Solar at The Castle

castelloamor

April 18th, 2022

Solar at The Castle

We invested $1.4 million in a 450-kilowatt solar power array. The massive 24 panel system was completed in January of 2022 and is situated on a spot which had been a forested slope but was significantly burned in the Glass Fire that hit the Napa Valley in 2020.

“This enormous investment is an important element of our commitment to become as self-sufficient as possible while minimizing our carbon footprint and helping with the climate change crisis. We expect this will offset our energy usage around 80%,” explains Georg Salzner, President, Castello di Amorosa.

Napa Valley Green Solar

Castello di Amorosa partnered with Centrica, Recolte Energy, 127 Energy and DEIF on the multiple components of this installation. 127 Energy designed the 556-kilowatt battery storage microgrid. Using advanced and remotely accessed power controls, the microgrid provides Castello di Amorosa with an independent power supply during frequent utility grid outages. During times of normal operations, the microgrid reduces utility energy charges and demand charges, resulting in significant operational savings for the winery.

“Due to fire risks and skyrocketing power prices, commercial business owners in California are taking matters into their own hands. Castello di Amorosa, Centrica Business Solutions, and Sungrow were great partners on this project and our collaboration exemplifies how innovative teams can solve daunting environmental and energy-related challenges,” said Mark Crowdis, CEO of 127 Energy. “The battery storage microgrid provides a striking juxtaposition of resilient, clean energy technology against the backdrop of historic castle grounds,” Crowdis added.

Solar Project

Other examples of Castello di Amorosa’s environmentally friendly programs and practices:

· Napa Green Certified: the winery has been Napa Green Certified since May 2018 (renewed in June 2021). Being Napa Green Certified’s requirements include LED Lighting, using a minimum of 50% recycled paper in the winery offices; using recycled cardboard and recycled pulp for shipping (instead of Styrofoam), using green certified cleaning agents and hand soap; using recyclable/compostable plates/flatware.

Bio Microbics Micro Fiber filtration system: the winery treats all of its processed water (water used during production of wine) and re-uses it for landscaping. Since 2017, the winery has treated and re-used over 5,000,000 gallons of water.

· The winery has begun composting as of January, 2022.

· Napa Ride Share program: the winery pays employees to carpool, thus eliminating more cars on the road.

Castello di Amorosa owns and farms 130 acres in Napa, Sonoma and Anderson Valley.



steak florentine recipe

Florentine-Style Steak

steak florentine recipe

Recipe Date: February 1st, 2021
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (Florentine-Style Beef Steak)

From Flapper Press

In the 16th Century, the Piazza San Lorenzo served as an international crossroads in Florance, Italy. When the English knights visited the Piazza, they would express their appreciation of the Florentine Streak shouting “beef steak,” influencing the Florentines naming the meat “bistecca.” This hearty steak, typically the T-Bone of a cow, is grilled over charcoal for a caramelized outside with a rare and juicy inside.*

Ingredients

  • 1 Porterhouse steak, cut 2-3 inches thick, 3-3.5 pounds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 sprigs of rosemary (optional, for serving)
  • Lemon wedges (optional, for serving)

Directions

Prepare your grill, with coals or wood embers. Using an electric grill or cast-iron griddle would work as well.

Heat the surface of the grill. Place the Porterhouse steak standing on the bone to warm the interior and soften the fat fiber. Continue for about 15 minutes.

Now heat the grill to a very high temperature. Place the steak on its’ side for 5 minutes without moving the meat. The meat should roast without burning and come away with beautiful grill markings.

Final Touches

When the meat is done to your liking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 15 minutes in a warm place for the juices to settle.

Carve the filet and strip the steaks off the bone. Slice each steak against the grain and place on a serving platter with lemons, rosemary, and salt.

 

Notes

Serves: 3-4 People | Cook Time: 25 min

 

Enjoy and cheers!


Wine Pairing – Il Barone or Cabernet Sauvignon



winemaker

Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

winemaker

Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Brooks Painter has been a winemaker for over 30 years. His impressive resume includes positions as operations manager at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville and winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Leeward Winery, and Felton-Empire Vineyards.

Brooks has been director of winemaking at Castello di Amorosa since 2005, producing a variety of highly acclaimed 90+ point wines that have gained recognition from Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast. In 2014, he received the distinguished Winemaker of the Year award in the American Fine Wine Competition.

He discovered his passion for wine while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. His work has been published in The American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, Biochemistry, Practical Winery, and Wines & Vines. Brooks is a professional member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and a former chair of the Microbiology Committee for the California Enological Research Association.

For the past 15 years, Brooks and his wife Beth have lived in Napa. They’re actively involved in the Napa Valley community, charitable organizations, and long-range public planning for local city and county government.

Interviews

♦ Wine Life Radio Welcomes Brooks Painter, September 7, 2013 (Podcast)

♦ Life Between the Vines interviews Brooks Painter, May 27, 2013 (Podcast)

♦ What’s Cookin’ Today on CRN Radio, Mike & Paul talks with Brooks Painter, August 18, 2014 (Podcast)

♦ VinVillage Radio interviews Brooks Painter, November 17, 2014 (Podcast)

♦ Winner, Winner April Dinner: Fine Wine Gala Announces Number Ones, February 17, 2015

Wednesdays with Winemakers, Brooks Painter, February 10, 2016

Sommtalks, Castello di Amorosa Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter Joins Us, April 17, 2017



Napa Valley Winemaker

Peter Velleno, Winemaker

Napa Valley Winemaker

Peter Velleno, Winemaker

Peter Velleno studied winemaking, brewing science, microbiology, and food engineering at the University of California at Davis. In 2003, he was the only student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fermentation science.

After graduation, he went to work in the laboratory at William Hill Winery, where he quickly worked his way up to assistant winemaker specializing in Chardonnay production. Peter went on to work for the ultra-premium small winery Hartwell Vineyards, where he helped craft some of the most highly regarded Cabernets in the Napa Valley.

Peter’s career path took a sharp turn in 2008 when he joined Castello di Amorosa as the associate winemaker. He was promoted to winemaker in 2014 and manages production of the Castello’s wines. If asked, he will tell you that making wine in a Castle is even more fun than it sounds.

Peter and his wife Lauren have lived in Napa since 2003. They have two children and enjoy playing tennis, biking, cooking, and spending time outdoors with their dogs Cooper and Ruby.

Interviews

♦ Winemaking from A Castle in California, March 26, 2021 (Interview)
We Like Drinking, March 24, 2021 (What Two Wines Would Winemaker Peter Velleno Recommend)



Cellar Master

Margarito Rivera, Cellar Master

Cellar Master

Margarito Rivera, Cellar Master

Margarito Rivera joined the Castello di Amorosa team in 2017, having worked with Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter nearly two decades ago at another Napa Valley winery.  His dedication and excellent work ethic have made him a valuable addition to our winemaking team.



Jim Sullivan, Vice President PR & Marketing

Jim Sullivan, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing

Jim Sullivan, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing spearheads Castello di Amorosa’s publicity and marketing initiatives.

With over 20 years of marketing, public relations and business development experience with professional motorsports teams and in a variety of healthcare organizations in Southern California, Jim first joined Castello di Amorosa in 2008 as Public Relations and Marketing Manager.

An avid cyclist, Jim fell in love with wine and wineries while exploring the Washington State countryside.  His love of wine was reinforced during subsequent trips to the Napa Valley to visit family.

Jim holds an MBA from the University of Redlands and a Bachelor of Science from Central Washington University. He resides in Calistoga, Calif.



Madelein Reid

Madeleine Reid, Hospitality Director

Madelein Reid

Madeleine Reid, Hospitality Director

Madeleine was born into the event and hospitality industry, a product of two restaurateurs. She began her career working for a luxury catering company which taught her the intricacies of planning events and also afforded her the opportunity to travel and participate in international food and wine shows. After years of honing her craft on catering side of the event industry, Madeleine ventured into the wine business. Her enthusiasm for luxury events and wine brought her to Treasury Wine Estates where she spent the past five years designing custom event experiences for clients, seeing the events from beginning to fruition. Madeleine is excited to be a new member of the seasoned Castello di Amorosa Hospitality and Event Team, which executes events at such a high echelon.

 

Madeleine is fiercely passionate about events and is dedicated to the betterment of the Event Industry as a whole. Currently, she serves as the President of the Napa Sonoma Chapter of the International Live Events Association (ILEA). In this role, she is committed to leading the board to produce effective and informative educational programs and opportunities for members of the industry to connect and network.

 

In her free time, Madeleine enjoys cooking, spending time with her dog & family, going to the beach, exploring art galleries, traveling, painting and crafting.

 

Looking to the future, Madeleine looks forward to continuing the legacy of producing grand Castello events and meeting all event attendees. She will be focusing on supporting the incredible team, all-encompassing experiential design, incredible wine & food pairings and pushing the limits of creativity to deliver incredible events that wow our guests.



David Bejar, Vineyard Manager

David Bejar, Vineyard Manager

David Béjar brings over 40 years of experience to Castello di Amorosa.  Born in Michoacán, Uruapan, David was just 8 years old when he began picking at one of Ensenada’s oldest wineries.  David’s father died at the age of 11 so he took up boxing at $8.00 a fight to supplement the family income. At the age of 16, after immigrating to the United States, he began work as a tractor driver in Santa Rosa and continued to work his way up in the wine industry.

Recruited by Dario Sattui in 1996, Béjar now manages over 300 acres of vineyards.  He is responsible for the sustainable vineyard practice and provides the projections for the size of the harvest each season.

Every year, the North Bay Business Journal acknowledges leading individuals and businesses from across the wine, beer, and spirits industries in the region. We are thrilled that David Béjar was awarded Vineyard Manager of the year in 2018.



Austrian Schnitzel

Recipe Date: March 9th, 2019
Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 4
Cook Time: 01:10
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Austrian Wiener Schnitzel with Cucumber Salad

From Castello President Georg Salzner

Serves 4

Schnitzel Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork loin cut into 1/3″ thick pieces (tenderized to 1/4″ thick)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 cups regular bread crumbs
  • 500 mL grapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup lingnonberry or cranberry sauce

Cucumber Salad Ingredients

  • 3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tsp heavy cream
  • 3 tsp fresh dill, minced

Directions

Wiener Schnitzel

Prepare three shallow pans for dredging the pork filets, fill one with flour, the second with beaten eggs and heavy cream, and the third with breadcrumbs. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the pork filets. Dredge each filet in the flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs, making sure to shake off excess flour before dipping in the eggs. Set breaded filets aside on a plate for frying.

Fill a large sauté pan with 1/2″ grapeseed oil and heat to medium high (not too hot; oil should pop gently when you throw a droplet of water in to test it). Carefully place breaded schnitzel in the hot pan, laying the filet away from you to prevent hot oil from splashing. Pan should fit about 4 filets at a time. Saute filets approximately 3-5 minutes until golden brown, turning once for even cooking. Remove cooked schnitzel to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.

Serve with lemon wedges and lingnonberry sauce.

Cucumber Salad

Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers and add salt, pepper, and sugar. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Squeeze excess liquid from the cucumbers and add vinegar, onions, heavy cream, and fresh dill. Toss thoroughly and serve with schnitzel.

Pair with our Morning Dew Ranch Pinot Noir or Dry Gewürztraminer



2017 Reserve Chardonnay wins Best White Wine at the SF Chronicle Competition!

castelloamor

January 14th, 2019

Fantastic awards from the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

We are thrilled to announce that our 2017 Reserve Chardonnay was named the White Sweepstakes Winner in this year’s 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, and our Reserve Chardonnay was one of 9 wines which were awarded sweepstakes medals. To achieve this distinction, our Chardonnay had to win in its price category, then win against all other Chardonnays across all price points (which comprised over 60% of the 2,500 white wines in the competition), and finally triumph in the field of all other winning white wine contenders.

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. What is even more remarkable is that this marks the fourth time Castello di Amorosa has won the coveted San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Sweepstakes award. In the past the winery won the White Sweepstakes in 2017 for its 2015 Anderson Valley Gewürztraminer and won in consecutive years (2012-2013) for its Dessert Sweepstakes Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. This illustrates a pursuit of excellence for the winemaking team at Castello di Amorosa.”

The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest wine competition in North America. Founded in 1983 as the modestly sized Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, the SFCWC has expanded tremendously over the years, gaining title sponsorship from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000. Now celebrating the 19th anniversary of the competition, the SFCWC is considered the barometer of how consumers select and measure their wine.

The public will have a chance to taste the award winning wines at The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition’s Public Tasting on Saturday, February 16 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion in San Francisco. Click here for tickets and additional information.

About the 2017 Reserve Chardonnay

Our 2017 Reserve Chardonnay was sourced from two vineyards in the cooler southern end of Napa Valley, and harvested between August 17 and September 13. It was fermented and aged sur lie in 100% new Burgundian oak barrels, with 75% of the wine undergoing malolactic fermentation, which lends to a round and balanced full-bodied Napa Valley Chardonnay with lush notes of baked apple, ripe pear, fall spices and toasted almond.

Winemaker Peter Velleno noted “the 2017 vintage quality is showing very high quality, with a lot of bright acidity and fresh varietal aromas in the white wines, along with deep color and sweet fruit flavors. We think our Reserve Chardonnay is an excellent example of this exceptional growing season in Napa Valley.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello, recommends pairing creamy dishes such as Fettuccine Alfredo with the Reserve Chardonnay, to complement the creamy elements in the wine. For a lighter pairing, her Ahi Avocado Salad with Ponzu (pictured below) makes a bright and refreshing accompaniment to the full-bodied Chardonnay.

All awards from the 2019 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

Castello di Amorosa also received a number of Gold and Double Gold Medals, along with a fifth consecutive Best of Class medal for our 2017 Dry Gewürztraminer. Check out the complete list of award winners:

We are so proud of our fantastic winemaking team, and look forward to sharing all of our award-winning wines with you!