Meet the Castello's Winemaking Team

Castello di Amorosa produces classically structured Italian-style wines that reflect California’s unique climate, soil, and growing conditions.

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.

We are committed to using traditional approaches to the craft of wine growing and winemaking, but also incorporate modern techniques and equipment when it improves quality.

Castello Vineyard Team

Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking

Brooks Painter has been a winemaker for over 30 years. His impressive resume includes positions as operations manager at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville and winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Leeward Winery, and Felton-Empire Vineyards.

Brooks has been director of winemaking at the Castello since 2005, producing a variety of highly acclaimed 90+ point wines that have gained recognition from Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast. In 2014, he received the distinguished Winemaker of the Year award in the American Fine Wine Competition.

He discovered his passion for wine while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. His work has been published in The American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, Biochemistry, Practical Winery, and Wines & Vines. Brooks is a professional member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and a former chair of the Microbiology Committee for the California Enological Research Association.

For the past 15 years, Brooks and his wife Beth have lived in Napa. They’re actively involved in the Napa Valley community, charitable organizations, and long-range public planning for local city and county government.


Peter Velleno, Winemaker

Peter Velleno studied winemaking, brewing science, microbiology, and food engineering at the University of California at Davis. In 2003, he was the only student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fermentation science.

After graduation, he went to work in the laboratory at William Hill Winery, where he quickly worked his way up to assistant winemaker specializing in Chardonnay production. Peter went on to work for the ultra-premium small winery Hartwell Vineyards, where he helped craft some of the most highly regarded Cabernets in the Napa Valley.

Peter’s career path took a sharp turn in 2008 when he joined Castello di Amorosa as the associate winemaker. He was promoted to winemaker in 2014 and manages the production of the Castello’s wines. If asked, he will tell you that making wine in a Castle is even more fun than it sounds.

Peter and his wife Lauren have lived in Napa since 2003. They have two children and enjoy playing tennis, biking, cooking, and spending time outdoors with their dog Nora.

Audrie Walsh, Assistant Winemaker

Meet Audrie Walsh, Castello di Amorosa’s Assistant Winemaker. Born and raised in California’s Mojave Desert. At a young age, she developed an innate fascination with the natural world. It was not uncommon for her to scour the countryside looking for and photographing interesting flora and fauna to study. This sense of adventure and creative mindset laid the groundwork for her role as Assistant Winemaker.

Ms. Walsh earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine and started working in the lab and cellar at Estancia Estates, where her interest in the art and science of winemaking emerged. She decided to pursue it further, traveling halfway across the world to the University of Adelaide in South Australia, where she earned a Masters in Oenology.

She returned to the U.S. and started urban winemaking in San Francisco’s Dogpatch and on Treasure Island before landing in Napa in 2015. Working harvests at Robert Mondavi Winery and Louis M. Martini was followed by several years at Treasury Wine Estates, where she made wines for Chateau St. Jean, Beaulieu Vineyards, Provenance, and Beringer Vineyards. In 2021, she joined Bundschu Company, where she worked on Gundlach Bundschu, Abbot’s Passage, and various custom crush wineries.

But wine isn’t her only passion. As a mother to 2 small children (daughter Aoife and son Ronan, names courtesy of her Irish husband, Richard), her free time is filled with park visits, mother/daughter brunches, dance classes, and the occasional moonlight pottery throwing or music recording session. She loves spending time in her husband’s homeland, especially Dublin, saying, “Too bad you can’t grow grapes there!”

If you asked her colleagues to describe her, they might say “creative,” “analytical,” and “a calming force,” particularly during the rush of harvest!

Cellar Master

Margarito Rivera, Cellar Master

Margarito Rivera joined the Castello team in 2017, having worked with our director of winemaking nearly two decades ago at another Napa Valley winery. His dedication and excellent work ethic have made him a valuable addition to our winemaking team.


Castello di Amorosa is recognized the world over for our quality wines, heartfelt hospitality, and stunning location. Here are just a few of our recent accolades:

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard

97 points – The Wine Advocate

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli-Borges Vineyard

98 points – Jeb Dunnuck

Check out more accolades for Castello di Amorosa wines.

Ask Our Winemakers

Ask our award winning winemakers Peter Velleno & Brooks Painter. Now is your chance to have your question personally answered by an expert.

Check out our winemakers Q&A here.

Wine Making Videos


With Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter


With Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter


With Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter


With Winemaker Peter Velleno