Winemaker Peter Velleno with Trenta Caberent Sauvignon

Trenta

Bradley Aden

September 10th, 2021

Trenta Cabernet Sauvignon
Peter Velleno Winemaker

The Inspiration

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

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

Trenta Cabernet Sauvignon

30 Months in Barrels

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

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

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

French Oak Barrels Made to Use Trenta.

Wine Profile

Trenta is made from a blend of the Castello’s top high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the best growing regions of Napa Valley. The majority of the fruit is sourced from the Rutherford AVA, Coombsville AVA and Yountville AVA. All famed regions for producing beautifully structured complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Trenta is the only Cabernet blend that features Melanson and Don Thomas fruit, two extremely limited single vineyard wines.

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

Limited Production

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

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

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



Gewürztraminer Food Pairing

What Is Gewurztraminer?

Bradley Aden

July 7th, 2021
Gewürztraminer

What is Gewürztraminer?

History

Gewürztraminer is a popular white wine variety known around the world, treasured for its intense floral aromas and stunning flavor profile. The varietal originated centuries ago around Germany. Known for its lychee and pineapple notes, the wine has a low acidity and is always served cold around 43 Fahrenheit. The grape is a versatile varietal that can be used to make many different styles of wine. Sweetness levels can vary from dry to sweet. Most Gewürztraminer wine is off-dry with just a touch of sweetness.

German can be quite redundant as a language, often running several words together; to make matters more confusing, the Gewürztraminer wine is historically Italian. In Italy near the apex of the Adige Valley on the shores of Lake Balzano is an area only a few miles from the Austrian border. The land has been occupied by Austria several times. The name of this town is Tramin. Because of this cross-culturization every mountain, river, street, town or other landmark is named in Italian AND German and the denizens of this region are bilingual. To translate the name of the town is Tramin and “er” means from in German. Gewürz is German for “spice”. There you have it… “the spiced grape from Tramin:” GEWÜRZTRAMINER (guh-VURTS-trah-mee-ner)

This early-ripening grape can be found in a number of the coolest grape-growing regions in the world: Germany, Austria, Alsace and in Italy’s Trentino Alto-Adige. California’s Los Carneros region, Anderson Valley and Monterey County also produce superior Gewürztraminer. The white wine is known for its crisp, spicy attributes, intense fragrance, and deep color.

Gewürztraminer Food Pairing

Gewürztraminer Tasting Notes

Historically Gewürztraminer expresses lychee, along with ginger and pineapple. The first aroma you’ll come across in Gewürztraminer is its distinct lychee aroma. Additional flavors & aromas explored in Gewürztraminer include berries, citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, orange, and Cantaloupe. Non-fruit aromas often associated with the varietal include Rose, Honey, Ginger, Incense, Allspice, Cinnamon, and Smoke. Quality examples can age, but most are best enjoyed in their youth to preserve acidity.

Gewürztraminer Food Pairings

The best pairings happen when you step outside of traditional French cuisine and experience other foods of the world. Middle Eastern and Moroccan cuisine. Both of which utilize nuts and dried fruits with roasted meats.
This wine’s wonderful, spicy finish makes it a great match for Thai or Indian cuisine, spicy seafood dishes, well-seasoned dishes or aged and smoked meat. Popular late harvest Gewurtztraminer is ideal with after-dinner desserts of chocolate torte, crème Brulee, or baked fruit with an artisanal cheese selection.

Gewürztraminer Late Harvest

Best Regions for Growing Gewürztraminer

Hailing from the Alsace, located on the border between Germany and France. Gewürztraminer is one of the four grapes varietals found in the Alsace Grand Cru AOC, along with Riesling, Muscat, and Pinot Gris. Gewürztraminer from this appellation is often considered the best, called Vendange Tardive or “late harvest.” It performs best on the heavier, clay soils of Alsace’s Haut-Rhin department, and can quite easily attain the sort of ripeness needed for expensive late harvest bottling. These wines are usually made in a sweeter style and are more suitable for dessert wines, though they bring out complex nutty and spicy flavors.

Austria has almost as much Traminer planted as Germany, with the most successful examples coming mainly from Styria in the far southeast. Alsacian Gewürztraminer accounts for one-quarter of Gewürztraminer grown around the world. It is planted all over eastern and central Europe, called variously Mala Dinka (Bulgaria), Rusa (Romania), Traminac (Slovenia) and Tramini (Hungary, particularly on the rich soils round Lake Balaton).
California’s Los Carneros region, Anderson Valley and Monterey County also produce superior Gewürztraminer. 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.’

Wines Similar to Gewürztraminer

While Gewürztraminer wine has many similarities to Moscato it also has higher alcohol, more striking aromatics and lower acidity. Other similar wines include, Riesling, Torrontes, Loureiro and Malvasia Bianca.

Award Winning Gewürztraminer

Castello di Amorosa Gewürztraminer

Castello di Amorosa 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.

Gewürztraminer (dry)

Like its Austrian and Italian predecessors, our classically styled Gewürztraminer is virtually dry, typically bottled at approximately 7.3 g /L of residual sugar (less than 1%). On the nose it shows floral and spice notes and a palate displaying exotic savory spices and of course, Gewürztraminer’s trademark lychee notes.
Past Awards: 2019 – 90 points Wine Enthusiast | 2017, 2016 & 2014 Best of Class – SF Wine Competition | 2015 SF Chronicle Wine Competition Best White Wine |

Gewürztraminer ‘Dolcino’

Dolce translates to sweet but dolcino means just a little sweet and this is the perfect descriptor for this wine. Usually carrying residual sugar under 40 g/L (4%), this wine is a crowd pleaser for the dry wine lover yet has enough characteristic sweetness to please those with a bent to the sweeties.
Past Awards: 2019 – 90 points Wine Enthusiast | 2016 Double Gold Medal SF Chronicle

Gewürztraminer Late Harvest

Typically harvested at nearly 32 Brix or more with residual sugar levels close to 13%, this succulent dessert wine is a perennial favorite. Sourced from our vineyard in Anderson Valley and made with grapes affected by botrytis cinerea or ‘Noble rot.’
(See Bordeaux/Sauternes).
Past Awards: 2013 – 92 Points “Editor’s Choice” Wine Enthusiast Jim Gordon | 2014 SF Chronicle Wine Competition Best of Class



Honey Bee Harvest

Honey Harvest at The Castle

Carla Venezia

January 6th, 2020

Honey Harvest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shop Honey


Kincade Fire Update From Dario Sattui

Dario Sattui

November 4th, 2019

Kincade Fire Update From Dario Sattui

Greetings from Castello di Amorosa,

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

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

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

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

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

So here is the good news:

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

I hope to see you crossing the drawbridge very soon.

Cheers!

Dario Sattui



Best Tasting Room

Castello di Amorosa named Best Tasting Room in America

Bradley Aden

September 24th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Castello di Amorosa


Seahawks at the Castle

Seattle Seahawks at the Castle

Bradley Aden

September 21st, 2019

Seattle Seahawks at the Castle!

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



Festival

Festival Napa Valley at Castello di Amorosa

Bradley Aden

September 20th, 2019

Festival Napa Valley

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



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

castelloamor

January 14th, 2019

Fantastic awards from the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

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

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

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

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

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

About the 2017 Reserve Chardonnay

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

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

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

All awards from the 2019 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

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

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



A Spooktacular Night at the Pagan Ball

castelloamor

October 30th, 2018

A Spooktacular Night at the Pagan Ball

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

View Album

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

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

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

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

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

Wine Club Events


Night Harvest at the Castello

castelloamor

October 2nd, 2018

Night Harvest at the Castello

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

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

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

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