Cleaning The Ocean

Dario Sattui

November 16th, 2022

Cleaning The Oceans

How many people realize that there is an island of trash – mostly discarded plastic – in the Pacific Ocean that is 3 times the size of France, a large European country? 8,000,000 metric tons of discarded plastic escapes into the ocean EVERY YEAR! That is the equivalent of placing five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world. This plastic is killing sea life and birds at an alarming rate.

How many of you realize that plastic production rose from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448,000,000 million tons by 2015? Production is expected to double to 896,000,000 tons by 2050.

Plastic contains additives which makes it unable to break down for 400 years or more. Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years. Landfills are overflowing with waste plastic. China has now refused to take our unwanted plastic into its country as it used to several years ago.

THIS IS AN ALARMING PROBLEM.

As I deeply care about our environment, I have invested in a company, Resynergi of Santa Rosa, California, which will take most discarded plastic and turn it into energy and/or chemicals for making new virgin plastics without harming the environment in the process. This process is called CMAP, Continuous Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis.

Discarded plastic is collected and heat of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit is applied in an oxygen-free environment causing the solid material to form a gas. The gas is then cooled into a liquid product (fuel) or it can be made into new plastic.

I am hopeful that we will all come together to solve this global issue.Otherwise, we will have a very contaminated environment which may not be worth living in.

Dario Sattui Signature

There are several organizations across the world that fight to make the ocean a cleaner place. New technologies have seen tremendous advances in cleaning ability. Places like The Ocean Cleanup, The Blue Marine Foundation, Ocean Conservancy and Oceana all strive to make impacts, these are just a few companies but there is a long list of others. We recommend doing your own research before giving money or time. We just wanted to highlight some of the different places making a true impact.



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

Morisoli-Borges

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

Melanson

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

Sinalunga

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

IL BARONE

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

IL BARONE

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

Barbera

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

Chardonnay
Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Sinalunga Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Reserve Wines

Jim Sullivan

May 24th, 2022

Reserve Wines

Have you ever seen the word Reserve or even the term, Napa Valley Reserve on a bottle of wine? The bottle might even display such phrases as, Private Reserve, Special Reserve or Proprietor’s Reserve. In some wine growing regions of the world, like Italy and Spain, for example, where the Italian Reserva and the Spanish Reserva are legally defined and indicate wines are aged longer (could be a combination of oak barrels and bottle) than regular bottlings. In all cases, reserve wines of this distinction are highly sought after and are largely considered collector wines.

While there is no legal definition of a reserve wine in the U.S., generally reserve wine bottlings usually consist of wines considered by the winemaker to be of greater quality that can age gracefully, many years longer than a regular bottling of the same variety.  Usually selected from special wine barrel lots that merit additional aging and, in some cases, complete vineyards or select rows of the vineyard will be designated for the winery’s reserve program. It is common for select vineyards to have certain areas where the growing conditions are slightly better than other sections.  This could be due to the slope of vineyard in that section which allows for better sunlight on the vines or creates better soil drainage. 

Additionally, in vineyards near hillsides, it is common for alluvial soil to accumulate in sections of the vineyard. Alluvial soil is a rich, nutrient-dense composition of gravel, clay and silt that improves the richness in the soil and supports healthy vines and their complex and deep root structure. These types of soils contribute greatly to the diversity of wines produced from vineyards with alluvial soils and results in Napa Valley wines with a softness and elegance. 

In the Napa Valley, a region home to many collectable wines, reserve bottlings consist of wines that are considered by many winemakers to be finer and have greater aging potential than their regular bottling of the same collectable napa wines. The most common wine that garners the distinction of being called a top collectable wine is Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Reserve as it’s coined by many wine connoisseurs.  

At Castello di Amorosa, winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno have crafted a complete line up of Napa Valley Reserve wines in their Napa in Reserve portfolio. Our portfolio also includes fine wine selections from the Anderson Valley, the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley and Mendocino AVA- some of the top AVA’s in California wine country. 

Click here to see our full collection of reserve wines.

King of Cabernet SauvignonSingle-Vineyard Wines

Rapp Ranch, Coombsville AVA Napa Valley

Rapp Ranch

Bradley Aden

May 23rd, 2022

Run Wild with Our Single Vineyard Cabernet

Rapp Ranch is our single vineyard Cabernet from the Coombsville AVA. The wine is inky purple in color, with an imposing structure that frames a mouthful of savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs. The tannins are silky and smooth, leading to a remarkable impression of black fruits and lingering flavors on the palate. The wine is expected to age nicely and cellar from 15-25 years.

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 Coombsville AVA is one of the fastest growing Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Napa Valley. Having received its AVA designation in 2011, Coombsville is set to be Napa Valley’s next great Cabernet Sauvignon appellation. The defining characteristics of Coombsville, are the long, cool growing seasons that reward patient winemakers with intensely concentrated and complex wines.

Located just east of the city of Napa, the appellation varies from sea level all the way up to 1,900 feet on the Vaca Mountain Range. The cooling effects of the nearby San Pablo bay provide daily fog, which causes more constant temperatures. This allows us to have a long, slow ripening period as our vines bud early and our grapes are typically among the last to be harvested. Coombsville itself is a bowl-shaped depression, cradled by a crescent-shaped section of the Vacas Mountain Range.

Rapp Ranch in The Coombsville AVA

Long established as a premier horse ranch in the rural countryside of southern Napa Valley. The history of Rapp Ranch is rich in horses. Originally known as the premier breeding & training grounds for quarter horses in the Napa Valley, became world renown throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Utilizing a variety of barns, riding arenas and outdoor spaces, Rapp Ranch produced some of the top award winning international competitors. Continuing on to present day, the name Rapp Ranch has became synonymous with outstanding quality.

The property eventually sold to a businessman who removed some of the horse facilities and planted 12 of the 25 acres of ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. When the opportunity presented itself, the Alkossers purchased the property in February 2016. Thoroughly enchanted by the beauty and significance of this place, they saw the potential in combining the history of the horse ranch, the premium vineyards and the state-of- the-art winery into the ultimate destination for wine connoisseurs and adventuring travelers.

When the opportunity presented itself, we were thrilled about partnering long-term with Rapp Ranch. Our winemakers Brooks Painter & Peter Velleno are proud to carry on the tradition of ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon. We look forward to producing incredible vintages of Rapp Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon for years to come.

Past Awards & Accolades

Explore our past awards and accolades for our Rapp Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.

♦ 93 Points – James Suckling

“Amorosa’s Rapp Ranch cabernet bottling has a very suave, cedary nose with regal, dark-berry aromas, typical of cabernet, as well as hints of fresh leather. The palate is so succulent and juicy with very fresh and attractively detailed tannins carrying good length. Fresh finish. Drink or hold.”

♦ 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.”

​♦ 93+ Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

“Deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rapp Ranch displays subtle black raspberries, black and red cherries and black currants with hints of wild thyme, damp soil and tree bark. Medium to full-bodied, firmly textured with plenty of youthful, crunchy fruit, it has a pleasantly chewy finish.”


Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon is King

Bradley Aden

May 5th, 2022

Cabernet Sauvignon The King of Napa Valley

Your Guide to Napa Valley Cabernet

In Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon will forever remain king. Here at Castello di Amorosa we take pride in our Cabernet Sauvignon collection. With over 16 Cabernet choices at the Castle, winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno produce a bevy of single vineyard and blended Cabernet options. Both of these styles can reflect the desires and personality of the winemaker while still presenting familiar flavors that express the typical characteristics of the Napa Valley growing regions. The main stylistic difference in Napa Valley Cabernet is illustrated in the differences between the hillside/mountain vineyards and those on flatter valley floors. Further differences are illustrated within the 16 nested American Viticultural Area (AVA’s) within Napa Valley. With a comprehensive history in Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were first planted by George Calvert Yount in 1839. In 1976, The Judgement of Paris took place, in which Napa Valley Cabernet went head up against heavily favored French wines. The event would be a blind tasting judged by France’s foremost wine experts. In the end the French judges awarded a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as best in class, beating out a Burgundy and Bordeaux respectively. This victory marked a major turn in the perception of Napa Valley wine quality.

The valley floor itself is 30 miles long and 5 miles wide, this means there is extremely limited vineyard space. Cabernet Sauvignon is by far the dominant varietal planted by vintners, representing well over 60% of the grapes planted in Napa Valley. Wine production in the Napa Valley only represents 0.4% of the US wine production on a year by year basis.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the resounding favorites when it comes to wine enthusiasts across the globe. The varietal has origins in France that date back to the 1600s. A red Cabernet grape plant was accidentally bred with a Sauvignon Blanc grape plant, Cabernet Sauvignon was born from this accident, and the rest is history. Today it is the most sought after variety by Wine Collectors in all regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon Blends

Wine blends often deliver increased complexity and can be more interesting than single varietal wines. In fact, some of the world’s greatest wines are made from a blend of grapes rather than a single varietal. Blending gives the advantage and potential of adding complexity to the resulting wine and provides a tapestry of multiple flavors and aromatics. It also offers an opportunity to achieve balance– the happy ‘marriage’ of fruit, acid, tannin, alcohol, and oak that makes great wines sing in perfect harmonic splendor. They also give our winemakers the freedom to make the very best wine possible, choosing vineyard sites that best balance one another. We use a blend of fruit from some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in Napa Valley, including the Rutherford AVA, Yountville AVA, Coombsville AVA and our own Diamond Mountain District estate vineyard which surrounds the Castello. Every year our Cabernet Sauvignon blends are unique. These blends allow our winemakers a freedom to make the best wine possible. Explore our selection of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon blends below.

Il Barone   ♦   La Castellana   ♦   Sinalunga  ♦   Trenta   ♦   Cabernet NV  ♦   Quattro   ♦   Diamond Mountain   ♦   Rutherford  ♦   Grigsby   ♦   Howell

Sonoma County Pinot Noir Vineyard

Single-Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Each individual vineyard is alive with personality and nuance that show through in every vine and every grape. These single-vineyard wines best reflect the characteristics of each unique vineyard. Our grapes are grown in some of the most coveted vineyards in the Napa Valley, a collection of the finest AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) throughout the Napa Valley. Our philosophy is to make elegant, intensely flavored, and well-balanced wines that showcase the “terroir” of each unique vineyard site. In this way, we can experience the flavor and aromas of the vineyard itself. At Castello di Amorosa every one of our wines is the pure expression of its particular vineyard. No two vineyards are alike.

Butala   ♦   Morisoli-Borges   ♦   Melanson  ♦   Rapp Ranch   ♦   Manley   ♦    Don Thomas

Sinalunga, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Sinalunga is a wine epitomizing the love, passion, quality, attention to detail, and dedication that went into the making of Castello di Amorosa. Named for the small Tuscan commune near siena which inspired Dario Sattui to construct the Castello, this Exceptional, limited-production wine is symbolic of the castle itself, a crowning achievement. The idea was to create a wine that is the best thing we’ve ever done. Put as much love in the wine as we have into the Castle and as the Monastery in Sinalunga, Italy. So we decided to name the wine Sinalunga, I hope this wine will be the epitome of everything we’ve learned, of all our love and passion for winemaking. In this way I honor Sinalunga, and all my years ive spent in Italy.
Tasting Notes: Blackberry jam, licorice and chocolate
Vineyards: A blend of the Castello’s top high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the best growing regions of Napa Valley. Only the best vineyard blocks are used in Sinalunga production.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: This limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced primarily from top vineyards in the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley, an area famous for producing layered and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Rutherford AVA
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: This bold limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with filet mignon, roast duck, or venison with wild mushrooms.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 20+ years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 97 Points, Jeb Dunnuck, 2018.“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.”

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Il Barone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Il Barone is a very flavorful, elegant and structured red wine in the style of high-quality, very limited-production, fine Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the Napa Valley. Our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, and shows dense flavors of dark berries, baking spice, and powerful, structured tannins.
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate with hints of savory spices, this full-bodied wine displays polished tannins and an elegantly balanced mouthfeel.
Vineyards: Sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, selected vineyards change year to year depending on quality.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: The majority of the fruit comes from the Rutherford AVA, a region famed for producing beautifully structured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon.
Production : Limited Production
Food Pairing: Pair with foods as bold as the wine, such as roast game meats, grass-fed steak, or grilled portabello mushrooms with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 10-20 years
Highest Scores/Awards: 96 Points – Jeb Dunnuck – 2017 “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.”

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Trenta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Trenta is an artfully crafted Cabernet Sauvignon as impressive and unique as the Castello itself. This powerful blend was aged in new French oak barrels for 30 months, a year longer than any other Castello di Amorosa reserve wine. This extended aging deeply integrates the oak  to compliment the intense black fruit profile of the wine, elevating the aroma, flavor, and texture. The barrel also provides soft finishing touches which showcase the Cabernets deep flavor
Tasting Notes: 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. The additional time in the barrel provides the Cabernet with rich depth and deeper complex flavors of Caramel, Light Smoke & Hazelnut.
Vineyards: Sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, selected vineyards change year to year depending on quality.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA & Yountville AVA – 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 comes from the Rutherford AVA, a region famed for producing beautifully structured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Trenta is the only Cabernet blend that features Melanson and Don Thomas fruit, two extremely limited single vineyard wines.
Production : Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Wine that should be equally as special as the meal you pair with it, live opulently with a dry-aged well-marbled beef steak with cracked black pepper.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 10-15 years
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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La Castellana, Super Tuscan Blend, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: La Castellana is a harmonious blend that strikes a balance between power and elegance. Our “Lady of the Castle” is a Super Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese, with excellent long-term aging potential.
Tasting Notes: Dark stone fruit, spices, red cherries, and floral notes are supported by silky, polished tannins.
Vineyards: Sourced from our top vineyards throughout Napa Valley, selected vineyards change year to year depending on quality.
Featured AVA: Rutherford AVA & Yountville AVA
Production : Limited Release
Food Pairing: This elegant “Super Tuscan” wine goes well with lamb, sausage, grilled steak, Venison or a great pasta dish such as Pappardelle with wild boar (Dario’s favorite).
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 10+ years
Highest Scores/Awards: 93 Points – Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast Magazine – 2008 “Made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a splash of Sangiovese, this super Tuscan-style blend is powerful in every respect. It shows massively concentrated blackberry and crème de cassis flavors, with notes of dark chocolate and spices. The oak is rich and toasty, the tannins thick but as soft as silk, and the acidity lively enough to give all this richness a racy hit. Best enjoyed now and over the next 2–3 years for sheer Napa exuberance.”

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Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: A bold and balanced Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with Excellent now but can age well for over a decade.A touch of Petit Verdot and Malbec balance the rich dark fruit and tannins of the Cabernet, adding a vibrancy to its lush mouthfeel and lingering finish.
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate with hints of savory spice.
Vineyards: A blend of fruit from some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in Napa Valley, including our own Diamond Mountain District estate vineyard which surrounds the Castello.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Diamond Mountain AVA, Combsville AVA,
Production: General Release
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Potential to age 10+ years
Highest Scores/Awards: 2018 – 93 Points – James Suckling “A rich, layered red with ripe berry, plum and some cedar and oak. It’s medium-to full-bodied with chewy tannins and a medium austere finish. Some toast and bitterness at the end. Give it time to open. Try after 2022.”

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Quattro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from four top vineyards all co-fermented in a single tank, this powerfully-structured, limited production Napa Valley Cabernet was a result of our winemaking team’s quick thinking, and a tribute to the record 2017 harvest season.Quattro is the result of the winemaker’s instinct, quick thinking, and a little bit of luck. On October 15, 2017, after harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon from 4 of the Castello’s top vineyards, a small quantity from each was left over due to the 4 intended fermentation vessels coming full. Knowing that the fruit was all of great quality, he decided to ferment the leftovers together in a single small tank. Upon tasting the wine just as the fermentation was finishing up, we knew something special had occurred, and we proclaimed that the “Quattro” warranted a unique bottling. No blending has been done with this wine since that fateful day the grapes were plucked from the 4 distinct vineyard sites from across the Napa Valley
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, cassis, and dark chocolate with hints of savory spice.
Vineyards: Dependent on Season
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Diamond Mountain AVA, Combsville AVA, Rutherford AVA,
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to cellar 7-12+ years.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Diamond Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: A single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the volcanic soils of the hillside vineyards surrounding the Castello in the Diamond Mountain District AVA. Meant for cellaring up to 10 years.The Diamond Mountain District is one of the northern-most growing regions in Napa Valley, and is home to Castello di Amorosa. The volcanic soils and sloped landscape characteristic of the mountain limit grapevine growth leading to an especially concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting Notes: The volcanic soils of this hillside vineyard give this Cabernet Sauvignon a firm structure, with intense notes of blackcurrant, cassis and green olive. Bold yet with a supple texture and balanced tannins, this wine shows layers of ripe cherry, juicy berry flavors and cedar.
Vineyards: Villa Amorosa surrounding Castello di Amorosa, This 30 acre estate vineyard surrounds the Castello in the rolling foothills of the Diamond Mountain District. The unique, porous volcanic soils and extended sun exposure above the fog line help to produce rich and powerful Cabernet Sauvignons with chewy textures and diamond-hard tannins.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Diamond Mountain AVA
Production: General Release
Food Pairing: Food Pairing Notes Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, hearty mushroom dishes or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-15 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 94 Points, Wine Advocate, 2013 “In the Napa Valley, hillside vineyards of Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District have thinner, less fertile soils which produce smaller berries with more intense flavors, reminiscent of Bordeaux style wines that require years of aging to mature. The yields are also much lower, 1–2 tons per acre in contrast to the 4–8 tons that can be produced in the more fertile valley floors. Wines produced from mountainside vineyards tend to be characterized by deep inky colors and strong berry aromas. The best.”

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Rutherford, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: This elegant Limited-Edition 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Excellent now but can age well for over a decade. It displays traits of a classic earthy tone, a characteristic that is common among Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Rutherford region.
Tasting Notes: displays hints of black cherry, savory spices and hints of minerals. It displays traits of a classic earthy tone, a characteristic that is common among Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Rutherford region.
Vineyards: Rutherford
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Howell Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: With elevations of 1,400 to 2,200 feet, Howell Mountain Cabernets are some of the most concentrated wines in the world. The shallow volcanic soils results in struggling vines, thus resulting in small clusters of tiny grapes. The smaller grapes have a higher skin-to-juice ratio resulting in more complex tannis, adding unique flavors throughout the wine. This elegant Limited-Edition Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon displays hints of cassis, spice, black currant, and cherry flavors. Excellent now but can age well for over a decade.
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of black cherry, savory spices and hints of minerals.
Vineyards: N/A
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Howell Mountain AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10+ Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Grigsby Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: This limited-release Cabernet was grown in the Yountville AVA. This single-vineyard cab benefited from the AVA’s rocky, well-drained soils and a long growing season that allowed the fruit time to develop unique flavor characteristics. A complex and full-bodied wine with classic notes of black cherries, warm plums and ground herbs. ints of black cherry, savory spices and hints of minerals. It displays traits of a classic earthy tone, a characteristic that is common among Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Youtville region.
Tasting Notes: A complex and full-bodied wine with classic notes of black cherries, warm plums and ground herbs.
Vineyards: Grigsby Vineyard
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Combsville AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10+ Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Coombsville, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Released only in 2017. This limited-time Cabernet Sauvignon displays characterisitcs typical of the Coombsville growing region. Rich earthy notes and mineral flavors give way to a more fruit forward taste. Characterized by its soft but significant tannins, which provide superior mouthfeel. A sophisticated and layered wine filled with complex contrasts. Drink now through 2025.Classic earthy and mineral notes on display.Vineyard Notes
Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of dark fruits, earthy notes and mineral flavors
Vineyards: Wines from the Coombsville AVA can be recognized by their typically soft but significant tannins, which provide structure with underlying layers of earth and minerality. Coombsville is the first place the fog rolls in from the San Pablo Bay and the last place it leaves. This allows the grapes to have long, slow ripening period as vines bud early and grapes are usually among the last to be harvested in the Napa Valley.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Combsville AVA,
Production: Limited
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Single-Vineyard Wines

These single-vineyard wines best reflect the characteristics of each unique vineyard. Our grapes are grown in some of the most coveted vineyards in the Napa Valley, a collection of the finest AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) throughout the Napa Valley.

Butala, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Among our most limited edition wines at The Castle is our Butala Cabernet Sauvignon. Available exclusively through our Butala Club Program. This Limited Edition, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Butala Vineyard, located in the legendary Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley. An exceptional Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent long-term aging potential. This estate vineyard has a very rocky, red volcanic soils and steep hillside slopes. These wines produced a small crop of highly concentrated & structured fruit. The soft tannin structure, unique to Coombsville fruit, can be attributed to the hang-time, which is the longest of any appellation in Napa.
Tasting Notes: Highlighted by flavors of earthy chocolate, black currant & with blackberry aromas.
Vineyards: Butala Vineyard in Coombsville AVA. Located in the legendary Coombsville AVA of the Napa Valley. This estate vineyard has a very rocky, red volcanic soil inhabited by the volcanic sedimentary rock and lava flows formed by the Vaca Range on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Coombsville AVA
Production: Available by Allocation Club Only
Food Pairing: Ideal to pair with filet mignon or beef short ribs.
Cellaring: Expected to easily age 20+ years
Highest Scores/Awards: 2016 – 96 Points – Jeb Dunnuck – “Leading off with the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Butala Vineyard, which is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 7% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot, it reveals a saturated purple color as well as a beautiful bouquet of sweet crème de cassis, blueberries, exotic flowers, orange blossom, and subtle background oak. This medium to full-bodied, elegant, beautifully polished effort is perfectly balanced, has no hard edges, and offers a great finish. It falls into the pretty, elegant end of the spectrum, yet it still has fabulous intensity and length. Drink 2019 – 2039.”

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Manley Estate Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Our newest Castello Estate just had its first harvest in 2021! We are very excited to see the results it produces. So far, so good as the fruit looked amazing as it rolled through the crush pad.
Tasting Notes: Expect to see classic notes displayed in the Rutherford floor AVA.
Vineyards: Manley Estate Vineyard located in the Rutherford AVA.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA, Manley estate lies in the heart of Napa Valley just in the Rutherford Bench, home to the famed Rutherford AVA. Known for producing some of the best Cabernet in the world.
Production: N/A
Food Pairing: N/A
Cellaring: N/A
Highest Scores/Awards: N/A

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Morisoli-Borges Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: The Morisoli Family started growing grapes in western Rutherford around 1900. 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.
Tasting Notes: The silky Cabernet shows hints of blueberries, blackberry jam, cassis, and graphite. The silky Cabernet shows hints of blueberries, blackberry jam, cassis, and graphite.
Vineyards: Morisoli-Borges Vineyard located on the Rutherford Valley Floor.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA, This elegant single-vineyard Cabernet comes from the legendary Rutherford AVA in The Napa Valley.
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Pair with foods as bold as the wine, such as roast game meats, grass-fed steak, or grilled portabello mushrooms with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-20 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 2014 – 96 Points – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate “Coming from the valley floor, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli-Borges Vineyard hails from the tenderloin of the so-called bench area. It shows gorgeous fruit, loads of blueberry, blackberry and cassis notes, licorice and incense followed by an opulent, voluptuously textured, super-sexy style with oodles of glycerin, fruit and extract. This is a stunner and irresistible already. Moreover, it should age nicely for another 15 or more years.”

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Melanson Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: This limited release wine is a wonderful example of the unique terroir of Pritchard Hill, touted for its steep, well-drained sloped and rugged volcanic soils. This wine will age elegantly for the next 10-15 years.
Tasting Notes: Inky black in color, black fruit aromas and earthy notes show the intensity and character of this wine. Intense fruit is framed by a very sturdy and age worthy tannin structure. Inky black in color, velvety tannis, black fruit aromas and earthy notes show the intensity and character of this site.
Vineyards: Located in hillside vineyards near the town of St. Helena.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Vineyard rests high (1,200 ft) on the Eastern hills of the Napa Valley overlooking Saint Helena. The location, known as Pritchard Hill, is touted for its steep, well-drained slopes and rugged volcanic soils. Melanson Vineyard rests high on the eastern hills which overlooks Lake Hennessey in the Napa’s eastern mountains.
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: This bold single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with filet mignon, roast duck, or venison with wild mushrooms.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-20 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 2017 – 97 Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 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.”

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Rapp Ranch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Long established as a premier horse ranch in the rural countryside of southern Napa Valley, is located in the heart of Coombsville. The defining characteristics of Coombsville, the newest sub-appellation in the Napa Valley, are the long, cool growing seasons that reward patient winemakers with intensely concentrated and complex wines.
Tasting Notes: is inky purple in color, with an imposing structure that frames a mouthful of savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs. The tannins are silky and smooth, leading to a remarkable impression of black fruits and lingering flavors on the palate. Inky purple in color, with an imposing structure that frames a mouthful of savory spices, blackberries, and wild herbs. The tannins are silky and smooth, leading to a remarkable impression of black fruits and lingering flavors on the palate
Vineyards: Rapp Ranch located in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley. This fast growing AVA has shown classic traits of elite Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. The area displays red volcanic soil inhabited by the volcanic sedimentary rock and lava flows formed by the Vaca Range on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Coombsville AVA
Production: Extremely Limited Production
Food Pairing: Excellent to pair with steak with cocoa and coffee rub, chicken mole, or grilled meats.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 10-20 Years.
Highest Scores/Awards: 2016 – 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.”

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Don Thomas Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Cabernet Description: Don Thomas Vineyard is nested in the rolling hills that define the Western border of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. At every point throughout the life of this limited release wine, special consideration was given to showcase the unique Terroir of this exceptional vineyard.. This wine will age well, with it’s best years still ahead. The impeccable fruit from this sought-after hillside vineyard was hand crafted by Winemaker Brooks Painter into a single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon of purity and opulence.
Tasting Notes: This Don Thomas Cabernet shows exceptional character with notes of classic “Rutherford Dust”, tobacco, smoke and grilled herbs. A balanced, fruity red with mineral and berry character, plus hints of currants. Full body with silky tannins and a fresh, tangy finish. This wine shows exceptional character with notes of classic “Rutherford Dust”, tobacco, smoke and grilled herbs
Vineyards: Don Thomas is a 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.
Featured Napa Valley AVA: Rutherford AVA
Production: Most Limited Single-Vineyard Wine
Food Pairing: Pair with foods as bold as the wine, such as roast game meats, grass-fed steak, or grilled portabello mushrooms with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze.
Cellaring: Expected to Cellar 20+ Years
Highest Scores/Awards: 2016 – 96+ Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 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.”

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15th Anniversary

Bradley Aden

April 20th, 2022

Our 15th Anniversary!

Our 15th Anniversary is here! We are pleased to announce our 15th anniversary here at Castello di Amorosa. To our loyal Amici del Barone Wine members and those of you that enjoy our wines as a part of your celebrations, we offer our sincere thanks for your support throughout the years. Many of you know that Castello di Amorosa was a 30-year labor of love; a culmination of my life’s dream to build an authentically styled Tuscan castle in the Napa Valley where I could make outstanding Italian-style wine.

“I am extremely pleased with the Castello’s contributions to the world of wine and wine tourism. I set out attempting to create an extraordinary winery and today it is extremely rewarding to see so many customers enjoying the Castello and our wines,” Sattui is a committed philanthropist who has supported numerous causes in the Napa Valley and beyond—from endowing a new school and Boys & Girls Club in Calistoga, funding heart research to donating land to the Land Trust in Sonoma County.

Castello di Amorosa has been recognized as one of the most visited wineries in the world. Among its many honors, it was chosen as The Best Tasting Room in America by USA Today in 2020 and in March of this year it was identified as the most Instagrammed winery in the world, according to research by TheThinkingTraveller travel company.

Dario Sattui Standing in Front of Castle

Other accolades include being recognized as one of “Napa’s Most Beautiful Wine Tasting Rooms” by Food & Wine Magazine, as “Best Wine Tasting Room” by North Bay Bohemian, as “Best Place to take visitors” by KVON Radio, as one of the “Top 5 Romantic Spots in the Napa Valley” and as one of “Ten Most Intriguing Architectural Wineries in Napa” by Napa Valley Life Magazine, in addition to receiving several Certificates of Excellence from Trip Advisor.

The Castello suffered an enormous setback in October of 2020, when a detached building of the Castle was destroyed by the Glass Fire: Sattui and his team are bent on restoring it just the way it was. Estimated completion of the restored wing is late 2023.

Castello di Amorosa View From Upper Tower

Castello di Amorosa used materials such as antique, handmade bricks and roof tiles, hand-hewn timbers, hand-forged iron gates, lamps and hardware and medieval construction techniques and over 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled local stone to create this architectural gem. Sattui designed most of the winery himself; it is not a replica of a medieval castle but rather a uniquely conceived one-of-a-kind building. The 150,000 square-foot castle / winery consists of four floors above ground and five floors below ground. It encompasses five defensive towers with battlements, 1,000-pound hand-hewn doors from Italy, a Great Hall with a 22-foot coffered ceiling featuring hand-painted frescoes inspired by medieval Italian frescoes. The castle’s 12,000 square foot Grand Barrel Room features 40 Roman cross-vaults in its brick ceiling. All of the ironwork was hand-forged by Italian artisans over open flames on site during the construction. Over 170 containers of handmade antique bricks, roof tiles and antique furniture were brought from Italy for the building. Additional authentic features include multiple courtyards, a chapel, the drawbridge, a watch tower, a torture chamber and secret passageways.

The winery itself is a modern contrast to the Castello as a whole. It contains advanced crushing and fermentation facilities, five underground levels and 24,000 square feet of caves all for barrel aging. Winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno have a wide range of equipment available to them, ranging from custom-designed triple-jacketed cooling fermentation tanks to concrete/ceramic eggs. Read more below about the construction of the Castle.

Dario Sattui Bottle Signing

In 1993, I purchased the spectacular property upon which I built Castello di Amorosa. It sat on a hundred-seventy beautiful acres of forest and hills with a stream, a lake, one of the first houses built in Napa County and a great Victorian home where I chose to live. It was my dream property, culminating a search of many years. The purchase also came with a great building permit for a large winery building which had taken the previous owner thirteen years to obtain.

My initial intent was to build an 8,500 square-foot building without cellars. (Gradually it morphed into 121,000 square feet with 107 rooms with four separate levels underground and four levels above!) After more than 15 years of research, I was ready to build my castle in the Napa Valley.

I had accumulated a wealth of knowledge on medieval architecture, a huge library of books, photos, plans and detailed sketches. I couldn’t wait to get started. The renovation of my historic Victorian at the bottom of the hill on the same property would have to wait. I was going to build my castle first.

Celebrating Our 15 Year Anniversary

Within a short time of acquiring property on which I would build, Lars Nimskov, the naval architect from Denmark, came from Italy and we began working on plans which were submitted and approved by Napa County a year later.

Castello di Amorosa appears to be an authentic castle for one reason only: it is an authentic castle, though fancified. We either used construction methods and materials that would have been used 1,000 years ago, or we used very old hand-made materials that had survived up to modern times. A fireplace predating Christopher Columbus adorns the Great Hall, and Iron Maiden from the late Renaissance dominates the torture chamber. A wrought iron dragon from the times of Napoleon hovers over the massive main door. More than 8,000 tons of stone were chiseled, not sawed, by hand to be absolutely authentic. Nearly 200 containers of old, hand made materials were shipped from Europe to lend authenticity.

Dario Sattui Castle Construction

Finally, we were able to open on April 7, 2007. I had no idea if the project would be well-received or not. Would I be laughed at or would people respond positively? The first few days after opening gave me hope. The response to both the Castle and our wines was overwhelmingly positive.

When we opened the doors fifteen years ago, I wondered how my castle would be received, as it was so unorthodox a concept. 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.

Thanks to you, my dreams have come true. Both the Castello and the wines have received great reviews. I encourage everyone to come visit and celebrate our 15th year in business. Thank you again for your continued support. We invite you to come visit and help celebrate our 15th Anniversary in the Napa Valley.

♦ Solar Grid Installed

We invested $1.4 million in a 450-kilowatt solar power array.

♦ Disney Films The Quest

During Covid-19 The Quest was filmed on location at Castello di Amorosa.

♦ Manley Estate Vineyard Acquired

Located in the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley, we hope to get our first Manley Estate vintage in 2025.

♦ Castello Closed for 1st Time

Covid 19 & The Glass Fire forced us to close the Castello for the first time.

♦ Named Best Tasting Room in America

Voted Best Tasting Room in America by USA Today’s 10 Best.

♦ The Castle Hosts 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.

♦ We Celebrated Our 10th Anniversary

In 2017 we celebrated our 10th year in business.

♦ Highest Scoring Wine to Date

Our 2017 Melanson was scored 98 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

♦ Our Popular Butala Estate Club Established

2016 was the year we purchased Butala vineyard from Letterman star headman Tony Butala. Our estate club of the same name was established the same year.

Brooks Painter Named Winemaker of The Year

Our head winemaker Brooks Painter was named head winemaker of the year in 2014 by The American Fine Wine Competition.

♦ 1st Vintage of our Acclaimed Cabernet Sinalunga

2012 marked the first year that we made our ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon Sinalunga, inspired by the abandoned Castles from the Sinalunga countryside.

♦ Pixar Movie Brave Premier at The Castle

The event saw a total of 2,400 people attend a screening of Brave.

♦ Named Best Restroom in America

Winners of the 10th annual Best Restroom in America contest.

♦ Grape Juice Program Starts

We wanted to do something special and offer something to the non-alcohol drinkers & children that come visit Castello di Amorosa each and every year.

♦ Bachelor TV Show is Filmed

The popular television show The Bachelor was filmed at the Castle in 2008.

♦ Our Beloved Goat Giacomo Rescued

“This is dense and intense with a beautiful velvety texture and ripe fruit, but it remains fresh and clean. Full body. Textured finish. Better in 2016.”

♦ Pagan Ball & Masquerade Ball

We started two beloved events at the Castle.

♦ Bedtime Stories Movie is Filmed

“SBedtime Stories was filmed at the Castello in 2008 staring Adam Sandler.

♦ The Castello Opens

Construction is completed and we have our first paying customers.

History Part IHistory Part IIHistory Part III


Santa Barbara Vineyard

Chardonnay

Jim Sullivan

April 20th, 2022

Taste The Best of The Best: Napa’s Most Popular Chardonnays!

Chardonnay is very popular and remains one of the top white wines of all time. This fashionable varietal grows particularly well in California and is one of the most widely planted varietals in the world. The wine has great character with an inviting balance of fruit, acidity, and texture often described as creamy or buttery — some associate the taste with tropical fruit, apples, ripe figs, or sweet melon. Some of the best buttery Chardonnay is produced in California.

Long considered “the winemaker’s wine”, the style can range from crisp, lively tank-fermented wines, which see little or very little time in oak barrels, to rich, complex oak-aged wines that need several years of bottle age to fully display their uniqueness. The general trend is to produce a more restrained dry chardonnay, with less oak and less butter yet still elegant and complimentary to food, but some consumers are still in search of that sweet Chardonnay.

Winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno skillfully craft Castello di Amorosa’s chardonnays from renowned vineyard sites such as Henry Ranch, and Bien Nacido Vineyard. The 111-acre Henry Ranch Vineyard is in the Los Carneros appellation, with a small portion in the Mt. Veeder appellation of the Napa Valley. The vineyard is influenced by cool breezes from San Pablo Bay and daytime heat on the hills and valleys, making ideal growing conditions for chardonnay grapes. From this vineyard, Castello di Amorosa produces the Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay and the Napa Valley Chardonnay. Both wines reflect their Napa Valley terroir. Each are round, full-bodied with a gentle touch from the French oak wine barrels where they undergo a secondary malolactic fermentation. You will experience lush notes of baked apple, ripe pear, fall spices and toasted almond.

The Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay and La Rocca Bien Nacido Vineyard grapes are sourced in Santa Barbara County from the Santa Maria Valley appellation. The Bien Nacido terroir is a combination of Elder and Chamise shaly loams with Pleasanton sandy loam, and diverse soils of limestone, shale and uplifted marine volcanics. The Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay is a classic California-style Chardonnay with creamy aromas of baked meyer lemon, butterscotch and grilled pineapple leading to enticing flavors of baked apple and hints of toast, with bright acidity, a balanced mouthfeel and a round, opulent finish. The La Rocca Chardonnay offers refreshing aromas of tropical fruits and honeysuckle compliment this unique single vineyard Chardonnay’s bright acidity and citrus notes on the palate. Aged 10 months sur lie in a concrete fermentation egg brings about a subtle minerality and soft, lingering finish.

Our partners at Bien Nacido Vineyards, which is widely considered one of the top Chardonnay vineyards in California, work the vineyard daily, allowing the cool-climate chardonnay vineyard with something to say, to find its voice through mindful, dedicated and nearly obsessive commitment to excellence in farming.



Late Harvest

Highest Scoring Sweet Wine Ever

Bradley Aden

March 17th, 2022

For The Love of Late Harvest!

We want to take the time & celebrate our highest scoring sweet wine in Castle History, our 2019 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. Hailing from our Boonville Ranch Vineyard, this wine was awarded a 95 Point, Cellar Selection by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Please join us in congratulating our entire winemaking team, including head winemakers Brooks Painter & Peter Velleno for their hard work. Special thanks to our vineyard manager David Bejar who oversees Castello properties year-round.

95 Point – Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“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”

Late Harvest Wine Notes

Tasting Notes: A succulent and deliciously spicy white wine loaded with aroma and flavor, made in a “Noble Rot” dessert, or very sweet, style. Deep straw in color, the wine displays hints of peach, apricot and toffee with a undertone of honey.
Late Harvest Notes: 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”.
Food Pairing: Ideal with after dinner desserts of chocolate torte, crème brulee or baked fruit with an artisanal cheese selection.
Past Awards:
2013 Vintage – 92 Points “Editor’s Choice” Wine Enthusiast Jim Gordon
2014 Vintage – SF Chronicle Wine Competition Best of Class
2015 Vintage – SF Chronicle Wine Competition Best of Class
2017 Vintage – 93 pts American Fine Wine Competition
2018 Vintage – SF Chronicle Gold Medal

Boonville Ranch, Anderson Valley

This Castello Estate vineyard is located just south of the town Boonville in Anderson Valley, a coastal valley region famed for Burgundian and Alsatian varieties. This 34 acre ranch was planted in the late 1990’s with Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling. We pick Gewürztraminer after the grapes have developed a pink to reddish hue, and the aromas are effuse with rose petals, cinnamon spice and exotic lychee fruit. We handle the fruit very carefully, avoiding the bitter tannins as much as possible.

Gewürztraminer hails from the Anderson Valley, which straddles Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. The area is breathtaking and remains quite rural. As one follows the Navarro River, it is not uncommon to spot red-tail hawks, an occasional osprey, or even, if you are lucky, a Golden Eagle. The corridor to the coast (Highway 128) and the picturesque town of Mendocino, perched on a 300-foot cliff overlooking the Pacific, are being discovered and becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Cool climate-loving grapes thrive here because of the lay of the land and strong coastal influence; it has been referred to as ‘California’s Alsace.’ Castello di Amorosa’s estate vineyard lies just to the east of Boonville. Approaching the ocean, the region becomes cooler as one moves westward. West of Boonville is a great Champagne country, but the entire area is also ideal for Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

This white wine is fruity and refreshing yet provides complexity and is appropriate as an aperitif as well as an excellent partner with aggressively flavored or spicy foods like Indian and Asian cuisines with curry or ginger. In America, we often think of Gewürztraminer in the fall when we serve spicy aromatic dishes enhanced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. From our Anderson Valley estate, our winemakers concentrate on making three distinct styles of Gewürztraminer. Ranging from near dry to a sweeter desert style.



Winemaker

2022 SF Chronicle Wine Competition!

Bradley Aden

February 2nd, 2022

2022 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

2022 was a great year for our wine, as we received 9 Gold Medals at the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. We were also awarded Best of Class award for our 2019 Chardonnay Reserve. For a taste of our featured double gold medal wines, shop our Award Winning Wine Pack and experience these winning bottles for yourself!

Please join us in congratulating our entire winemaking team, including head winemakers Brooks Painter & Peter Velleno for their hard work. Special thanks to our vineyard manager David Bejar who oversees Castello properties year-round.

Awards from the 2022 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

There were over forty-eight judges, representing various North American wine regions, evaluating 5,816 wines from nearly 1,000 wineries for the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Bob Fraser, SFCWC executive director, says, “The response from the wineries of North America at our 2022 competition was outstanding. Sweepstakes awards hail from California, Washington and Georgia.

We had a number of wines win Gold and Double Gold Medals, along with a Best of Class medal for our 2020 Reserve Chardonnay. Check out the complete list of award winners:

SF Chronicle Best of Class: 2019 Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley

SF Chronicle Wine Judge Mike Dunne, longtime SFCWC wine judge and the former food editor, wine columnist, and restaurant critic noted “Castello di Amorosa 2019 Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay: Of course any Chardonnay that comes from a castle should be seen as being kingly and queenly, which this is in its golden luminescence, regal carriage, vivid citric fruit and ticklish spiciness. Castello di Amorosa is part of the same royal family that includes V. Sattui Winery, which also won best-of-class for a lighter but nonethess correct interpretation of Chardonnay.”



Cooking with Team Castello

Bradley Aden

August 17th, 2021

Cook with The Castello Team

Go inside the homes of the Castello team as they share their favorite recipes paired with their favorite Castello wines. Included in our cooking series is Owner Dario Sattui, President Georg Salzner, Tasting Room Legend Vincenzo Coppola and newly married couple Tommaso & Carly.

Dario & Irina

Owner Dario Sattui & Fiance Irina Yartseva share their favorite Pasta Recipe Pasta Alle Vongole. 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.

Pasta Alle Vongole

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President Georg Salzner

Castello di Amorosa President, Georg Salzner shares his favorite recipe Cotoletta Alla Milanese. The Schnitzel is paired with Pinot Noir from our Morning Dew Ranch estate.

Cotoletta Alla Milanese

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Tasting Room Legend Vincenzo

Watch & follow along with tasting room legend Vincenzo, as he takes you back to his Italian roots. Vincenzo welcomes you into his home as he shows off his favorite recipe. Our outstanding Rosato, is used to pair with the squid ink pasta.

Squid Ink Pasta

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Carly & Tomasso

Watch & follow along with Castello di Amorosa’s finest couple, newlyweds Carly & Tommaso. The new parents invite you into their kitchen to cook Italian style Rissoto.

Italian Style Rissoto

Click for Carly & Tommaso Wine Pack