Cook with Castello President Georg Salzner

Dario Sattui

February 26th, 2020

Welcome to our Home Part 2 – Castello President Georg Salzner

Castello President Georg Salzner cooks one of his favorite recipes at his home in St. Helena. The video features one of his favorite dishes, Cotoletta Alla Milanese (aka German Schnitzel). This German dish is very popular throughout Europe, especially in Germany & Austria. Pair with Pinot Noir from our Morning Dew Ranch estate, this Pinot has enticing aromas of brambleberries, toasted sage, white pepper, and clove lead to plush layers of red fruits. Drop us a comment below and let us know what recipes you would like to see us cover.

Recipe Directions:

Wiener Schnitzel

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Serve with lemon wedges and lingnonberry sauce.

Cucumber Salad

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

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

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


Welcome to our Home - Part 1

Dario Sattui

September 16th, 2019

Welcome to our Home Part 1 – Dario Sattui & Irina Yartseva

Castello owner and visionary Dario Sattui and his fiance Irina Yartseva. The video features one of his favorite dishes, Pasta alle Vongole. This Italian dish is very popular throughout Italy, especially in Campania. It is also part of a traditional Neapolitan cuisine. Any great meal, needs a great wine alongside it. The pasta is paired with Pinot Grigio, a lively and crisp dry white wine with zesty citrus and melon aromas, bright acidity, and a refreshing, fruity finish. Drop us a comment below and let us know some of your favorite recipes. We present Pasta alle Vongole by Dario Sattui and Irina Yartzeva.

Recipe Directions:

  • 1. Soak clams in water to remove the sand (about 20-30 mins)
  • 2. Add 2 TBSP of salt to boiling water for cooking the pasta
  • 3. Place ~1/3 cup of olive oil into a large saucepan on medium heat.
  • 4. Add diced garlic to the oil and Italian herbs stir for about 1 minute
  • 5. Add flakes of peperonchino and continue stirring until garlic starts to brown
  • 6. Add 1 cup of Castello di Amorosa Pinot Grigio and the clams to the saucepan.
  • 7. Stir then cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes until all the clams have opened.
  • 8. While the clams are simmering, add the pasta to the boiling saltwater and cook until al dente.
  • 9. Sprinkle parsley on the clams then remove the clams from the pan and set aside.
  • 10. Add the cooked pasta to the large saucepan and stir to coat the pasta in the garlic sauce.
  • 11. Place a generous portion of pasta on each plate and cover with clams.
  • 12. Serve with a glass of the Castello di Amorosa Pinot Grigio…. and enjoy!!

Pasta Alle Vongole Ingredient List:

4 lbs of small Manila Clams

Salt

Olive Oil

2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped

Italian Herbs- 1 tsp

Peperonchino flakes- a pinch

Parsley- 1 cup-finely chopped

Spaghetti 



La Fantasia

La Fantasia Summer - Chilled Rosé Wine Drink Recipe

Mary Davidek

July 28th, 2016

La Fantasia Summer – Chilled Rosé Wine Drink Recipe

I hate the heat. I do. I cannot mince words or flower this up— at all. I also acknowledge as a native Californian I am not the greatest barometer for uncomfortable temperatures. I am too hot when temps soar above 90 and too cold when the mercury dips below 60. I guess as grapes are concerned, I would be Pinot Noir; a little fickle and I respond to temperature extremes. Precisely why Pinot Noir is not prolific in Napa Valley. …summers can get hot!

Napa Valley is a Mediterranean climate which among other climate indicators translates to a long growing season due an optimum diurnal variation necessary for yielding successful wine grapes. A diurnal variation, or the difference between daytime and night time temps of almost 35 degrees means the sugars in the grape go into semi hibernation in the evenings thus arresting or slowing the ripening process. Even when the valley floor reaches 95 degrees, nighttime ushers in a welcome cool down courtesy of the big air conditioning to the west, the Pacific Ocean. Most evenings warrant a wrap or light sweater when dining al fresco or while watching star-filled nights unfold.

Lucky Napa Valley! Less than 5% of earth’s land surface is blessed with this amazing mediterranean climate!

These evening temps are a welcome reprieve but I just can’t get past the heat and the constant craving for something cool and refreshing on my palate. My shopping cart at the grocery store has been jam-packed with fresh summer fruit, thirst quenching beverages and frozen treats. Luckily, our appetites also diminish a bit when the temps soar so refreshing fruit and veggie platters have been consumed with enthusiasm. Dessert? Well, that is simply a no-brainer—enter the simple and delicious Fantatini! A deliciously refreshing and chilled summer rosé wine drink. Made with lightly effervescent and slightly sweet La Fantasia. Simply pour over a frozen fruit sorbet and this yummy chilled finale is the perfect respite.

So chill it down…and when old man winter brings on the big chill-down (it may actually get below 60!), we will have to come up with another excuse to partake in this tasty concoction.

Fantasia

Frizzante-style La Fantasia is a proprietary blend of red grapes and is a perennial favorite. Just a bit of effervescence brightens the fruit notes of this lightly sweet wine.

Grab some fresh fruit and a frozen sorbet and get ready for instant delicious.

A sweet finale on the Castello di Amorosa Royal Pairing, the Fantatini. Recipe?… Simple. Scoop and pour!




Have Wine Will Travel—oh the places you will go!

Mary Davidek

August 27th, 2015

Have Wine Will Travel—oh the places you will go!

I am getting ready to go on a 1 week vacation. Trust me– this does not happen often as I usually opt for sporadic 3 day get-a-ways rather than a week or more at a time. However, once a year my husband and I travel with our good friends (also from Napa Valley) leaving our vineyard paradise for a far off island paradise. That’s right…we are Maui bound.  I love love love living in this idyllic vineyard Avalon but hey, a girl’s gotta travel to keep it fresh and lively and I need to spend a bit of quality wine and dine time Island style.

Ciao to the vineyard scape…….

Aloha Maui!

I will report back with delicious seafood creations, all the latest island food trends and of course, interesting pairings with our favorite Castello wines to tie it all together.

Did I mention I am bringing two cases of wine? Yes, I know…just two.

Travelling with wine was once standard and as easy as boarding with a laptop (or a lap-dog!) is today. I had a rolling carrier and would stuff it full of bottles, on board it was tucked it into the overhead compartment. This made for easy access on long flights if the Merlot du jour or the in-flight chard was well, not worthy. I would uncork a bottle (yep, corkscrews were okay too!) and enjoy. Quite often, I shared with my row mates and neighbors and once, a flight attendant even enjoyed a (very) tiny sip! It was a (very) long flight.

Although security restrictions make travelling with wine a bit challenging; it is nothing a little creativity and a nifty new design combined with smart packing can’t overcome.

If you are packing your suitcase and hoping to include a couple of bottles remember, you can’t carry wine on the plane so the bag must be checked. Make sure the bottle is surrounded by clothing and not on the perimeter but safely in the interior. Roll a bottle in jeans or a sweater or thick clothing or shoes to provide a bit of cushion.

If you are not the trusting or adventurous packing type, padded plastic bottle jackets seal tightly and will provide a little extra assurance to protect your liquid asset.

Because sometimes you need more than a bottle, the styro case transporter is the perfect solution. Rolling castors make it easy to maneuver and provides peace of mind. Treat like a piece of luggage and on the trip home, replace with new wines you’ve discovered or other trinkets for safe transport. These rolling wine suitcases are available throughout wine country and of course, the Castello boutique.



Salmon with...

Mary Davidek

August 4th, 2015

Salmon with…

It is well known the health benefits of salmon are seemingly endless. From cardiovascular health to muscle and tissue regeneration, to eye health– regularly including this meaty fish in our diet even bolsters our metabolism! Additionally, salmon is an excellent source of beneficial fatty acids like omega-3 as well as a good source of vitamins A and D.

Salmon is also exceptionally wine friendly; the chameleon of the sea when looking for the perfect pairing. Salmon works with whites, reds and rosé, so if salmon is on the menu let the cooking method and spices guide your pairings.

In the words of Billy Joel “a bottle of red and a bottle of white, it all depends on your appetite”.

Well, your appetite and perhaps what was in the latest Castello Wine Club shipment!

Chardonnay with Lemon Pepper and Garlic Baked Salmon

With brilliant stone fruit, a hint of creamy citrus (think merengue) and just a breath of fig and hazelnut the 2013 Bien Nacido Chardonnay is the perfect canvas for this salmon preparation. Keep the sides fresh and vibrant like this hash of sweet corn and edamame. Liberally season the fish with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on a non-stick baking sheet or in a non-stick pan. Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes at 450 degree oven.

Sangiovese with Cajun Spiced Salmon

Salmon is a hearty meaty fish with high fat content (the good fats!) so it can play with high acid, high clarity varietals like Sangiovese. For the seasoning I used a Cajun spice rub but added additional garlic and black pepper. I wanted the spice to bring zing and pizzazz with our latest Sangiovese release. The 2012 Sangiovese shows vibrant notes of ripe red raspberry, rhubarb and trademark anise. It is a mid-palate explosion of delicious and perfect with the rich spiced salmon

Pinot Noir with Ginger, Soy, and Balsamic Grilled Salmon

A simple soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger marinade, with a dash of lemon and garlic, are the perfect salty-sweet complement to rich salmon fillets. Evocative Asian notes of ginger and soy are classic flavors for Pinot Noir pairing and the smoky grill perfectly accentuates this earthy wine. Our Anderson Valley Pinot Noir has just a touch of exotic spice but the palate showstopper is the obvious grace and elegance iconic to cool climate Pinot Noir.



Cinco De Mayo Meets Cinque di Maggio

Mary Davidek

May 4th, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Meets Cinque di Maggio

Cinco de Mayo, like St Patrick’s Day are regional celebrations that do not limit participation based on heritage or ethnicity. Across the United States every 5th of May brings colorful festivities and parties filled with fruity margarita concoctions, icy cold cerveza and tasty foods from south of the border. I was raised in a heavily Mexican-American influenced area of Southern California and well, let’s just say I know my around a carniceria. Carne means meat so technically a carniceria is a meat market but used as a word for a neighborhood market with a meat counter, fresh produce and other grocery items. Cinco de Mayo meant we were heading to our friend’s home for an evening of delicious food, fun and drink…. but first a stop at the carniceria. I can still smell the smoky aroma of grilled Carne Asada and the sweet spice of the marinated carnitas wafting from the busy market. Orders were made early as this was a big day, regardless of a school night or weekend Cinco de Mayo does not wait for Seis de Mayo.

As I have mentioned I am of Irish-Italian heritage and while Mom’s pale Irish skin and grey-green eyes stuck out in the olive-skinned mix, her tortilla making skills were top notch! Freshly-made hot tortillas could “melt the ice-cold heart of any poor sot” mom would say and she was so right…warm to the touch and impossible to resist; zesty salsa fresca, chips and guacamole, charred and smoky barbacoa tacos, fragrant and spicy chile verde, all so mouth-watering and intoxicating.

For bebidas (drinks!) at some time during the party they would put the margarita salt aside and set the beer on ice as the southern Italian in my dad needed to have a bit of vino with every meal regardless of the occasion and Cinco de Mayo was no exception.

Just a few of the favorites….

Italian Varietals like Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese offer juicy fruit and natural acidity which are simpatico with these big latino flavors.

The Best Guacamole!

Although avocados have natural oils, the addition of olive oil adds a textural emulsification that takes guacamole to the next level. Of course, olive oil or garlic had to eventually enter this equation somehow!

Combine:

♦ 2 large ripe Haas avocados (just slightly soft to the touch)

♦ ½ small lemon, juiced

♦ 1 small roma tomato diced

♦ 1 cup finely chopped cilantro

♦ 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

♦ ½  Tbsp. salt

♦ 2 Tbsp. olive oil



Maui (re) Visited

Mary Davidek

March 24th, 2015

Maui (re) Visited

Returning from a vacation typically means back to the grind, even when the ‘grind’ is a beautiful castle winery in a picture perfect vineyard, vacations are rejuvenating and refreshing. As I was looking at pictures from our trip I realized the majority of the images were not of lush ocean tropical landscapes but of the delicious foods and amazing wines we enjoyed. Fresh seafood flown in from Alaska from our good friends and travel partners Tim and Carol Berg (www.great-alaska-seafood.com) dominted the menu during our time in Maui. I admit, Alaskan seafood in Hawaii may not be the norm but our 49th and 50th states definitely made for delicious pairings! Next year…maybe Lomi-Lomi Salmon on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula!

The best seafood salad dressing and certainly one of the easiest-

Combine 4 parts Mayo to 1 part spicy cocktail sauce and 1 tsp sesame seed oil

   

Hawaiian Portuguese inspired Paella made with fresh clams and linguiça paired with Sangiovese and yes, the biggest king crab legs this side of Hana!



Sonoma County Vineyard

Terra de Promissio - Checkmate Castello

Mary Davidek

February 8th, 2015

Terra de Promissio – Checkmate Castello

I love a game of chess, deep thought and out-maneuvering, strategy and calculating, all while carefully not giving up your advantage.  Chess is also an apt metaphor for many life situations; social posturing, politics of work, positioning friends, and dare I say…family?  Business is a place we commonly employ schemes and strategies, even the business of wine can pose circumstances which entail positioning and thoughtful approach. Admittedly this may seem counter-intuitive; to many, wine is perceived to be artistic and cerebral. Wine evokes romance and esoteric conversation, not strategy or offensive and defensive tactical maneuvers. However, as in all business, great success requires planning and navigating. After all, for a winery,  in the vast world of palate-pleasing if one only makes wine one likes or prefers, you may appeal to, well, one.

Which brings me to my point…and yes, I have one.

At a recent staff meeting the topic du jour was the release of the Castello’s much anticipated Pinot Noir from the Terra de Promissio vineyard in Sonoma County. Certain die-hard cab-loving staff members were having a bit of a challenge wrapping their mind and palate around this particular bottling.  Full disclosure, this is not a Cabernet lover’s Pinot. No, the Terra de Promissio vineyard is planted with prized Burgundy clones, the fruit displays structure with finesse and elegance rather than some Cali Pinot Noir’s cab-like vim and vigor.

This pedigreed vineyard is located on a 50-acre ranch in Sonoma, overlooking the town of Petaluma in an area of much viticultural success known as the Petaluma Gap. Caution; an internet search result may yield directions to an outlet mall so include the term ‘Pinot Noir’ if searching for info about the Petaluma Gap. (unless you are looking for jeans or a sweater!)

The “Gap” is actually a wind gap named for the coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific through the town of Petaluma and south to San Pablo Bay. This marine cooled gap creates perfect growing territory for cool temperature loving thin-skinned Pinot Noir grapes.

With the acquisition of Terra de Promissio fruit, Castello has advanced on yet another strategic post of wine making and palate-pleasing, classic old world meets new world Pinot Noir. This base is covered…the palates are pleased. Good move.

Now, back to the point I assured you I would make. While it is true, Cabernet Sauvignon is the powerful king of the sun-drenched Northern end of Napa Valley, Pinot Noir is most certainly the reigning queen from Sonoma.

And, just like the game of chess……it is the queen who takes the game.

Checkmate.

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Thighs

Five Spice is a preblended mixture of Star Anise, Cloves, Cinnamon, pepper and ground Fennel Seed and is a tasty rub for pork, salmon and poultry. Five Spice doesn’t overwhlem Pinot’s subtlely, instead, the bright red fruit notes of the Terra de Promissio Pinot Noir create a perfect complement for this exotic spice rub. This quick and delicious preparation is also ideal for chicken legs or appetizer wings.

Directions:

  • Rinse and dry chicken pieces.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Coat the chicken with a dry rub of Chinese Five Spice.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a pan and into oven and bake for about 25 to 35 minutes – until completely cooked through (an inserted thermometer should read 170 degrees).
  • Serve with rice and enjoy!



Winter White

Mary Davidek

January 21st, 2015

Winter White

While most of us have a go-to favorite wine taking permanent tenancy in the ‘most preferred’ zone, often we explore other varietals– particularly when entertaining or in my case, looking for the just-right pairing. Entertaining and pleasing guests with diverse palates, seasonal influences, even extreme weather can bring wine-drinking-enjoying challenges. When it is 100 degrees and the mercury is soaring it can be a test to feign enthusiasm about a glass of inky rich Cabernet for the thick Porterhouse grilling on the ‘cue. Likewise, when you spy frost on the pavement and the windshield is icy, a chilled crisp white wine may be less than heart-warming. What to do when some of the satisfying hearty wintertime favorites are rich and creamy and just screaming for…. well….not a red wine.

My winter white is chardonnay. Specifically, Castello di Amorosa Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay. This is not the ‘Castello sommelier’ pontificating on the many virtues of this award winning chardonnay, this is me, the ‘wine drinker’ who is generally not excited about most California chard.

Castello’s Bien Nacido Chardonnay is different—this fruit is exceptional. The vineyard is located on the central coast of California and exposed to the Pacific. The coastal morning fog provides cool temperatures early in the day but warm late afternoons drenched in the Pacific sun. This gives the slow ripening grapes longer hang time on the vines while enjoying the real estate and the luxurious coastal influence. The juice shows its mettle when barrel fermented but not over manipulated so the gorgeous bright backbone of zippy acidity shines through. This balanced chard displays a soft nuttiness with fruit and focus. Juicy Comice pear, white peach and light vanilla flavors; full bodied and rounded–perfect for the rich creamy cold-weather foods we crave.

While winter white may not conjure up warm cozy images outside–

when you are inside, winter white can be an absolute delight!

 

Quick and Easy Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

♦ ½ lb.  fettuccine, uncooked

♦ 1lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

♦ 4tsp.  flour

♦ 1-1/4cups  chicken broth

♦ 4oz.  Mascarpone ( sub cream cheese)

♦ 1/2 cup Grated Parm, divided

♦ ¼ tsp.  garlic powder

♦ 1/4tsp. white pepper

Cook pasta to slightly firm. Sautée chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 5 to 7 min. or until done, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet. Mix flour and broth in same skillet with whisk. Stir in Mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. Parm, garlic powder and pepper; cook 2 min. or until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken. Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining Parm.



Warm On The Inside

Mary Davidek

December 21st, 2014

Warm on the Inside

And then….it rained. Napa Valley along with most of Northern California is finally getting relief from the drought of the past several years. While the grapes did their job, at times flourishing in the dryer than normal conditions, wine makers and vineyard managers were tenuously hopeful the next season would restore more normal weather patterns to replenish dwindling water reserves. So far, the Fall/Winter season of 2014 has been quite rainy with more precipitaion in the forecast; it seems the vineyard rain-dance performances have done the trick. The local mountains now have a foundation of snow and all are optimistic for a white winter in the Sierras to refresh our local rivers, streams and reservoirs.

As much as I would like to curl up by the fire and enjoy a good book with a glass of vino– the Christmas Cards are beckoning (maybe New Year’s greetings?), the gifts are nagging to be wrapped (thank goodness I stocked up on sparkly gift bags!) and the box of twinkle lights liberated from storage is (soon to be) sparkling. Since this is the time of year amok with shopping and work and weather, making dinner can be challenging and often, low on my list of necessary accomplishments. Thank goodness, for me it is not a worry tonight. In the winter, each week I make a large pot of soup to supply plenty of left-overs and satisfying quick meals. This Tuscan White Bean chili is one of my favorites. When it is cold outside—a hearty bowl of a soup and a glass of red makes it easy and delicious to stay warm on the inside.

Warm Holiday Wishes, from our castle to yours.

The Castello is especially beautiful in the rain…

It can also chill me to the bone

But, this will warm me from the inside out!

 

Tuscan White Bean Chili with Spinach

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