Winemaker Peter Velleno with Trenta Caberent Sauvignon

Trenta

Bradley Aden

September 10th, 2021

Trenta Cabernet Sauvignon
Peter Velleno Winemaker

The Inspiration

Introducing Castello di Amorosa’s newest Cabernet family addition, Trenta—a wine aged for 30 months in French Oak barrels. Grown in the best vineyards in Napa Valley, this powerful blend was aged 1 year longer than any other Castello Cabernet. This extended aging deeply integrates the oak to complement the intense black fruit profile of the wine, elevating the aroma, flavor, and texture.

The brainchild of winemaker Peter Velleno, Trenta carefully illustrates the close relationship between the wine & barrel. The 30 months provides this Cabernet blend with depths not normally seen with 18-month barrel cycles. Our winemakers chose to experiment with 30 months in French Oak barrels, which provide 1 extra year in barrels.

Trenta Cabernet Sauvignon

30 Months in Barrels

Barrel aging is the step between fermentation and bottling, which matures the wine and gives it distinct flavors. Barrel aging begins after five to eight days in fermentation tanks. The juice is pressed from the skins and seeds and pumped into French Oak barrels for aging in our extensive underground cave and cellar system. This process normally takes between 6 to 18 months (shorter times for white wine, longer for red wine). Ultimately, wine is aged in barrels for flavor development, maturity, and longevity after bottling. The oxygen that slowly comes through the oak barrel helps the wine mature, and tannins develop the structure of wine over time.

Only the highest quality barrels with tight oak grains and medium-plus toast levels are used. With our Trenta wine, we always use 100% new oak. The medium toast and new oak help to retain the wine’s natural elegance and balance. The toasting level of a barrel is created by exposing the wood to flames, thus creating a char within the wood. The more that wood is exposed to the flame, the more charred the wood becomes. This greatly affects the flavors imparted to the wine. Barrel production is science as well as art.

French Oak barrels have long been preferred by us because of their subtle ability to compliment the wine without overpowering the natural flavor profiles of the fruit. When examining French oak, we find the highest tannin of the oak types. Logs sourced from the Office National des Forêts make for more expensive timber. This results in a more expensive barrel that is appreciated by winemakers for its unique flavor characteristics. We are sure that Trenta will provide all these great characteristics of high-quality French oak barrels.

French Oak Wine Barrels

Wine Profile

Trenta is made from 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 is sourced from the Rutherford AVA, Coombsville AVA and Yountville AVA. All famed regions for producing beautifully structured complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Trenta is the only Cabernet blend that features Melanson and Don Thomas fruit, two extremely limited single vineyard wines.

Every year the blend used to make Trenta is unique. Each year before bottling, we select a few Cabernets to incorporate into a new blend that we think will improve even further with another year in barrels.

Limited Production

Each bottle of wine is 750 ml, so for each gallon of wine you have, you will be producing five bottles. If you have a large 60-gallon barrel, it holds approximately 300 bottles of wine. Meaning that we only made a few barrels worth of this wine, making it one of our most limited productions.

A wine unlike any other with luscious, velvety soft tannins and intense black cherry and currant flavors. Dense and complex with toasted oak notes that carry these fruit forward flavors throughout the finish, this well aged wine is beautifully presented now, but can easily age for years to come. The barrel also provides soft finishing touches which showcase the Cabernets deep flavor. The additional time in the barrel provides the Cabernet with rich depth and deeper complex flavors of Caramel, Light Smoke & Hazelnut.

Our 2018 Trenta is for sale now, made is extremely limited number. We are proud to present Trenta: a wine symbolic of our winemaking team, a crowning achievement.



The Freshest Olive Oil in Napa Valley

Bradley Aden

February 13th, 2020

Olio Nuovo – Our Freshest Olive Oil

Straight off the presses! Experience the difference fresh makes, an Italian culinary tradition that is hundreds of years old. 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. Don’t get left without our amazing hand picked olive oil from our Castle team. Cold Pressed under 50 degrees, harvested locally from the Castello’s own estate vineyard. These freshly pressed oils have a robust taste and polyphenols galore. In short, olio nuovo is olive oil in its most intense, raw state. Here at the Castle, we are one of the first in the Napa Valley to sell Olio Nuovo.

Made exclusively from olives harvested at our own Morning Dew Ranch estate property in the Anderson Valley, 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. Under the watchful eyes and with the help of both our Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, the harvest was done by hand on a single foggy morning, by the same dedicated team that cares for our grapevines on the secluded and serene ranch. Check out our video below!


Our Olio Nuovo is used best as a finishing oil and a dipping oil; enjoy it drizzled on salads, pasta, salami and cheese, or over grilled meat or fish. Delicious simply as a dip with salt and bread. It is only available seasonally, for a limited time.

“We wish we could sell Olio Nuovo all year, but the tiny olive particles that give the oil vibrant flavors must be filtered out so that our EVOO can be bottled and enjoyed throughout the year. Limited availability, get it before it sells out! Olive Oil at its freshest and boldest! “

– Castello President Georg Salzner

Olive Oil
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River Otters In Wine Country

Carla Venezia

January 15th, 2020

River Otters in Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wine Country River Otters

When Dario’s great-grandfather, Vittorio, was growing grapes and making wine from fruit sourced around St. Helena in the early 1900s, river otters were a thriving native species in the nearby Napa River and its numerous tributaries. But by 1977, Napa County was omitted from the California Dept of Fish and Game’s list of counties with river otters.

The river otters’ gradual disappearance from the Bay Area was attributed to hunting, trapping and industrial water pollution and land development leading to reduced wetland habitats.  The devastation of the river otter population was so complete that by 1995, the California Dept of Fish and Game showed virtually no river otters living anywhere in the several counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area.

With the 1972 passage of the Clean Water Act plus proactive management of watersheds, restoration of wetlands and the efforts of local conservation groups, river otters have made a slow but (miraculously) steady comeback and we couldn’t be happier about it!

Dario first became aware of our local river otters a few years ago when he started spotting them in the Napa River near Calistoga. Ever since, he’s made it his mission to ensure Castello di Amorosa is doing everything possible to support our local river otters–this he does in several ways:

With sustainable agricultural practices, our winery and vineyards are Napa Green-certified, meaning we meet all regulatory components necessary for environmental sustainability, including water conservation and water efficiency. The Castello recycles and purified its water, so the only runoff is clean (or rain!).  The Castello staff further contributes by ensuring the Castello’s very own Lake Mario and Nash Creek–which lead directly to the Napa River–are ecologically sound and full of happy, healthy fish!

Dario is looking forward to working with Megan Isadore, co-founder and Executive Director of The River Otter Ecology Project—a Bay Area river otter conservation group dedicated to encouraging continued re-population of river otters. The ROEP has “otter awareness” programs for children, field internship programs for teens and volunteer opportunities for adults in the field and lab. ROEP assesses habitats and conducts field studies, among which include analyzing “scat” (to study the otter’s diet!). The ROEP maintains numerous “otter cams” alongside rivers and creeks which further contribute valuable data.

If you happen to see a river otter anywhere in the Bay Area, he sure to let ROEP know about it–even better if you can provide a photo. And don’t forget to tell Megan that Dario sent you!

For more on otters please visit here.

www.riverotterecology.org



Honey Bee Harvest

Honey Harvest at The Castle

Carla Venezia

January 6th, 2020

Castello di Amorosa President during Bee Harvest

Honey Harvest

Dario and Georg are always looking for ways to increase the Castello’s sustainability and self-sufficiency while making positive contributions to the environment. Using reclaimed water in our vineyards, creating compost from scraps and recycling every last piece of trash are just a few ways we practice sustainable agriculture while reducing our overall carbon footprint.

Two years ago Georg and Dario decided to look into raising bees. With environmental stresses resulting in dwindling bee populations worldwide, they felt it was doubly important for us to do whatever possible to help sustain the local bee population.

They met with professional beekeepers Shadow and Rana—owners of The Queens Apiary, a local beekeeping service here in the Napa Valley—who agreed to help us raise our own bees here at the Castello!

Shadow and Rana developed their passion for beekeeping while researching treatment for their son’s severe allergies to local pollens. Providing local honey to their son was so effective in reducing his allergies that soon beekeeping became their life! Now their passion is one of our passions, too!

Although bees don’t pollinate the grape vines (and aren’t needed for that as the vines are somewhat self-pollinating), they’re nonetheless an important part of maintaining healthy vineyards, local vegetation and nutrient-rich soil while contributing to our grapes and boosting the local bee population.

In the vineyards, the presence of bees attracts beneficial insects which help to keep vineyard pests at bay. Lady bugs and similar insects act as natural pesticides against the destructive insects, eliminating the need for dangerous chemicals!  What could be better?!

Our bees pollinate the herbs and vegetables as well as our numerous fruit trees—fig, peach, pear, plum and apple—growing in our Castello gardens. In addition, the bees help us to maintain our lush grasses; they pollinate the myriad of wildflowers and berries which grow in abundance in the land surrounding the vineyards, returning rich nutrients to the soil and ultimately, to our vines and grapes.

After harvest, the bees “celebrate” with us by feasting on any grapes and juice remaining in the vineyards (which also contributes to their flavorful honey!), their reward for doing so much for us throughout the year!

The honey produced by our bees is considered to be a “hyper local” estate “wildflower” honey, since the bees collect pollen from within 2-3 miles of the Castello where so many beautiful wildflowers grow, year-round. Our honey has a lovely golden amber hue and is extraordinarily flavorful, with notes of rosemary, lavender and blackberry. We happen to think it’s perfect and believe you will, too!

Castello di Amorosa honey will be available soon in our tasting room–be sure to look for it next time you visit the Castello!

Shop Honey

Coming Back in October 2021!



Kincade Fire Update From Dario Sattui

Dario Sattui

November 4th, 2019

Kincade Fire Update From Dario Sattui

Greetings from Castello di Amorosa,

Thank you for your concern for us during the Kincade fire north of us in Sonoma County. Our hearts go out to all who suffered loss and displacement. I am pleased to report that the fire is nearing full containment, our staff are safe and that Castello di Amorosa and our vineyards were unaffected. Except for an evacuation advisory for the city of Calistoga, the Napa Valley was largely unaffected.

We are incredibly grateful to the selfless fire fighters, first responders, and volunteers who diligently protected property and saved lives. The wine country teamwork and camaraderie were on full display both in fighting the fire and aiding the victims.

We are doing our part – Castello di Amorosa and V. Sattui Winery will each be donating $5,000 to help Sonoma County.

I’m also pleased to report that our 2019 harvest season ended on October 30th; all grapes were harvested prior to the fire. It was a bountiful harvest and we are all pleased with the quality of the fruit that was delivered to our crush pad.

What can you do to help? Come see us! Unfortunately, many of our reservations have been cancelled due to the impression Napa County is also under threat. The entire Napa Valley hospitality industry is now suffering huge loss in visitation. Wineries, hotels, restaurants, and retail stores have been impacted.

So here is the good news:

The power is ON in the Napa Valley
The skies are clear and bright blue over our vineyards
The familiar scent of “Crush” and the last days of the 2019 Harvest linger in the air
There are NO crowds = more personalized guest services + NO traffic!
To be sure, we sent out the Knights to survey the land. Watch the video below, I think you’ll be pleased with their report. Link:

I hope to see you crossing the drawbridge very soon.

Cheers!

Dario Sattui



Best Tasting Room

Castello di Amorosa named Best Tasting Room in America

Bradley Aden

September 24th, 2019

USA Today’s 10 Best names Castello di Amorosa “Best Tasting Room” In America

When the announcement came in at 9:00 a.m. on August 23th, the trumpeters from Calistoga High School blared and the Castello team that had gathered on the drawbridge went wild. In some respects, we had a collective feeling of, “yes, we’ve arrived.” We asked our members to vote and they responded resoundingly. And when the voting period ended, it was Castello di Amorosa, Dario Sattui’s authentically built, 14th century Tuscan castle and winery- one of Napa Valley’s landmark destinations- that received top honors in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice, being named “Best Tasting Room 2019”  This is quite an honor to be nominated and quite humbling that we won!

“When we opened the doors almost thirteen years ago, I wondered how my castle would be received, as it was so unorthodox a concept,” remembers Dario Sattui. “Today we have a collection of superb estate vineyards and highly acclaimed wines. Just recently our Morisoli-Borges Cabernet Sauvignon received 98 points from Jeb Dunnuck and our single-vineyard Melanson Cabernet Sauvignon received 97 points from The Wine Advocate. Our wonderful guests respect and enjoy the fact that our wines are only available at the winery or can be shipped directly to your home or business.”

The wine industry experts who partnered with 10 Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees included Jill Barth, Shana Clarke, Ziggy Eschliman, Karen MacNeil, June Rodil and Dynie Sanderson.

We hope you’ll bring your family and friends to enjoy a winetasting or winery tour in the Best Tasting Room in America.

Castello di Amorosa


Seahawks at the Castle

Seattle Seahawks at the Castle

Bradley Aden

September 21st, 2019

Seattle Seahawks at the Castle!

Castello di Amorosa recently had the honor of hosting the 2014 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. The Castle was featured in the teams introduction video for the upcoming NFL season, the video will be played before every home game of 2019 at Century Link Field in Seattle. Check it out below to see for yourself. Click here or the picture below to watch the video!



Festival

Festival Napa Valley at Castello di Amorosa

Bradley Aden

September 20th, 2019

Festival Napa Valley

Breathtaking performances in iconic wine country, are paired with Napa Valley’s unparalleled food, wine and hospitality. Festival Napa Valley offers programs that uplift and inspire, and attract artists and audiences from around the world. The annual July celebration raised $2.6 million, a new record. Castello di Amorosa was one of the venues featured in the festival. We hosted the Patron Dinner for the Napa Valley Festival. We can’t wait for next year. Check out the video below for more information.



A Spooktacular Night at the Pagan Ball

castelloamor

October 30th, 2018

A Spooktacular Night at the Pagan Ball

On Friday, October 25, we lowered the drawbridge and welcomed in wine-loving ghouls, vampires, pirates, monsters, and superheroes for a spooktacular night of tricks and treats at the Castello’s 10th annual Pagan Ball! The evening featured delicious bites from our friends at Oak Avenue Catering paired with Castello wines in the courtyard, fortune telling on the terrace, dancing in the Great Hall, a haunted exhibit from Napa City Ghosts and Legends, and our creepiest haunted cave maze ever!

View Album

Scroll down to see some of our favorite photos from the evening, plus a great video of the night from our friends at VIBE Audio Visual Designs, or click the link above to see the entire album!

Our friends at VIBE did a fantastic job lighting the Castello for the Pagan Ball, and keeping the dance floor rocking all night long with DJ Danny Dell in the Great Hall! Check out their great video of the evening:

Our team worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the Pagan Ball putting together the scariest haunted cave maze we’ve had yet! Winding through the twists and turns of the underground levels of the Castello in the dark with frights around every corner, it was an experience to die for!

Our guests outdo themselves every year with their amazing costumes, and 2018 was no different! Check out a few of our favorites:

Want to join us at one of our upcoming Wine Club events? Click the link below to see what’s coming up next at the Castello! We hope to see you soon!

Wine Club Events


Night Harvest at the Castello

castelloamor

October 2nd, 2018

Night Harvest at the Castello

Castello di Amorosa sits in the hillsides of the Diamond Mountain District of Napa Valley, and is surrounded by 30 acres of vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Primitivo, and Merlot. These medium-to-full-bodied wine grapes are typically picked in the later half of the harvest season, and this year we are right on schedule with the start of the estate harvest, as this past Wednesday night we harvested our Block 5 Merlot. The first block of fruit to be harvested at the Castello this year, it sits along the entryway to the Castello, along the left hand side of our driveway as you come up the hill.

Harvesting fruit at night is an excellent way to preserve the acidity of the berries and ensure that they arrive on the crush pad in optimal condition. The berries are also much firmer at these temperatures, making it easier to sort and destem clusters on the crush pad.

Night harvesting also provides better working conditions for the vineyard teams who work tirelessly to hand pick each cluster, ensuring only the best reach the winery. Crews will often make several passes through the same vineyard over a period of days or weeks to ensure that each cluster reaches peak ripeness before being picked.

If you’re visiting Napa Valley this time of year, be sure to keep an eye out for bright lights in the vineyards after dark; these are signs of hardworking vineyard crews harvesting the beautiful fruit of the 2018 vintage.