temperatures

While there were record low temperatures posted across California. The storm caused both power outages, fallen trees, downed power lines and road closures across Napa Valley. A low temperature of 27 degrees was reached on Thursday the 23rd, turning the Napa Valley into a winter wonderland.

Snow at The Castle of Love

Seafood Pasta & Vermentino Pairing

Linguine allo scoglio

Seafood Pasta & Vermentino Pairing

Recipe Date: February 8th, 2023
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Linguine allo scoglio

From cucineditalia

As the warmer months inch closer on the calendar, a rich seafood dish could be exactly what your missing. Look no further than this Italian seafood pasta known as Linguine allo scoglio, linguine pasta cooked al dente in a tomato based sauce with mussels, clams and shrimp. The ideal accompaniment to this dish is a medium-bodied soft rosé, such as the Italian rosato Gioia, a wine capable of balancing out the slight acidity of the tomato sauce. Dry white wines are a wonderful pairing as well. The best white wine to accompany this traditionally Italian pasta dish, is our Vermentino that comes from Temecula Valley. A lively and crisp white wine with tropical aromas of white peach, and citrus complemented by a bright acidity and subtle minerality make it the perfect pairing for this seafood dish.

  • 350 g (12 oz) of Spaghetti
  • 1 kg (2 pound) of Clams with shells
  • 1 kg (2 pound) of Mussels with shells
  • 300 grams (2/3 pound) of Squid
  • 300 g (2/3 pound) of Shrimps
  • 200 g (1/2 pound) of ripe Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Fresh hot chilli pepper
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 5 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 ml (1/2 cup ) of dry white wine
  • Bunch (1/3 cup) of fresh parsley
  • Salt to taste


1) Rinse clams under running water and then let them soak in plenty of cold water with a handful of coarse salt. The clams should remain in the cold water for at least an hour, preferably two, to purge. Keep this time in mind when you decide to make this recipe. Place the clams in a pan and cook over high heat covered with a lid. Wait for them to open, this will take about 3 minutes.

2) Now strain the clam sauce with a fine strainer but DO NOT throw away their water, keep it aside. Finally shell the clams, keeping some clams with their shells that you will use for the final decoration of the dish.

3)Clean the mussels by scraping off any impurities with the blade of a small knife. Tear off the byssus, that is the bearded part that comes out of the shell. Then, with the help of a stainless steel sponge, clean well their shells. Place the mussels in a pan and cook over high heat, cover with lid. Wait for them to open, this will take about 3 minutes. We prefer to cook clams and mussels separately in case the clams release a lot of sand.

4) Now strain the mussels sauce with a fine strainer. Finally shell the mussels, keeping some of them with their shells: you will use them for the final decoration of the dish.

5) Wash the squid under running water, then remove the entrails, the eyes, the central beak and the internal bone. Finally remove the skin and cut them into rings. Set aside.

6) Clean the shrimps, taking care to remove the dark filament, all the shell and the heads. Set aside. Wash and chop the cherry tomatoes then chop the parsley. Set aside.

7) In a large saucepan, sauté the peeled garlic cloves in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the red hot chili pepper and the squid. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat.

8) Then raise the heat and add the white wine. Stir and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Finally add the mussels and clams and lower the heat. Add a ladle of clams water and then the chopped tomatoes. Mix and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes.

9) Finally, add the shrimp and chopped parsley. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes (shrimp have very short cooking times). Italian seafood sauce is ready. Remove the garlic cloves and chili pepper (see note below).

10) Now cook the pasta. Bring plenty of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the cooking times described on their packaging. Using a slotted spoon, drain the spaghetti 3 minutes before the end of cooking time.

11) Place them directly in the pan with the seafood sauce. Stir and finish cooking the spaghetti in the pan for another 3 minutes over high heat. This way they will better absorb the flavor of the seafood sauce. Stir well and transfer the best Spaghetti allo Scoglio you have ever eaten to a serving dish. Garnish with the shells kept aside and serve.


Garlic & Chilli Peppers: We chose to leave the garlic and hot chili pepper whole. This way you can easily remove them from the sauce. If you prefer, though, you can chop them up and leave them in the sauce, depending on your taste.

Pair w/ Our Vermentino, Enjoy and cheers!

Wine Pairing – Vermentino

Winemaker Dinner Event Poster

Cinquecento Cavalieri Winemaker's Dinner

Winemaker Dinner Event Poster

Cinquecento Cavalieri Winemaker’s Dinners

Our Cinquecento Cavalieri Wine Club members are cordially invited to join our proprietor, Dario Sattui, for an elegant evening at the Castello. Taste current releases and exclusive future wines from the barrel in the Grand Barrel Room, followed by a formal dinner with wine pairings in our Great Hall. During dinner, enjoy harvest updates and vintage insights from Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter and Winemaker Peter Velleno.

Friday, March 10th, 2023
Friday, June 16th, 2023
Friday, Aug 25th, 2023
Friday, Sept. 22nd, 2023
Friday, Nov. 10th, 2023

Wine Reception at 6:30 P.M. Followed by a Seated Dinner

Please note our Cinquecento Cavalieri dinners are by invitation only and reservations are required.

To learn more about our Cinquecento Cavalieri Wine Club, click here

Cinquecento Cavalieri Members May Bring Additional Guests for $250 Per Person

*Our menus are pre-set and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies upon advance request*

Rosato Wine Cupcakes

Rosato Wine Raspberry Cupcakes

Rosato Wine Cupcakes

Recipe Date: October 5th, 2022
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Rosato Wine Raspberry Cupcakes

From Pastry Tales

The amazing and talented Sandra from Pastry Tales has another amazing dessert recipe to share. These Raspberry cupcakes feature our reserve rosé Rosato, an ideal dessert match. These elegant raspberry cupcakes are filled with a homemade raspberry filling and topped with a delicious rosé frosting. The ever popular berry and rosé pairing is a formidable duo. This recipe is really easy if you follow all the steps : It has a soft and delicate yellow cake ( you’ll taste rosé and almond), filled with a little bit of a raspberry compote, topped with a rosé and raspberry buttercream frosting.

Yield 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

1/2 rosé wine (I used Rosato from Castello Di Amorosa winery)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups fresh/frozen raspberries

1/3 cup white granulated sugar (you can add more if you want to)

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

For the frosting:

1 cup rosé wine (I used Rosato from Castello Di Amorosa winery)

1 cup fresh / frozen raspberries

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

pinch of salt

To garnish:

Fresh raspberries


For the cupcakes:

1.- Preheat oven to 35o F. Line muffin pan with liners. (I found super cute ones at Home Goods)

2.- In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3.- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter for about 2 minutes until fluffy, add sugar and mix together on medium high speed until light and creamy, about 4 minutes.

4.- Add the eggs and egg yolk, mixing well after each addition. Add rosé wine and almond extract. By now, you’ll see that the mixture has curdled, but don’t know it will come together again.

5.- Add the flour in 2 batches and beat in low until smooth (do not overmix).

6.- Fill the cupcake liners only 2/3 full. Bake for about 18-20 minutes when the tops start to turn golden  or until a toothpick is inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

1.-In a small sauce pan, combine all the ingredients and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat (keep stirring until thickened for best results).

2.-Let cool completely before filling the cupcakes.

3.- Hold a baked and cooled cupcake in one hand and insert a small paring knife, at an angle, about half way down into the cupcake. Cut out a cone shaped piece out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each with a spoonful of the raspberry compote.

For the frosting:

1.- Combine raspberries and rosé wine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and then simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup. It will take about 30 minutes so please be patient otherwise you’ll add too much liquid to your frosting.

2.- Pass through a mesh strainer to remove seeds and let cool completely in the fridge.

3.- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter for about 2 minutes until creamy, add the powdered sugar, salt and reduced raspberry rose sauce until combine. Increase to high and beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

4.- Frost the cupcakes. I used Wilton 1 M tip. Decorate with fresh raspberries.

Grab a cupcake and a glass of rosé wine. Enjoy!! Cheers!

Rosato Wine Raspberry Cupcakes

Related Products – Rosato

#1 Instagram Winery in World

Bradley Aden

September 29th, 2022

Most Instagrammed Winery In The World

Based on research we were identified as the top, most instagrammed winery in the entire world. We couldn’t have made it here without the support of our loyal guests & friends. We genuinely appreciate you for your support on Instagram and all social media networks. Our team guarantees to keep working toward making your experience the best it can be.

Thank you to the wonderful staff of The Thinking Traveller for conducting this research. Below this article you can find a link to the original article by Thinking Traveller. Based on their research, they found the 15 most Instagrammable vineyards in the world. Thinking Traveller is a luxury travel website specializing in upscale island villas in Italy, Greece, Corsica and Spain.

The American photo and video sharing social networking service Instagram founded in 2010 has been dominate since its inception. Instagram has long been a source of inspiration and aspiration photos, with reports analyzing the most picturesque places in the world. The accomplishment on Instagram is no small feat considering the myriads of wine producers all over the world.

The recent study found us #1 with 83,873 images under hashtag #castellodiamorosa. Impressive considering guests often tag us in different hash tags like #thecastello #castleoflove and so on!

We Appreciate every picture & moment you’ve spent at the Castle, keep sharing your beautiful photos. We can’t say it enough, thank you for visiting us, and we hope to see you soon. Don’t forget to follow our Instagram and tag us in your photos #castellodiamorosa!

Traveler ArticleForbes ArticleFollow Us

Shared Instagram Photos

Explore some of our most shared visitor posts below.

Wine & Cheese Pairing

The Love of Cheese & Wine

Napa Valley Wine & Cheese Pairing

Wine & Cheese Pairings

Raise a glass to one of the best duos in history, Wine & Cheese. Many pairings that are considered classics, emerged from the centuries-old relationship between a region’s cuisine and their wines. This powerful duo remains the key to our heart and maybe some Castle doors. While enjoying our Castello wines, there are a few tried & true combinations that will standout.

There are many factors that go into the pairing of wine and cheese. The best pairings complement each other particularly well when considering texture, fat, acidity, and salt.

In addition to drying and concentrating the cheese, age introduces new flavors. Rind cheeses like Brie remain gooey and spreadable, but the cheese develops earthy notes after a few months of aging in the caves. Older cheeses like Gruyère acquire deep nutty flavors. Blue cheeses develop pungency from the mold in their veins. Washed-rind cheeses like Époisses develop a funky, flavor that you either love or hate.

Wines also run the spectrum from delicate to bold, and their depth and complexity can correlate with their age. Young wines are fresh and spirited, with lively aromas and bright flavors of fruits, flowers, citrus, herbs, or spice. Wines that have spent time in cask or bottle have had a chance to acquire more nuance. In addition to their primary fruit, they take on secondary notes of oak, toast, earth, oxidation, minerals, and more. Like cheeses, these wines tend to be more complex and savory than their younger counterparts.

Italian Cheese and Wine Pairing

A Divine Pairing From The Gods

In a study at ChemoSens in France, researchers determined that cheese improved the perception of fruit aromas, reduced the duration of astringency of red wines, and heightened the taste of white wine. Cheese which is customarily high in fat, coats the mouth and blocks taste receptors to beverages. The acidity and sweetness of a well-paired wine can cut through this creamy barrier to create an excellent mouthfeel.

Cheeses vary in moisture content, fat content, texture and flavor. Wines also vary in acidity, sweetness, body, and structure. A few basic guidelines will bring you cheese & wine success.

The main concept behind pairings is that certain elements (such as texture and flavor) in both cheese and wine interact with each other, and thus finding the right combination of these elements will make the entire dining experience more enjoyable.

Spumante Cheese Pairing

Rules of Cheese & Wine Pairing

Pair by flavor intensity. Consider the effect age has on the intensity of wine. We can see how young cheeses might partner best with sparkling crisp whites, dry rosés, and reds with good acidity. Older cheeses need wines with more body and complexity. The oldest cheeses, those that are the most rich and nutty, pair best with wines that have ample body and structure. Cheeses become bolder and more complex as they age, taking on concentrated flavors. If you have a 3 year aged cheddar, it’s going to have a richness to it that needs a wine with an equal amount of depth.

Pay Attention To Texture. Cheese changes drastically in texture, which is based on what type of milk, what style of cheese, and how long it has been aged for. Young, fresh, and rindless cheeses are soft, and when served at room-temperature can become gooey. Hard cheeses, on the other hand, need to be crumbled or cut.

Watch those tannins. Tannic rich red wines pair wonderfully with bold aged cheeses, tannins help bind to protein and fat. T same process makes tannic wines feel far too astringent with young cheeses; they tie up what little fat’s available, leaving you with a chalky and metallic aftertaste.

Salt loves sweet. Sweet wines balance the salty cheeses like Blue cheese, aged Gouda or Feta. The salt in the cheese increases the sweetness in the wine.

Cheese loves fruit and nuts. Fruits go very well with young cheeses like Brie. Sweet dried fruits are wonderful with salty cheeses like Blue, Buttery, bitter nuts are tasty with rich Cheddar.

Wine and Cheese Pairing

Castello Wine & Cheese Pairings

Explore our favorite Castello wine & cheese pairings. Try these basic wine and cheese combinations at home.

Kick it up a notch. Add these elements to elevate a cheese pairing to a sweet and salty palate sensation. These items also make a great addition to any charcuterie board.

  • Nuts – Buttery, bitter nuts are tasty with rich cheeses like Cheddar.
  • Fruits – Fruits go very well with young cheeses like Brie. Sweet dried fruits are wonderful with salty cheeses like Blue cheese.
  • Balsamic Reduction – Serve over hard cheeses or a Caprese Salad. A reduction of balsamic will elevate a cheese pairing to a sweet and salty palate sensation.
  • Honey – This is an elegant addition to any wine & cheese board. Honey adds a fair bit of complexity to a long list of cheeses. The key to pairing honey and cheese is to pair a light honey with a mild cheese and more rounded flavored honey with a more intense cheese. Among the best honey & cheese pairings are Provolone cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Honey & blue cheese create a contrast that could create a fan of even the harshest blue cheese critics. Goat cheeses, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Brie all go great with honey.

Wine & Cheese Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon & Cheddar

Americas most popular wine has a bevy of cheeses that work well. Complex flavors often stand up the best to sophisticated profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Your best bet is aged Cheddar which will stand up to the strong cheddar with its lingering after taste.

Why it works: These semi-hard/hard style cheeses help to elevate the dark fruit flavors of the wine. However try to remember the bigger the oak in the wine, the fewer the cheese choices you have.

Also try: Aged Gouda, Comté

Cabernet Sauvignon and Cheddar cheese pairing

Merlot & Cotswald

This is where rich fatty cheeses can play, cheddar or my fave, Cotswald which I lovingly call Baked potato cheese as it is creamy, buttery, and full-flavored like cheddar. The cheese has chives and onions so it is rich & savory. Perfect for the tannins in merlot.” – Castle Sommelier Mary Davidek

Why it works: Cotswald is a creamy Double Gloucester cheese laced with onion and chives. The rich creamy Cotswald plays well with the tannic Merlot.

Also try: Asiago, Brick, Muenster, Gouda and Colby

Merlot Wine & Cotswald Cheese

Sangiovese & Pecorino

Both eternally popular in Italy, the pair have been friends for well over 100 years. The beloved Italian grape brings bright cherry, earthy tomato, and savory garden herb to the table while the aged Parmigiano-Reggiano brings a rich complex nuttiness. Sangiovese also pairs well with the very popular Parmesan and Mozzarella.

Why it works: Sangiovese is known for its full body, acidity, and bold character. The complex character of a Pecorino brings a rich nuttiness with the vibrant acidity of Sangiovese.

Also try: Parmigiano, Grana padan, Fontina, Mozzarella

Wine & Cheese Pairing

Pinot Noir & Grueyere

Pinot Noir works well with most soft cheeses but the nutty flavors of the Grueyere play a great contrast to the dark fruits in Pinot Noir. The subtle acidity and polished tannins further the complex relationship in the pairing.

Why it works: The berry fruit in the rich red wine complements the flavor of this medium-firm cheese without overpowering it. They both have just enough aroma and complexity to make things interesting.

Also try: Comté, Emmenthal, Goud

Food and Wine

Spumante & Brie Cheese

Triple-cream soft cheeses (brie, Camembert) are the perfect match. But there are more great cheese pairings with Champagne and other sparkling wines.

Why it works: The sparkling wines crisp acidity plays well with the complex buttery and earthy flavors of Brie. The sparkling notes help temper the thick creamy texture and leave a refreshed mouthfeel.

Also try: Camembert, Roquefort

Spumante & Brie Cheese

Gewürztraminer & La Tur

La Tur is an Italian triple cream from the Piedmont region of Italy and is made from an equal mixture of cow, sheep and goat milk. Typically with double and triple creams a bright white wine like dry Gewurztraminer can work best. Typically salty cheeses and Gewürztraminer are not the best together, so opt instead for mild cow’s milk cheeses.

Honey can be added to this duo for an extra flavor sensation.

Why it works: The heavy triple cream can be easily cut through by the bright dry Gewürztraminer, making for a refreshed palate and mouthfeel.

Also try: Muenster, Gruyère, Roquefort, Capocollo, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Boursin, Swiss cheese, Pepper Jack

Gewürztraminer wine paired with La Tur cheese

Pinot Bianco & Goat Cheese

“The tang sweetness combined with a creamy goat cheese like Sonoma chevre by Laura Chenel or Capricho de Cabra from Spain, drizzle a little of our Basil grape seed oil on it and total Goat love with Pinot Bianco.” – Castle Sommelier Mary Davidek

Why it works: The crisp acidity of Pinot Bianco is the perfect compliment to the creamy fatty notes of Goat Cheese.

Also try: Feta, Baby Swiss, Gouda, Majorero, Mahon, Dry Jack

Pinot Bianco & Goat Cheese

Pinot Grigio & Goat Cheese

Because of its tangy and salty flavor, it pairs well with the crisp fruitiness of Pinot Grigio.

Why it works: The crisp acidity of Pinot Grigio is the perfect compliment to the creamy fatty notes of Goat Cheese.

Also try: Fresh Mozzarella, Mild Cheddars, Brie, Baby Swiss

Pinot Grigio & Goat Cheese

Vermentino & Fiore Sardo

Believed to date back to the Bronze Age, Fiore Sardo hails from the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia, Italy. A lighter, crisper white wine like Vermentino, tends to be refreshing and fruity which works well with the semi-hard, smoked cheese.

When drinking Vermentino you should always avoid overly pungent fromage and focus on fresh cheeses.

Why it works: This is one of those hyper-regional parings. Both Vermentino and pecorino come from the small island of Sardegna, Italy. Engulfed by the salty sea, both the grape vines and the scrubby bush the sheep feed on take on similar light, savory, citrus, and salty characteristics.

Also try: Ricotta, Buffalo Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Pecorino, Feta

Pesto Pasta

Gioia & Pepper Jack

Dry fruit rosé can handle a little spice and heat. This sangiovese based rosé is no different boasting bright berry and melon flavors. Rosé boasts a versatility that allows it to work well with several different cheeses.

Why it works: The bright fruit can help graze through the spicy notes of Pepper Jack.

Also try: Comté, Monterey Jack

Rosé wine & pepper jack.

Il Passito (Sauterne Style) & Blue Cheese

Big salty cheese pair wonderfully with the sweet flavors from the sauterne. The sweetness of Il Passito is an excellent foil for the sharp savory flavors of a number of famous and strongly-flavored cheeses.

Why it works: Balance plays a big role in making these combinations so special.

Also try: Blue Cheese (Stilton or Roquefort), Port Salut, Red Square, Triple Cream Brie, Epoisse

sweet wine and blue cheese pairing

Moscato & Gorgonzola

Moscato is a sweet, fruity wine with hints of candied peach, orange blossom, and honeydew melon. Gorgonzola is a blue cheese that ranges from creamy and soft to firm and crumbly. It’s full-flavored with earthy undertones of saltiness. The age of Gorgonzola determines the overall creaminesss. This wine & cheese pairing is also tremendous with the addition of honey.

Why it works: The sweet notes of the Moscato is balanced perfectly with the salty flavors from Gorgonzola.

Also try: Munster

Moscato & Gorgonzola
Cheese & Wine Whiz

Castello di Amorosa Grapes on Barrel

Highest Rated Wines

Bradley Aden

September 7th, 2022

Highest Rated Wines Ever: Napa Valley

Over 15 years in the Napa Valley, we have received a bevy of high scores from highly acclaimed writers and reviewers. Here are the 10 highest scoring wines in Castle history. While our Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the top spots, we included a few sweet & white wines in this top 10. Each wine is a tremendous representation of not only the outstanding vintage year, but also each unique vineyard. It is a haunted game in which each vintage is measured against the ghosts that have gone before it.

These highly collectable wines have tremendous aging potential, you can explore more of our wine accolades here or you can shop top scoring wines here. A big thank you to the reviewers and staff of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Wine Spectator Magazine, James Suckling, Vinous Media, Wine Review Online & Jeb Dunnuck.

1) 2014 Morisoli-Borges, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 98 Points

Sustainably farmed by the 4th generation, much of the vineyard was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in the late 1980s with a smaller area redeveloped in 2006. This wine comes from a blend of these “old” and “young” blocks, and it expresses the Rutherford appellation’s famous “dust” character, with its unique soft, silky tannins. A truly outstanding vintage year for the Rutherford bench.

98 Points – Jeb Dunnuck

“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli-Borges Vineyard comes from a site located in Rutherford, on the valley floor. It too is inky colored and offers a sensational bouquet of crème de cassis, blueberries, graphite/lead pencil shavings, tons of crushed rocks and hints of violets. Layered, gorgeously pure, concentrated and always elegant and silky, with no sense of heaviness, enjoy this blockbuster anytime over the coming 3-4 decades. (Expected Maturity: 2018–2058)”

Tasting Notes: Crème de cassis, blueberries are complemented by pencil shaving and hints of violets.

Vintage Notes: The 2014 Napa Valley wine grape harvest was a year of exceptional quality. The winter was one of the driest on record in Napa Valley, with approximately half of the normal rainfall. However, rains in late February and early March provided water to the vines just as they were beginning bud break. The spring was warm and berry sizes were smaller and with more concentrated flavors, and the overal quality, depth of flavor, and excellent balance and maturity in the grapes bodes well for the vintage. – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking


2) 2016 Melanson, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 97 Points

This 10.5 acre vineyard sit in peaceful isolation on a boulder-strewn hillside with remarkable views of Lake Hennessey and the Valley floor below. Embracing the rugged terroir, they are committed to working with the assets Mother Nature has given them: rich Sobrante Loam soils loaded with volcanic rock, elevations averaging 1,200 feet and distinct southern and western exposures. The gift of elevation places the vineyards above the fog line and allows them to receive maximum sun exposure throughout the day providing even ripening. The resulting fruit shows a higher skin to fruit ratio, than its land bound counterparts.

97 Points – The Wine Advocate

“Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvingon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard has a deep purple-black color and stunning perfume of candied violets, chocolate-covered cherries, potpourri and menthol over a warm cassis and crushed black plums core plus a waft of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, with a firm, grainy texture and tons of freshness lifting the densely packed fruit to a good long finish. Drink 2020 – 2038.”

Tasting Notes: Highlighted by flavors of dark cherry, cassis, and plums complemented by chocolate.

Vintage Notes: Following the very small 2015 harvest, it was heartening to see the vines recover and bounce back to produce not only extremely high quality fruit but also some bounty in 2016! Harvest was earlier than expected, and we observed optimum flavor and phenolic development progress as we harvested. Across the board, acids are firm and pH is slightly lower, so the wines should be well-structured with very good aging potential. This is an exciting vintage with a lot to like! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking


3) 2018 Sinalunga, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 97 Points

Dario Sattui’s love for the Sinalunga area prompted him to explore its back roads, medieval structures and outlying villages. Without this intense passion for the monastery and the Sinalunga area, it is likely the Castle would never have been built. Thirty years later, this same passion has inspired us to craft an exceptional wine, in very limited quantities, to be honored with the name Sinalunga. This Cabernet epitomizes the love, passion, quality, dedication, and attention to detail that went into the making of Castello di Amorosa.

97 Points – Jeb Dunnuck

“Lots of cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and scorched earth notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sinalunga, another powerful, concentrated 2018 from Castello di Amorosa. One of the more structured, tannic wines in the lineup, it has full-bodied richness, a wonderfully pure, layered texture, and terrific balance. Bottles need a good 4-6 years of bottle age, but it should evolve for 30 years or more.”

Tasting Notes: Plush aromas of cassis, dark cherry, and pomegranate complemented by graphite and led pencil.

Vintage Notes: Winter provided a record-breaking rainfall – a welcome end to the 4-years of drought. Bloom and fruit set in May occurred under ideal conditions. Summer was warm but the vines weathered the heat well and maturity moved along at a steady pace. A short but intense heat wave during the first part of September brought brix levels up dramatically and winemakers waited for the pH, acids, flavor and color development in the grapes to catch up to sugar accumulation. The 2018 wine quality shows a lot of bright acidity and fresh varietal aromas in the white wines, and deep color, sweet fruit flavors. Looking like it will be another classic year! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking


4) 2016 Don Thomas, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 96 Points

This 6 acre vineyard, planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon, is nestled in the rolling hills that define the western border of the Rutherford AVA in Napa Valley. Located at the valley’s widest point, Rutherford receives more sunlight during the day than other parts of the valley. This, combined with a wide variance of daytime to nighttime temperatures (average fluctuation of 12 degrees in the summer months) allows the fruit to ripen at a steady pace, and helps to make the Rutherford AVA the most famous of Napa Valley’s nested appellations for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Our Don Thomas is among our most rare releases, in fact we have never released it online.

96 Points – The Wine Advocate

“Composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Don Thomas Vineyard is deep purple-black in color and features vibrant notes of crushed wild blueberries, black raspberries and red and black currants with wafts of rose hips, raspberry leaves, unsmoked cigars and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tautly structured with ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness framing the red and black fruit layers, finishing long and mineral laced. Drink 2020 – 2039.”

Tasting Notes: Hints of crushed blueberries, black raspberry, and pomegranate complemented by rose and cigars.

Vintage Notes: Harvest was earlier than expected, and we observed optimum flavor and phenolic development progress as we harvested. Across the board, acids are firm and pH is slightly lower, so the wines should be well-structured with very good aging potential. This is an exciting vintage with a lot to like! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Don Thomas

5) 2017 Il Barone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 96 Points

Our highest scoring Il Barone that has been released. Our pride and joy is sourced from the top vineyards in Napa Valley. Highlighted by powerful structured tannins. An exceptional Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent long-term aging potential. This reserve Cabernet Sauvignon routinely scores 93+ Points, and has shown a great consistency from year to year.

96 Points – Jeb Dunnuck

“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone (there’s 5% Merlot in the blend) is a selection geared to be a rich, powerful wine and it succeeds admirably, offering full-bodied richness and depth, awesome tannin quality, no hard edges, and a complex notes of black and blue fruits, Asian spices, chocolate, and earthy, forest floor nuances. It’s another brilliant wine in this lineup.”

Tasting Notes: Hints of dark cherry, cassis, and pomegranate highlighted by asian spices and chocolate.

Vintage Notes: Winter provided a record-breaking rainfall – a welcome end to the 4-years of drought. Bloom and fruit set in May occurred under ideal conditions. Summer was warm but the vines weathered the heat well and maturity moved along at a steady pace. A short but intense heat wave during the first part of September brought brix levels up dramatically and winemakers waited for the pH, acids, flavor and color development in the grapes to catch up to sugar accumulation. The 2017 wine quality shows a lot of bright acidity and fresh varietal aromas in the white wines, and deep color, sweet fruit flavors. Looking like it will be another classic year! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking


6) 2019 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Anderson Valley – 95 Points

Our highest scoring sweet wine ever is a succulent and deliciously sweet white wine loaded with aroma and flavor, made in a “Noble Rot” dessert, or very sweet, style. Typically harvested at nearly 32 Brix or more with residual sugar levels close to 13%, this succulent dessert wine is a perennial favorite. A regal dessert wine made from overripe grapes which develop Botrytis cincerea, or “Noble Rot”, shriveling the skins and enhancing sugar, acid and flavor intensity. The resulting harvest in late autumn is vastly diminished in yield, resulting in more concentration and flavor. Made in the style of some of the world’s greatest dessert wines, such as Sauternes and the “dried grape” white wines of Sicily such as “Passito di Pantelleria”.  Ideal with after dinner desserts of chocolate torte, crème brulee or baked fruit with an artisanal cheese selection.

95 Points – Wine Enthusiast, Cellar Selection

“Dripping with honey, apricot and poached pear flavors, this luscious and extremely sweet wine coats the palate and lingers for minutes on the finish. It’s a delicious, low-alcohol indulgence that is made from late-harvest grapes shriveled on the vine. Best through 2030. Cellar Selection”

Tasting Notes: Deep straw in color, the wine displays hints of honey, apricot and pear.

Vintage Notes: Bloom and fruit set in May occurred under ideal conditions. Summer was warm but the vines weathered the heat well and maturity moved along at a steady pace. A short but intense heat wave during the first part of September brought brix levels up dramatically and winemakers waited for the pH, acids, flavor and color development in the grapes to catch up to sugar accumulation. – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Late Harvest

7) 2016 Il Barone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 95 Points

Another great hit in our long line of Il Barone vintages. A blend of the Castello’s top high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the best growing regions of Napa Valley. The majority of the fruit in this vintage came from the Rutherford AVA, a region famed for producing beautifully structured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon.

95 Points – Wine Advocate

“A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with small splashes of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone is deep purple-black in color and has quite an earthy/savory nose to begin, revealing notions of black truffles, char-grilled meats, black olives and cumin seed over a core of crème de cassis and stewed plums. Full-bodied, concentrated, and packed with black fruit and savory layers, it has a rock-solid, grainy frame and just enough freshness to lift the long finish. Drink 2020 – 2037.”

Tasting Notes: Plush aromas of dark cherry, black raspberry, and pomegranate complemented by bittersweet chocolate and nutmeg.

Vintage Notes: From the outstanding vintage year of 2016. Following the very small 2015 harvest, it was heartening to see the vines recover and bounce back to produce not only extremely high quality fruit but also some bounty in 2016! Harvest was earlier than expected, and we observed optimum flavor and phenolic development progress as we harvested. Across the board, acids are firm and pH is slightly lower, so the wines should be well-structured with very good aging potential. This is an exciting vintage with a lot to like! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking


8) 2016 Rapp Ranch, Napa Valley – 95 Points

Our initial vintage of Rapp Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coombsville AVA in Napa Valley. The wine is inky purple in color, with an imposing structure that frames a mouthful of savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs. Located in the heart of the Coombsville AVA, Rapp Ranch has long been established as a premier horse ranch in the rural countryside of southern Napa Valley. The defining characteristics of Coombsville, are the long, cool growing seasons that reward patient winemakers with intensely concentrated and complex wines.

95 Points, James Suckling

“A very deep and intense wine with a gorgeous core of ripe fruit and velvety tannins and a beautiful finish. Full-bodied and flavorful. Energetic finish. Reserved. Better in 2020.”

Tasting Notes: Savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs.

Vintage Notes: From the outstanding vintage year of 2016. Following the very small 2015 harvest, it was heartening to see the vines recover and bounce back to produce not only extremely high quality fruit but also some bounty in 2016! Harvest was earlier than expected, and we observed optimum flavor and phenolic development progress as we harvested. Across the board, acids are firm and pH is slightly lower, so the wines should be well-structured with very good aging potential. This is an exciting vintage with a lot to like! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Rapp Ranch

9) 2010 Il Passito, Late Harvest, Napa Valley – 94 Points

This rare sauterne style wine was grown in the Yountville AVA of Napa Valley. 2010 marked one of the best vintages for late harvest varietals. A delicate and light honey sweet dessert wine, made in the fine sauterne style. At the time of scoring, it was the highest scoring sweet wine in Castle history.

94 Points, Editor’s Choice, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“Made from Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is luxurious and sweet, while maintaining great balance to keep from being too unctuous. It has a brilliant deep-gold color, generous aromas like toasted peanuts and marmalade, and flavors that are honeyed and floral. It feels nicely viscous, coating the sides of the mouth and helping the flavors linger for long moments on the finish.”

Tasting Notes: The wine displays bright aromas of honey, vanilla bean, and citrus zest with rich butterscotch-caramel undertones.

Vintage Notes: The 2010 growing season in Napa Valley began cool and wet. Higher acidities and fresh fruit tones, a consequence of the unusually cool season, make the vintage especially compelling. It was ideal conditions for late harvest wines.

Il Passito

10) 2017 Morning Dew Ranch, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley – 94 Points

Named a top 5 Pinot Noir vineyard by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. This Castello Estate vineyard was purchased in 2015. The 12 acre vineyard, located just west of the town of Philo in Anderson Valley, is in a very cool microclimate and divided into 9 blocks of Pinot Noir planted with DRC, 115, 777, Rochioli, 23, and 828 clones. Located in a very cool microclimate in the steep hillsides overlooking Anderson Valley. It will be sustainably farmed by our Vineyard Team and Manager, David Bejar.

94 Points, Editor’s Choice Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“Tempting fruit flavors run deep and long in this full-bodied, focused and concentrated wine made from a vineyard established by Burt Williams of Williams Selyem. Black cherry and rhubarb ring clear as a bell while subtle clove, ginger and cinnamon add complexity. A mouth-filling texture and lingering finish complete the picture.”

Tasting Notes: Rhubarb, black cherry, and clove are complemented by a touch of cinnamon.

Vintage Notes: Winter provided a record-breaking rainfall – a welcome end to the 4-years of drought. Bloom and fruit set in May occurred under ideal conditions. Summer was warm but the vines weathered the heat well and maturity moved along at a steady pace. A short but intense heat wave during the first part of September brought brix levels up dramatically and winemakers waited for the pH, acids, flavor and color development in the grapes to catch up to sugar accumulation. The 2017 wine quality shows a lot of bright acidity and fresh varietal aromas in the white wines, and deep color, sweet fruit flavors. Looking like it will be another classic year! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Morning Dew

Bonus: 2019 Barbera, Sierra Foothills – 93 Points

Barbera is the third most planted red grape in Italy, where winemakers have relied on it since the 13th century to produce robust wines that age beautifully. Very popular among our red varietals, this wine has been known to sell out fast.

93 Points, Editor’s Choice – Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“Review Coming Soon.”

Tasting Notes: Blueberry, and pomegranate are complemented by hints of toasted sage.

Vintage Notes: Bloom and fruit set in May occurred under ideal conditions. Summer was warm but the vines weathered the heat well and maturity moved along at a steady pace. A short but intense heat wave during the first part of September brought brix levels up dramatically and winemakers waited for the pH, acids, flavor and color development in the grapes to catch up to sugar accumulation. – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking


Bonus: 2017 Chardonnay Reserve, Napa Valley – Contest Winner

Our reserve Chardonnay is made from the best vineyards in the southern end of Napa Valley. Several of our past Reserve Chardonnay vintages have scored 90+ points. This 2017 vintage may have been the best, taking home the SF Chronicle title for white wine.

Winner SF Chronicle Competition & 93 Points, Editor’s Choice – Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Our 2017 Reserve Chardonnay was named the White Sweepstakes Winner in the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which is the largest competition of wines from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Over 64 professional wine judges evaluated over 6,800 wines from 1,132 wineries. Bob Fraser, Executive Director of the competition, elaborated on this achievement, stating “along with the Red Sweepstakes, the White Sweepstakes is very difficult to attain for a winery because it is competing against over 2,500 other outstanding white wines from a multitude of viticultural areas in North America.

Tasting Notes: Lush notes of baked apple, ripe pear, fall spices, and toasted almond.

Vintage Notes: Winter provided a record-breaking rainfall – a welcome end to the 4-years of drought. Bloom and fruit set in May occurred under ideal conditions. Summer was warm but the vines weathered the heat well and maturity moved along at a steady pace. A short but intense heat wave during the first part of September brought brix levels up dramatically and winemakers waited for the pH, acids, flavor and color development in the grapes to catch up to sugar accumulation. The 2017 wine quality shows a lot of bright acidity and fresh varietal aromas in the white wines, and deep color, sweet fruit flavors. Looking like it will be another classic year! – Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Olive Tree

Planting Olive Trees

Bradley Aden

May 31st, 2022

Our First Olive Oil Trees

We are proud to announce the first planting of our Olive Trees surrounding the Castle in Napa Valley. Watch above as President Georg Salzner & vineyard manager David Bejar plant our first olive trees at The Castle! This continues our recent string of sustainability efforts at the Castle.

We planted 12 different varieties of Olive Trees surrounding Castello di Amorosa, these olive trees are known to make a superior olive for oil production. Many of these trees originate in Italy. We look forward to the first fully mature harvest in which we can produce our first olive oil.

Olive Tree

We are planting a total of 12 different olive tree varietals that surround the Castle. You can learn more about each specific type of Olive tree below.


If asked to pick our favorite olive in the bunch, that answer might just be the Frantoio olive. Frantoio Olive Oil is one of the most highly acclaimed oil varieties in the world, especially in the Tuscan regions of Italy. The olive boasts a stunningly dark, oval-shaped olive. Preferred picking time is early, while olives are still green and purple.

The flavor has been described as very fruity, notably aromatic and of high quality, with a stronger aftertaste than Leccino. The aftertaste has been described of almond and herbs.

This fast-growing Olive tree is known for its high yielding nature. They can reach a full grown height of 26 feet. It is known to produce plenty of plump medium-sized Olives, which are known to produce quality oil. They can also make a delicious treat when cured. These Olives are about 80% pulp, and they have a pleasant fragrance.

Olive Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Olive Color: Green-Purple, Purple-Black
Olive Pairing: Grilled Meat, Bruschetta, Legume & Vegetable Soups, Dressing Fresh Salads.
Olive Flavors: Fruity flavor with bitter and spicy notes. Aromas of fresh herb, tomato, lettuce, artichoke, apple, grain, rosemary, celery and almond.

Unique Traits of the Frantoio Olive

Most commonly the main component for a Tuscan style oil.
Consistently produces a high-yield, very fruity oil.
The medium size fruit ripens on the late side.
A self-compatible tree, but will benefit greatly from other pollinators.
One of the most popular olives in the world.
Grows More like Tree Than Bush


Originated in Tuscany, grows very well in California and the northwest. Its olive oil flavor is delicate so it’s most commonly blended with Pendolino. But it’s also interplanted and blended with Frantoio, Coratina and Moraiolo to produce more flavor.

As mentioned above, Frantoio and Leccino cultivars are the principal raw material for Italian olive oils from Tuscany. Leccino has a very sweet and aromatic flavor.

A Small fruit with very small pit, it has a surprising amount of flesh. The fruit is purple-black, although it is advised to pick it when purple green at its optimal time. Oil volume is lower than other cultivars and delicate in flavor. The oil is mildly fruity and frequently blended with other cultivars’ oil. The delicate flavor can dissipate after time, as the oil has been known to have a short shelf life.

Olive Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Olive Color: Grey-Green
Olive Pairing: Cooked Fish, White Meats, Vegetables & Fresh Cheeses
Olive Flavors: The oil is very sweet and aromatic

Unique Traits of The Leccino Olive

Most commonly the main component for a Tuscan style oil.
Small Fruit
Short Shelf Life
Delicate Flavor
Commonly Used in Blends


Pendolino Olive Tree is an old Italian variety valued for its high fruit production as well as its crucial role as one of the best pollenizers for other olive varieties, often referred to as the universal pollenizers.

These slow growing trees can grow to about 20 feet tall in time. Pendolino is named for its pendulous branching characteristic, making it ideal for manual cultivation.

Its fruit size is generally larger than Frantoio but smaller than Leccino. It has a slightly lower oil content with relatively early ripening fruit. The flavors have been described as fruity and sweet upon entrance, while turning bitter and ending with a characteristic spicy. Notes of bitter almond and more lightly fresh grass and artichoke have been described.

Olive Origin: Italy
Olive Color: Grey-Green
Olive Pairing: Grilled Salmon, Risotto with Shrimp, Pasta, Bread, Vinaigrettes
Olive Flavors: Fruity and Sweet upon entrance, Bitter and Ending with a Spicy Kick. Notes of Bitter Almond, Grass & Aartichoke.

Unique Traits of The Pendolino Olive

The Universal Pollenizers
Early Ripening
Old Italian Varietal
High Production
Balanced Flavors


The Maurino olive tree is Tuscan in origin. It’s a good pollinator but self-sterile so it needs another tree (often Frantoio, Leccino or Pendolino). Its fruit is small, but like the Pendolino cultivar, its fruit is abundant. Additionally, both cultivars actually look very similar in appearance and exhibit the graceful, pendulous branch form.

Prized for its sweet and delicate oil, as well as being tolerant of very low temperatures, it’s ideal for cooler climates and dense plantings. Small fruit with very small pit., It has a surprising amount of flesh. The oil is very sweet and aromatic. The shelf life is short.

Olive Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Olive Color: Grey-Green
Olive Pairing: Green Salads, Raw Vegetables,
Olive Flavors: The Oil Sweet and Aromatic

Unique Traits of The Maurino Olive

Tuscan Origin
Good Pollinator
Needs to Be Paired with other trees to survive. (often Frantoio, Leccino or Pendolino)
Small Fruit
Sweet & Delicate Oil
Short Shelf Life

Olive Tree Napa Valley


The Mission Olive Tree originated in California way back in 1769, where they were planted by Franciscan priests as they established Missions among El Camino Real. Popularity grew due to its growth in California over the years when interest in olives and olive oil increased. The Mission Olive Tree can grow up to 30 feet, with its olives maturing October through November.

The only American olive cultivar listed by the International Olive Council in its World Catalogue of Olive Varieties. After the Manzanilla and Sevillana olive varieties, it remains one of the more common cultivars in the state.

These medium olives can grow up to an inch-and-a-half and turn deep eggplant purple when mature. While the dark fruit is popular, the Mission is also harvested for it green fruit which is known for its wonderful, mild grassy flavor both in cured table olives and pressed to oil. Mission olives have a unique fruity flavor and scent. The fruit and oil pairs well with fish, chicken, or as a dip for freshly baked bread.

Olive Origin: California 1769
Olive Color: Deep Eggplant Purple – Blackish
Olive Pairing: Best Used with Bread, Fish or Chicken
Olive Flavors: Mild Grassy & Fruity Flavor

Unique Traits of The Mission Olive Oil

Endangered Varietal
Wonderful Fruit to Brine or Press for Oil
One of the Hardiest Olive Varieties
Attractive Specimen
Drought Tolerant
Widely Adaptable
Fragrant Spring Flowers
Mid Season Fruiting Time
Versatile Used for Olive Oil & Table Olives


The Manzanilla is an ancient olive tree that have been grown since ancient times, they are known to thrive in the heat. Believed to be a native of the Mediterranean, the drought tolerant Manzanillo Olive can live for hundreds of years, enduring droughts, heat and poor soil conditions. Manzanilla olives are well known for its rich black olives that can be pickled or pressed for oil. They are known to have crisp texture and a slightly smoky, almond like flavor.

This Manzanillo has a slow growth rate and young trees may take time to develop substance. The tight growth pattern creates a fuller crown, making the Manzanillo Olive a popular shade tree in Southern California. It can grow up to 30 feet, so it is an ideal choice for almost any style architecture.
Easy to care for and very resilient, the evergreen Manzanillo Olive prefers deep rich soil, but it can tolerate stony, shallow soils as well.

Olive Origin: Mediterranean
Olive Color: Black – Green
Olive Pairing: Pair them with: Swiss, Manchego, or Gouda cheese; dry Spanish Cava or Fino. Olives themselves are often Suffed with a Creamy Blue Cheese, Pimentos, or Garlic.
Olive Flavors: Crisp Texture and a Slightly Smoky, Almond like Flavor.

Unique Traits of The Manzanilla Olive

Cold Hardy and Resistant to High Summer Heat
Drought Resistant
Used for Table Fruit
Excellent Quality Fruit
Versatile Landscape Tree


Native to the Italian region of Lazio (Lazio). The Itrana olive tree produces high quality black table olives and high quality extra virgin olive oil.
The oil is known for its intense and fruity flavor, with bitter and spicy feel. Aromas of cut grass are common with more subtle touches of artichoke or slight green almond feel.
The olives themselves are, asymmetrical and of medium size (3-5 grams). At harvest the olives are dark wine color, freckled with a whitish dusting. The oil is of good quality pleasing in taste and is noted for continually winning awards for taste.

Olive Origin: Lazio, Italy
Olive Color: Dark Wine Color & Green
Olive Pairing: Crusty Artisan Breads
Olive Flavors: Intense and Fruity Flavor, with Bitter & Spicy of Average Value. Aromas of Cut Grass are Common with Subtle Touches of Artichoke or Slight Green Almond Feel.

Unique Traits of the Itrana Olive

Resistant To High Heat & Cold
Italian Varietal
Green & Dark Producing Olives
Award Winning Oil Produced
Excellent Quality Fruit


Coratina olive oil gets its name from its place of origin, a town in the Italian countryside known as Corato. This olive oil has a very fruity, tangy and bitter taste, so much so that traditionally this particular kind of olive oil has been used to cut other olive oils with a less marked flavor.

Depending on the climate, olive picking may go from early October to late January. The integrity of the fruit will determine a low acidity level, fruity notes and a high content of antioxidants in the final product.

The Coratina extra-virgin olive oil is characterized by the fruity notes of green olives, followed by sensations of freshly-cut grass and bitter almonds. By genetic makeup, Coratina is one of the olive cultivars that synthesize the highest content of phenolic compounds. Freshly-pressed, the Coratina olive oil may taste bitter and unbalanced, with a bit of a slightly sharp sensation. The high phenolic content, along with the triglyceride composition, contributes to the exceptional oxidation stability of the Coratina extra-virgin olive oil.

Olive Origin: Corato, Italy
Olive Color: Dark Red – Light Green
Olive Pairing: Used to Cut other Olive Oils with a Less Marked Flavor.
Olive Flavors: Fruity, Tangy and Bitter Taste

Unique Traits of the Coratina Olive

High Phenolic Acid Content, produces Incredibly Stable Oil that Oxidizes Slowly.
High Acidity Results in Sharp Oil that is Rich in Flavor and Displays a Sweet Aroma.
Can Produce in a Variety of Climates and Soil Conditions from Sandy Coastal Locations to Hot Deserts with Rocky Soils.
Minimal Watering Once Established.
Smaller Fruits

Manzanilla Olive Tree


Originating in France, Columella is known for its resistance to cold. When harvested green, Columella yields an aromatic, sweet and fruity oil with a good balance of bitter and pungent notes. Grassy and herbaceous flavors are enhanced by tropical and floral flavors.

Fruit ripening is medium early. Columella is unusual among the French cultivars normally grown in California in its suitability for early harvest. The fruit is fragile and prone to bruising; it can be damaged by windy storms as it is ripening, so an early harvest is advisable.

Olive Origin: France
Olive Color: Green
Olive Pairing: Fried Potatoes, Stir-Fry, Chocolate Ice Cream
Olive Flavors: Aromatic, Fruity, and Sweet Flavor, Balanced with Pungent and Bitter Flavors too.

Unique Traits of the Columella Olive

Adapts Well to Colder Weather
Versatile Smooth Taste
Fruit Can be Easily Damaged
Fruit is Fragile, Prone to Bruising


Cerignola olive tree (Oliva di Cerignola), is an Italian olive variety present in the Apulia region. Its origin is estimated in the XV century, when it was introduced by the Aragonese. The olive tree produces very large size olives, which are popular table olives.
Cerignola may offer the most beautiful and delicious olives of any tree. It ripens early and is generally brined soon after turning a celadon green. Drupes are large, nearly a half ounce of crisp, buttery meat.

The flavor of the Cerignola olive has been described as mildly tart and buttery. It is known for containing very balanced flavors, thus making it one of the most versatile olives.

Olive Origin: Apulia Region, Cerignola, Italy
Olive Color: Celadon Green
Olive Pairing: Pair up these buttery beauties with zippy hard cheeses, like Parmigiano-Reggiano, or mild and creamy mozzarella and Genoa Salami. Black varieties are great paired with smoked cheeses.
Olive Flavors: Mildly Tart and Buttery.

Unique Traits of The Cerignola Olive

Estimated Origins Go Back to The 15th Century.
Large Size Olives
Ripens Early
Versatile Olive Used for Both Oil Production or Table Olives
Balanced Flavors


The Lucca Olive Tree is a high yielding tree, which is used for high amounts of olive oil. The Lucca Olive itself was developed at the University of California, Davis by Professor Hartman. These trees will grow beautifully in your yard, and will produce large quantities of olives.

It also has good frost resistance and is closely related to Frantoio olive. A vigorous variety well suited to planting in California. The oil produced from the Lucca has been described by tasters as having a sweet buttery flavor, and slightly bitter.

Olive Origin: California
Olive Color: Green
Olive Pairing: Used to cut other olive oils with a less marked flavor.
Olive Flavors: sweet buttery flavor, and slightly bitter.

Unique Traits of The Lucca Olive

Sweet, Buttery Flavor
Developed closely related to Frantic.
Developed by University Professor
High Yields


The name means “white leaf” and refers to the color of the back side of the leaves. This medium sized fruit generally ripens late and is very cold resistant. These trees are capable of adapting to extreme soils and climates. The fruits ripen very slowly and delay the harvest, a fact that leads to certain amount of “vecería”.

A balanced olive that has a wide range of flavors. The oil is not long lasting but is exceptional. The Hojiblanca olive is highly valued due to the excellent quality of its pulp and for its great rusticity.

The Hojiblanca is a prestigious varietal, currently in great demand especially in Spain due to the Hojiblanca extra virgin oil which can be extracted from its fruit, it is also widely used as a table olive.

On many occasions, the extracted oil is combined with other oils in order to improve the flavor and the oils properties. This oil is recommended by many specialists due to its excellent health reputation.

Olive Origin: Spain
Olive Color: Green
Olive Pairing: Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar, Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, Leafy Green Salads, Bitter Green Salads, Garden Salads, Raw Vegetables., Roasted/Grilled Veg, Broiled Fish.
Olive Flavors: Slightly sweet to start with a bitter taste of unripe fruits and an almond aftertaste

Unique Traits of The Hojiblanca Olive

Known for its health benefits
Great Demand
Versatile Olive Used for Both Oil Production or Table Olives
Late Ripening
Excellent Quality
Balanced Taste
Large Fruit

Olive Trees

Although these trees won’t be producing olives worthy of pressing into olive oil for at least five years, we do make Olive Oil exclusively from olives harvested at our own Morning Dew Ranch estate property in the Anderson Valley located in Mendocino County.

These mature olive trees grow on a small patch of sloped hillside adjacent to some of the Castello’s most prized Pinot Noir vines. These trees mature under the watchful eyes of both our Winemaker and Vineyard Manager.

This Morning Dew Ranch Olio Nuovo (which means, new oil) differs from your typical Olive Oil. Taken straight from the press, this freshly pressed oil has all the natural flavors left inside the oil. Cold Pressed under 50 degrees, harvested locally from the Castello’s own estate vineyard. Here at the Castle, we are one of the first in the Napa Valley to sell Olio Nuovo.

Olive Harvest
Olio Nuovo
Olive Tree