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.”



Napa Valley Award Winning Wine

2021 Wine Competitions!

Bradley Aden

August 10th, 2021

2021 Wine Competitions

2021 was a great year for our wine, as we received 15 Gold Medals between the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition & The American Fine Wine Competition. We were also awarded 3 Best of Class awards between the two competitions. For a taste of our featured double gold medal wines, shop our 2021 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 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

The 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition invited 50 judges representing winemaking, wine education, trade, hospitality, culinary, media, and other wine/food sectors to judge over 5,700 wines from over 1,000 North American wineries in early March, 2021. Over the past two decades, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC) has grown to become one of the world’s most respected and highly publicized wine competitions.

We had a number of wines win Gold and Double Gold Medals, along with two Best of Class medals for our 2017 Spumante, Rosé & our 2018 Pinot Noir, Terra de Promissio. Check out the complete list of award winners:

SF Chronicle Best of Class: 2017 Spumante Rosé

Winemaker Brooks Painter noted “Spumante del Castello is a classic Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine, is sure to elevate any occasion to something truly memorable. This elegant Brut Rosé boasts a light shade of coral pink, with refreshing flavors of raspberry, citrus, and melon. It will be sure to impress at your next celebration!”

SF Chronicle Best of Class: 2018 Pinot Noir, Terra de Promissio

Winemaker Brooks Painter noted “An elegant and refined single vineyard Pinot Noir from the famed Petaluma Gap region of Sonoma County, revealing an expressive bouquet of cherry and spiced Christmas berries with subtle hints of cola and black tea. A sleek Pinot Noir boasting both lush texture and vibrant acidity.”

Mary Davidek, who runs our highly acclaimed Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour at the Castello notes that “Terra de Promissio is evocative of the best of Sonoma fruit with the finesse of Willamette Valley and the classic earthiness of Burgundy which we all aspire to.”

Awards from the 2021 American Fine Wine Competition

This year marked the 14th anniversary of the competition, which took place on Memorial Day weekend this year.

More than 550 wines from 125 wineries vied for top honors at this invitation only event. The Judging was conducted by a 28-member blue ribbon panel from across the wine industry, included educators, restaurateurs, retailers, journalists, and top sommeliers from across the country.

We received a number of Gold and Double Gold Medals in this competition as well, along with a Best of Class medal for our 2020 Vermentino. Check out the complete list of award winners:

AFWC Best of Class: 2020 Vermentino

Jacqueline Coleman is a published wine + travel writer, wine judge, & consultant. She is the monthly “Vino” columnist for Biscayne Times newspaper, and a regular contributor to Winetraveler.com. Her new podcast, “Wine Uncorked,” is out on all major podcast sites and the Podmany app. An International Sommelier Guild (ISG), U.S. Sommelier Association, and FIU Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Wine Program. She said: “This Vermentino stood out among all the other white single varietals.  Floral, sweet fruit and honeysuckle. It personified what a Vermentino should be.”

Patrick Sullivan, a wine journalist, consultant, and educator, is the Wine & Spirits editor for DINE Magazine in Florida. He said: “This Vermentino, a rarity in California, displays beautiful minerality and near perfect balance between its classic citric acidity and generous fruit!”



Best California Chardonnay

The Fifty Best - California Chardonnay

Jim Sullivan

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, 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, 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.



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!

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!