Wax Bottle Seal

Bradley Aden

September 24th, 2020

Wax Seal Logo

Wax Wine Bottle Seal

A wax sealed bottle is a beautiful addition to your wine rack, but can be intimidating when it comes time to open it. This is easier than you may think! Simply plunge your corkscrew through the wax, as if it were not even there. Lift the cork slightly and wipe any wax crumbles from the opening. Pull the cork the rest of the way out and enjoy!

How To Properly Open A Wax-Sealed Bottle of Wine

Why Dip Our Bottles?

Wax provides a secure seal and barrier, far superior to a regular bottle wrap. Wax wine bottle seals also help customers distinguish between our regular wines and our reserve wines.

What Bottles Get Dipped?

We dip all our reserve wines in wax. This includes all single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon as well as our signature Cabernet, Il Barone. We also dip our single-vineyard Pinot Noir’s and our Super Tuscan Blend, La Castellana. We do dip wines other than reds such as Rosato, Il Passito, and Reserve Chardonnay.



Rutherford Vineyard AVA

Manley Vineyards

Bradley Aden

September 9th, 2020

Rutherford Vineyard AVA

Manley Vineyards in Rutherford – The Newest Castello Addition

On the corner of Manley Lane & Highway 29 in Rutherford is Castello’s newest estate vineyard located in the Rutherford AVA. Home of unique terrior and home to some of the Napa Valley’s most historic and world-reknown wines. Manley Vineyards is part of the Rutherford AVA and is known for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon wine. The vineyard gives us a chance to continue our tradition of producing fine Napa Valley Cabernet’s.

The Manley Lane estate vineyard is 3 acres and is entirely Cabernet Sauvignon. Two acres were planted in 2000, the remaining acre was added in 2009. The human touch with this vineyard starts with David Bejar, who lovingly cares for the vines throughout the year.

Manley Estate Vineyards – Rutherford AVA

The Rutherford AVA is an American Viticulatural Area located within Napa Valley AVA and centered on the town of Rutherford, California. The area is known for it’s unique terroir particularly with it’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The well-drained soil of this area is composition of gravel, loam and sand with volcanic deposits and marine sediments from the Franciscan Assemblage. The appellation accounts for only 6,650 acres.

Rutherford is an appellation within the appellation, which has a diversity of soils, exposure, and orientation that is as complex as Napa Valley. The alluvial soil fans that deliver into Rutherford from the east and west. What most people don’t understand about Rutherford dust is that it represents a later ripening site in the heart of the valley, which slows the ripening down to add finesse and complexity to the wines. Historical records show that a portion of the vineyard was actually planted in 1895 by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford herself

Rutherford Dust

“The Rutherford Dust”

The legend of Rutherford dust starts with the regions superior soil makeup. The lighter dirt on the valley floor helped differentiate it from the other Napa Valley AVA’s. Thus giving the region the term “Rutherford Dust”, now the name is used around the world by winedrinkers alike. In Rutherford, the deeper soils and microclimates create longer growing seasons and ‘hang time’ that seem to round out the tannins in a soft, dusty style. The lighter soil dust gives the Rutherford region a special flavor profile that differentiates it from other Napa Valley regions. This gives wines from the area a powdery ‘fine dusty tannin’ effect with hints of plump cocoa powder.

Manley Lane Vineyard in The Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley

Cabernet Country

Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter noted “The quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the Manley Lane Vineyard is astounding. It is deep, rich and full of intense flavors that can only come from valley floor Cabernet. We can’t wait to share the wine made from this vineyard in the very near future. Cheers to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!”

Rutherford Dust Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford Cabernet


Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey Visits The Castle

Jim Sullivan

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

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

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

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

July 6th, 2020

Gordon Ramsay Visits The Castle

If you have ever watched Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen TV Show, you know that things can get out of hand quickly. That is exactly what happened when Gordon Ramsay and and his pals, Gino and Fred visited the Castle. They filmed Gordon, Gino & Fred: American Road Trip, Summer of Love.

Gordon Ramsey

Watch as Gordon, his Italian celebrity chef friend Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix, a french maitre d’hotel, best known for appearing on Channel 4’s first dates and BBC Two Million Pound Menu, set out to find the Castle and taste the wines with their host and owner of Castello di Amorosa, Dario Sattui. While the entire episode is entertaining, you can skip ahead to 28:00 to see Castello di Amorosa.



Best California Chardonnay

The Fifty Best - California Chardonnay

Jim Sullivan

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

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

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

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

June 24th, 2020

Best California Chardonnay

From the Napa Valley to New York. Castello di Amorosa’s Reserve Chardonnay won a gold medal in the Fifty Best professional wine tasting in New York. Twenty-three premium wine contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best California Chardonnay” awards for 2020.

Using professional criteria, the pre-qualified panel of judges blind-tasted the chardonnays and rated them individually on a 1 to 5-point scoring system with 5 being the highest. After tallying the scores, “Best California Chardonnay” medals were awarded based on the judges’ impressions.

Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape variety, globally. The grape originated in a small village of Chardonnay in France and is now grown throughout the world. Castello’s Reserve Chardonnay is grown in the cool-climate Los Carneros AVA of the Napa Valley.

The wine judges had the following observation of our award-winning Reserve Chardonnay:

Following fermentation, this 100% Chardonnay was aged in 100% new Burgundian French oak barrels for 12 months prior to bottling. Aroma: Green apple, rambutan, lemon peel, minerality, subtle malo, slight oak, buttery. Palate: Bountiful lemon, lemon peel, apple, pear, melon, mango, peach, great tropical fruit, floral, cedar box, balanced oak, buttery, buttered popcorn, creamy, vanilla, smooth, crisp, classic California chardonnay. Finish: Ripe lemon, lime, mango, papaya, oak, vanilla, creamy, soft, balanced.

The complete results, along with tasting notes of the best chardonnays in California, can be viewed here:

https://www.thefiftybest.com/wine/best_california_chardonnay/

TheFiftyBest.com is a digital guide to wines & spirits, featuring rated listings resulting from proprietary blind tastings as judged by wine/spirits journalists, sommeliers, wine/spirit retailers, mixologists, wine consultants and connoisseurs. The Fifty Best achieves the highest standards of spirits evaluations by adhering to strict tasting rules and rigorous methodology.



Celebrity Guests of The Castle

Celebrities of The Castle in Napa Valley

You Never Know Who You Might See at Castello di Amorosa, especially with frequent visits from celebrities in Napa. Check out some of our well-known visitors who have been through the halls of The Castello. We have had Governors, professional athletes, actors, and many more through the gates.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The former Mr. Universe and Governor of California visited Castello back in 2016. He was a personal guest of Dario Sattui, he was given personal private tour by Dario.

Robert Redford

The retired Actor & Director has been a longtime resident of the Napa Valley. Mr. Redford visited Castello di Amorosa when he performed at the annual Festival Napa Valley in July of 2018.

Francis Ford Coppola

One of the greatest directors in the history of Cinema, is also a fellow vintner and longtime friend of Creator Dario Sattui. The director of Godfather, has been to the Castello on many occasions. Here, he is pictured at our Pagan Ball spectacular with his wife Eleanor.

Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsay

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was the most recent celebrity visitor of Castello di Amorosa. Gordon filmed American Road Trip which can be seen here. He visited in 2019 during the week of our Harvest Celebration.

Adam Sandler

One of the first celebrity visitors of the Castello. Adam Sandler was the star of the Disney movie Bedtime Stories which was filmed at Castello di Amorosa in 2008.

C.C. Sabathia & E-40

The Vallejo native & Hall-of-Fame New York Yankee pitcher C.C. Sabathia had a private event at the Castello in 2018. Among his guests was fellow Vallejo native, rapper E-40.

The Kardashians

The Kardashians had the “#bestday” at Castello di Amorosa in March 2016. The ladies took a private tour of the Castle, while filming part of an episode for Keeping up with The Kardashians. All three ended up wearing crowns.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani served as the 107th Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001. He came to the Castello in 2010 with his wife and enjoyed a private food & wine tour in the Royal Apartment with sommelier Mary Davidek. He also served as attorney to President Donald Trump.

Fergie

Fergie attended a benefit and even performed at Castello di Amorosa. She originally achieved chart success as part of the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas.

Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti

Here’s a memory from back in 2010. That’s Mario Andretti with Castello President, Georg Salzner Great visit with one of the best race car drivers ever!

Bon Jovi

In 1986, the New Jersey native broke onto the scene selling more than 20 million records. Bon Jovi attended a benefit concert at Castello di Amorosa back in 2014.



Best of Show Gewurztraminer

2020 American Fine Wine Competition!

Bradley Aden

February 14th, 2020

2020 American Fine Wine Competition

We received 9 gold medals at The American Wine Competition. We were the only winery to receive 2 Best of Class Wines. AFWC is “Invitation-only” and includes only wines that received an invitation. The panel of 32 judges include a somm, a wine-trained chef, a wine writer, and an educator, with no producers or distributors to avoid biases. Judges in the AFWC circulate to encourage positive, consistent and careful evaluations.

Best of Show: 2018 Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley

Winemaker Brooks Painter noted “The grapes for this wine were grown in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. We pick 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 as much as possible some of the more bitter tannins found in the skins. It is cold fermented in stainless steel and bottled in the spring. Gewürztraminer is a grape I am familiar with, as it was one of the first white grapes I made into wine when I started in the wine business 38 years ago. It is delightful with strong cheeses, spicy Asian dishes and sauced white meats.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello, recommends pairing spicy dishes such as Thai or Indian cuisine with Gewurztraminer, to complement the sweet & spicy elements of the wine.

Best of Class: 2014 Il Barone, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate scored the 2014, 94 Points. Parker Noted “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Barone is also impressively endowed with plenty of crème de cassis, blueberry, blackberry fruit, a dense purple color, full-bodied mouthfeel, sweet tannin and a long finish. The wine has more fruit and less minerality than the Butala Vineyard and doesn’t quite show the graphite character, but it is a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 15-20 years. Drink 2016 – 2036.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello, recommends grilled red meats, wild game, and flavorful cheeses to compliment the excellent 2014 vintage.

All awards from the 2020 American Fine Wine Competition

Castello di Amorosa also received a number of Gold and Double Gold Medals, along with two Best of Class medals for our 2015 Il Barone, Cabernet Sauvignon & 2018 Dry Gewürztraminer. We also received Best of Show White Wine Winner in 2018 Dry Gewürztraminer. Check out the complete list of award winners:

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



2020 SF Chronicle Wine Competition!

Julie Ann Kodmur

January 16th, 2020

2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

There’s a gold rush happening! We received eight gold medals at The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. These are terrific results, considering there was a field of 6,700 entries!

Please join us in congratulating winemakers Brooks Painter and Peter Velleno and vineyard manager David Bejar for their hard work.

We will be pouring these wines at the Chronicle’s Tasting at Ft. Mason Center in San Francisco on February 15 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Come find us there! Tickets can be purchased at https://winejudging.com/public-tasting/.

Best of Class: 2018 Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley

Acclaimed wine critic, Mike Dunne offered this tasting note of this wine: “For the third straight year, Castello di Amorosa dominated this class of Gewurztraminer with a release out of the Anderson Valley. If the 2018 talked up the varietal with any more rose petals in aroma, grapefruit, lychee and peach in flavor and spice in the finish it would likely break the seam of the bottle.”

Winemaker Brooks Painter noted “The grapes for this wine were grown in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. We pick 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 as much as possible some of the more bitter tannins found in the skins. It is cold fermented in stainless steel and bottled in the spring. Gewürztraminer is a grape I am familiar with, as it was one of the first white grapes I made into wine when I started in the wine business 38 years ago. It is delightful with strong cheeses, spicy Asian dishes and sauced white meats.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello, recommends pairing spicy dishes such as Thai or Indian cuisine with Gewurztraminer, to complement the sweet & spicy elements of the wine.

All awards from the 2020 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

Castello di Amorosa also received a number of Gold and Double Gold Medals, along with a fifth consecutive Best of Class medal for our 2018 Dry Gewürztraminer. Check out the complete list of award winners:

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



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

Castello di Amorosa

January 14th, 2019

Fantastic awards from the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

We are thrilled to announce that our 2017 Reserve Chardonnay was named the White Sweepstakes Winner in this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which is the largest competition of wines from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Over 64 professional wine judges evaluated over 6,800 wines from 1,132 wineries, and our Reserve Chardonnay was one of 9 wines which were awarded sweepstakes medals. To achieve this distinction, our Chardonnay had to win in its price category, then win against all other Chardonnays across all price points (which comprised over 60% of the 2,500 white wines in the competition), and finally triumph in the field of all other winning white wine contenders.

Bob Fraser, Executive Director of the competition, elaborated on this achievement, stating “along with the Red Sweepstakes, the White Sweepstakes is very difficult to attain for a winery because it is competing against over 2,500 other outstanding white wines from a multitude of viticultural areas in North America. What is even more remarkable is that this marks the fourth time Castello di Amorosa has won the coveted San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Sweepstakes award. In the past the winery won the White Sweepstakes in 2017 for its 2015 Anderson Valley Gewürztraminer and won in consecutive years (2012-2013) for its Dessert Sweepstakes Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. This illustrates a pursuit of excellence for the winemaking team at Castello di Amorosa.”

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

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

About the 2017 Reserve Chardonnay

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

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

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

All awards from the 2019 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

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

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



The Quick Chill

Castello di Amorosa

August 15th, 2017

The Quick Chill: How to Quickly Chill Wine to Serve

One of the most frequently asked questions we get in our tasting room is how to age, store, and serve our wines, which can vary greatly depending on the type of wine being talked about (for a handy reference, check out our Ageability and Cellaring Chart to see just how to store and serve your favorite bottles of Castello wines). But if you’re looking for the fastest way to chill your favorite wine bottle tonight and need a quick tip on the best temp to serve it, look no further! We’ve got a few wine serving secrets that will teach you how to quickly, and properly, chill a wine bottle before serving to get the most out of every drop…

First and foremost, “Room Temperature” is normally not the correct temperature to serve your red wines! If the room your wine has been stored in is on the warmer side (above 65° F), your wine will be too warm and those beautiful fruit flavors will be masked by a stronger presence of alcohol. Conversely, your white wine stored in your refrigerator will most likely be too cold if you pop the cork right after you take it out, again masking the fruity or floral notes and structure with simply a refreshing temperature (think about that ice cold bottle of Pinot Grigio you consumed much faster than anticipated).

Here’s a good rule of thumb for how to quickly chill wines before serving when you don’t have access to a wine fridge:

♦ Red Wines: if your red wine is at room temperature and your room is warm, pop the bottle in the fridge for 15 minutes. This allows the temperature of the wine to drop just enough to reveal the beautiful layers within the bottle. For lighter bodied reds (especially Pinot Noir), it’s best to err on the cooler side, as the flavors and aromas of these wines tend to be more delicate and benefit from a slightly cooler temperature.

♦ White Wines: if your white wine is coming straight from your fridge, let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, bringing the temperature up just slightly so you can enjoy all of the wonderful fruits and flavors in your glass. If you’re in need of a super quick chill and forgot to put that wine bottle in the fridge in the first place, don’t panic! Wrap a wet paper towel around your room temp bottle and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes and it will be the perfect serving temp before you know it! Just be sure to set a timer so you don’t forget about it!

Most red wines should be served between 60-65° F. Most white, rosé, and sweet wines should be served between 47-52° F. The Quick Chill is an easy trick that should help to make sure you get the most enjoyment from every sip!

Salute!



TGI Frittata

Mary Davidek

August 28th, 2015

TGI Frittata: How to Make a Frittata (Italian-Style Omelet)

I was raised in a large and lively household. With 2 parents, 4 of us kids along with 1 grandparent, my mother was faced with the daunting challenge every week to procure economical yet delicious ways to feed our sometimes demanding and always hungry mob. Schedules were constantly changing, I had piano lessons and swimming, and my brothers balanced after-school jobs and sports. In the summer, Dad often worked late. This meant not only did food have to be delicious and economical, but had to be just as good and easily re-heated to accommodate our unpredictable schedules.

Sunday night pasta was a regular on our menu. Essentially leftover tidbits from the week slow-cooked in a rich tomato sauce and served over pasta, a good way to start a busy week. Soups were another yummy option and minestrone often filled the pot. Basic minestrone was a smart use of left-over roast beef with an assortment of veggies and pasta. Frittata was a popular catch-all in our house and seemed to be a Friday night staple. The saying became TGIFrittata!

Frittata is a flat Italian-style omelet that’s usually prepared in a cast-iron skillet. A Frittata can be made with an assortment of ingredients; mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini. For a heartier main course preparation, ground sausage, bacon or potatoes can be included. To make a frittata, beaten eggs are cooked briefly in a hot skillet along with other ingredients like onions, spinach, bacon, and/or potatoes, and then topped with cheese and finished in the oven.

The Castello provided the bounty for this frittata. The royal chickens supplied the organic free-range eggs. From the castle garden; zucchini, red and yellow pepper, and serrano chili peppers.

The kick of spice made the wine selection for this brunch easy—Gioia, a dry and fruity rosé of Sangiovese.

When cooked in a round skillet, frittata is traditionally sliced into wedge-shaped portions for serving. And re-heated…it was just as yummy as it was just out of the oven.

Frittata

♦ In a medium-sized bowl, using a fork, blend 4 – 6 eggs, grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt.

♦ Heat a 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium-high heat.

♦ Add butter to the pan and melt. Add frittata contents. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir with a rubber spatula.

♦ Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.

♦ Sprinkle with parsley and additional grated parm.

♦ Place pan into the oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy.

Mary Davidek C. S., S.W.