The Freshest Olive Oil in Napa Valley

Bradley Aden

February 13th, 2020

Olio Nuovo – Our Freshest Olive Oil

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

Made exclusively from olives harvested at our own Morning Dew Ranch estate property in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. These mature olive trees grow on a small patch of sloped hillside adjacent to some of the Castello’s most prized Pinot Noir vines. Under the watchful eyes and with the help of both our Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, the harvest was done by hand on a single foggy morning, by the same dedicated team that cares for our grapevines on the secluded and serene ranch. Check out our video below!


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

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

– Castello President Georg Salzner

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River Otters In Wine Country

Carla Venezia

January 15th, 2020

River Otters in Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wine Country River Otters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more on otters please visit here.

www.riverotterecology.org



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.



Sustainable Tree

Our First Cork Tree At The Castello

castelloamor

April 6th, 2018

Our First Cork Tree at the Castello

This January, Castello President Georg Salzner and Winemaker Peter Velleno planted our first cork tree. Native to southwestern Europe, the Quercus suber cork oak tree can grow up to 100 feet tall, and is sure to thrive in the Mediterranean climate we enjoy here in Napa Valley. Wine Corks are made from the bark of the cork tree, which needs to be stripped and peeled off by hand. Cork trees are typically harvested every seven years, and are a renewable resource since the tree is not cut down and only the outer layer of bark is removed. It takes a cork tree 25 years to reach maturity before its bark can be harvested, and we are looking forward to our first Castello cork harvest in 2042!



Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights

Join us for this famously hot evening of great wine paired with Cuban food, music and cigars.

  • Kick off the evening with a barrel tasting of Future wines along with Cuban bites.
  • Tempt your tastebuds with a buffet of authentic Cuban dishes.
  • Dance the night away under the stars to the hot Cuban beats of a Cuban Band.
  • Relax in our Cigar Lounge & enjoy hand-rolled cigars or bring your own.
  • Dress up for the night – your best Havana-inspired party attire is encouraged!
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth in the Dessert Lounge on the Terrace offering a Churro Bar and Cuban coffee.
  • Complimentary shuttles to & from select Calistoga hotels will be provided.
  • Click here for full Hot Havana shuttle schedule.

Friday, July 29, 2022
6:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M.

MEMBERS: $190/Wine Club Members

GUESTS: $215/Guests

Event Sold Out

Wine Club – (707) 967-6274

*Our menus are pre-set and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies upon advance request*

*If your party is larger than 8, please call Wine Club to confirm available seating options*

Sold Out

Signup For Our Waiting List

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2018 Event Photos


Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration & Stomp

Harvest Celebration & Stomp (Back in 2022)

Let’s celebrate Harvest Season at the Castello! Come and ‘sink your toes in some grapes’ on the Crush Pad and sip some vino under the Harvest sky.

  • Join in on the Grape Stomp Competition or cheer for your team as they compete to produce the most juice!
  • See the harvest and winemaking demonstrations provided by our Winemaking Team
  • Enjoy a rustic Wine Country dinner buffet paired with the Castello wines
  • Dance the night away to the rockin’ sounds of a live band

Friday September 16, 2022
6:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

$115/Wine Club Member, $135/Guest
(+$30 if participating in Stomp Competition)

Reservations required. 

For more information contact Wine Club at 707-967-6274.

*Our menus are pre-set and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies upon advance request*

MEMBER TICKETSGUEST TICKETSUPGRADE - STOMP TICKETS
Past Event Photos

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The Pagan Ball

Pagan Ball Event

The Pagan Ball (Cancelled)

Kick off your Halloween weekend at the biggest and best party in the Napa Valley – our 12th annual Pagan Ball; a traditional Halloween costume party with lots of tricks and treats! Named one of the north bay’s best events by North Bay Bohemian.

• Sink your fangs into gourmet bites paired with our delectable wines
• Dance to the bone-shaking beats of DJ Danny Del in the Great Hall
• Peer into your future with mystical fortune tellers
• Try your luck at the Zombie Casino
• Enjoy our spooky cigar bar and frightful photo booths
• Complimentary shuttles to select Calistoga Hotels

Early Entry “RIP Reception” Offering:
• Delight in a exclusive wine reception with small food bites in the Tasting Room
• Explore our haunted cellars, have your fortune read and take your photos before everyone else arrives!

RIP Early Entry at 7:00pm
General Admission Entry at 8:00pm
Event ends at Midnight

Friday, October 28, 2022

8:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M.

$175 /Wine Club Member, $205/Guest*

(+$30 for RIP Early Entry)

Reservations Required. Call Wine Club at 707-967-6274 for more information.

*Our menus are pre-set and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies upon advance request*

MEMBER TICKETSGUEST TICKETS
2018 Event Photos

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Storm The Castle—July 14th Is Bastille Day!

Mary Davidek

July 13th, 2014

Storm The Castle—July 14th Is Bastille Day!

Most national days are in celebration of exactly what you would expect a ‘national’ day to celebrate. For example the national day of the United States, the 4th of July, marks the signing of a declaration of independence from a colonial power. Some countries mark the day the colonial power actually left their occupation for such freedom celebrations. Other countries like Germany and Italy celebrate unification and others like quirky Austria celebrate its declaration of neutrality. A handful of countries such as the United Kingdom and Denmark have no national holiday to celebrate. However, few countries can top France for the utter cool factor of its national day which commemorates the day an angry mob stormed a prison.

Angry mob storms the Bastille!

In France July 14, commonly referred to as la fête nationale, became an official holiday in 1880. From the beginning, speeches, parades, and fireworks, along with public revelry, were part of the celebration.  Likewise, Francophiles throughout the world have taken up the observance of Bastille Day, celebrating with dinners of French cuisine, concerts of French music and enjoying all festivities with French wine.

Regardless of your origin, your nationality… your roots– It’s Bastille Day! Celebrate the onset of the French revolution in the spirit of equality and liberty. In honor of this day, I have put aside my affinity for all things Italian and opened a couple of bottles of vin du France.

Okay, so maybe a hamburger is as American as it gets but the fries—definitely French!

 

Castello di Amorosa– encircled by lovely vines and waiting to be stormed!



Pinot Noir— The Art of Getting There

Mary Davidek

June 16th, 2014

Pinot Noir— The Art of Getting There

“There is no ‘there’ there”. Gertrude Stein’s often quoted prose is commonly used to describe something that lacks soul, culture, life, or identity. While Ms. Stein was referring to the faceless existence of city-life, some critics have proclaimed this lament when speaking of grapes grown in and the wine making efforts of America.

The French speak of ‘terroir’ when referring to winemaking and the wines of France which is to say grapes are a reflection of the region in which they are grown; the soil, the climate, the aspect of a hillside, the amount of rain, the surrounding vegetation, etc. The United States’ AVA system has been criticized as nothing more than a weak effort to create a false sense of place in the wines produced — an illusion– as they state, there is nothing ‘there’.

*le sigh*

I decided to look beyond Cabernet Sauvignon, the reigning king of grapes for my initial attempt at disproving this theory and thus directed my attention to a varietal that, in my humble opinion, is ‘place’ personified. Pinot Noir, the thin skinned red wine grape of the Burgundy region of France has become increasingly popular with wine-buying wine-drinking Americans. It is a classic, elegant, food friendly wine—its enigmatic character and appeal as elusive as it is obvious.

Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world but they flourish in cooler growing regions. In Oregon, the Willamette Valley is nearly the same latitude as the famed Burgundy region of France and has become synonymous with world class Pinot Noir. Oregon producers have found their sense of place as the Pinot fruit embodies the sophistication and finesse of a great Burgundy yet displays layered earth and bright red fruit summoning unrestrained California productions.

The rolling green hills of temperate Willamette Valley provide the perfect place for cool-climate loving Pinot Noir

California Pinot Noir is more mercurial stylistically without any one style from this large and geographically diverse growing area. From Santa Barbara and the Central Coast to the south and Sonoma County and Anderson Valley in the northern half of the state, diverse topography and weather patterns separate this region of more than 450 miles. From Santa Barbara and the Central Coast we find opulent wines with definitive Pinot Noir fruit that reflects its warmer and more southern roots with a controlled strength. Cooled by the San Pablo Bay, the Carneros region straddles both Napa and Sonoma Valley and shows hints of spice and brightness unique to these cooler vineyard sites of this sun-drenched area. North of Carneros we find the Sonoma Coast where Pinot shows depth and earthy complexity with some of California’s most acclaimed Pinot Noir producers firmly planted in this lush pacific expanse. Further north of Sonoma we find California’s newest Burgundy-like super star in the highly praised and sought after Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. Here the ocean cooled valley floor rarely sees summer temps above 85 degrees….even in the height of the season. Pacific marine influence floods the valley floor with morning coastal fog providing slow even ripening. Enthusiasts agree this temperate region yields fruit of subtle distinction.

A Pinot Noir trio from Castello di Amorosa; Los Carneros, Anderson Valley and the highly acclaimed King Ridge of Sonoma Coast. Each with expressive fruit and character from unique vineyard locations.

As far as American winemaking efforts, maybe we have not come up with anything quite as mysterious as ‘terroir’ to encapsulate the distinctive place of our wines….maybe we never will. But, as the saying goes, sometimes the best part of the journey is getting there.

 

Dungeness Crabcakes with Rainier Cherry Pinot Noir Reduction

For the reduction-

  • 10-15 ripe cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 10 ounces Pinot Noir
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • Pink peppercorn to taste

Add all ingredients to sauce pan. Slowly reduce over medium heat.

Mary Davidek C. S., S.W.



The Perfect Blend

Mary Davidek

May 29th, 2014

The Perfect Blend

We are getting ready for a wedding in our family, my step-daughter is getting married in September. Last week my husband and I had a pre-nuptial trip to Boise, Idaho for talks of wedding plans. This was all to be considered and discussed at a dinner which included my husband’s first wife along with the future parents-in- law, yikes! Decisions had to be made on apparel, cakes, invitations, shoes, music, relatives and ever-growing extended families. The evening was an interesting and diverse mix of people with varied relationships and ages spanning from 25 to 65. There were enough backgrounds and life events to fill a night’s conversations with entertaining and thought-provoking stories. No topic was out of bounds or taboo as we covered everything from the best way to ripen avocados to current affairs to wedding invitations. It was a great evening of fun, laughter and growth. As we were tidying up my step-daughter said to me, “wow, tonight was certainly an interesting blend”.

Which, of course, made me think about wine. Totally understandable as the evening had consisted of at least 4 different bottles of vino and they were– blends. While some varietals like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay are best as a single varietal because blending can overwhelm the unique characteristics of thin-skinned grapes, many varietals suffer from this imposed solitary confinement. Wine blends often deliver increased complexity and are 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.

Some of the most prestigious wines in the world are blends. Bordeaux wines from the left bank of the Gironde River in France are typically blends of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. When blending Bordeaux varietals in the U.S. they are known as Meritage blends.The pronunciation is often subject of debate but the correct usage rhymes with heritage.

Sassicaia is approximately 15% Cabernet Franc blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to create one of the most sought after and priciest Super Tuscan wines made.

Robert Parker of Wine Advocate described Castello di Amorosa ‘s Super Tuscan blend, La Castellana  as “Full-bodied, lush and seductive”. La Castellana marries Sangiovese and Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon to create this blended masterpiece.

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 and not-so-great wines seem full of wrong notes and missed opportunities.

People and grapes, we’re not so different.

Learn more about our Super Tuscan Blend here.