Turning Heads Linkup – Napa- Trip Diary Part 2 - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Turning Heads Linkup – Napa- Trip Diary Part 2


Morning.  It has taken some recovery and recoup time for me. I wrote about our time in San Fransisco in yesterday’s post- Trip Diary San Fran Part I. So check out what we did in SF, by reading that post.

I will be writing about our visit to Sonoma, Friday on the blog, as I break down our trip in 3 parts. We loved visiting wine country. This post is about what we did in Napa and the wines we enjoyed. My post Friday will include 3 vineyards we visited in Sonoma. 

Loving Wine – Napa

I am sure you have read on the blog by now, that my husband and I both enjoy wine. We love to learn about wine, wine education, the regions, the culture, but lets face it; we love drinking it! Hubby also enjoys beer, loves IPAs, but this trip was a wine trip.. so there was plenty of it. I thought I did catch him up late at night, sneaking a sip of beer out on the back deck.. ( kidding!) No, but really, I wanted to see what the California regions brought in terms of wine, and was ready for my tasting afternoons and glorious views.

I do think about my early entry to enjoying and tasting wines. College. 1990. Box O’ Wine- Franzia. Pink Zinfindel. I didn’t expand my wine pallet for quite a while, because in my case, when I was in college, I didn’t have $30 a bottle to spare for a bottle of wine..  Anyhow, from there it was trying out Syrah and Shiraz, enjoying the medium body and peppered taste. Pinot Nior became a standard, as I haven’t tried too many that were not good, and the smooth taste and dark fruits appealed to me. Later, I discovered Spanish wines, and they are now among my favorites Tempranillo, Granache. and as of late, I have been trying some medium bodied Cabernet, and loving a bolder flavor.

We had rented a nice SUV for our trip to drive to the Vineyards, as I couldn’t see myself on the Bike Tour, and would joke about trying to bike while visiting a number of vineyards… I wasn’t there to bike the Tour de France, so why do it after drinking? A car with plenty of time in between would be fine.

The Vineyards were all open at 10 am, and a thought of my brother, texting me at 11 am when at the beach, texting, “Morning Margaritas”, made me laugh. I could text, Morning Malbecs.? Anyway, we were there around noon, and were so impressed by the vineyards and the beautiful landscapes.

The first Vineyards were visited was Gloria Ferrer and Coppola Winery, and I will be writing about these vineyards on Friday.

Castello Di Amorosa

Castello Di Amorosa means “Castle of Love”. We read about it in a wine magazine, and was also given a recommendation to it by Andrienne Shubin, who writes the blog, Rich Life in Wine Country. Come on. It’s a Castle. My husband has visited a castle in Germany, pre-Jess, but I have never been to one. Just getting out of the car, and enjoying the view of the area, and the castle, I was in awe.

Darius Sattui had a vision. “Castello di Amorosa is the realization of an all-consuming passion. Fourth generation winemaker Dario Sattui built an authentically styled 13th century Tuscan castle winery to honor his Italian heritage and deep love for medieval architecture.” 171 acres near Calistoga where Colonel William Nash had planted one of California’s first vineyards in 1846, was where he had plans for the castle. 

I could see the enormous wooden door, and chains where the drawbridge was. There was also a moat. Really, something out of Game of Thrones. Roy took some pictures of me on the drawbridge, and then we were going on a tour of the Castle.

This was not a Disneyland Castle, this castle was made of Italian brick and materials, as well as painted by Italian artists, and took 20 years to build. The visionary, Dario Sattui, decided he wanted to build something grand and offer wine to people..

We saw many of the rooms in the Castle, and I was excited to see the rooms with wines over 100 years old, the barrels, and of course, the Dungeon. And Aprapo to Halloween around the corner, there was the Torture Chamber that was a part of this castle. The Rack, and other methods were something you didn’t want to experience!

After the tour, we ventured downstairs to the wine tasting room. Wine Spectator and other magazines had given Castle Di Amorosa 90+ on a half-dozen of their wines. We enjoyed several varietals a Pinot Nior with a bit more body and heavier taste that many I have tasted. I loved the Barberra, which is the most planted grape in Italy.   My husband and I are fans of the Sangiovese wine as well. We had the opportunity to taste a Cabernet from the barrel, which would need to wait 2 years to be bottled and sold. I enjoyed it then!

I wore my Jambu Rimini all week!

Some of the vintage wines. Hubby took so many photos! The Castle was getting ready to have a Halloween Bash, so it was decorated with cobwebs, spiders, and lots of other fun decor. The above picture was painted by Italian painters the owner brought in to design and paint. It is a storyboard – but I don’t remember the story!

Sattui Vineyards

The vineyards close around 4:30 or 5, so our quick stop to Sattui vineyards was where we would head after the Castle visit. This was the “sister vineyard” to Castello Di Amorosa, and one of the first deli/vineyards in the area. Although we were there for a shorter visit than the castle, we did some wine tasting and enjoyed a bottle of Cabernat from the Vineyard.

” Vittorio Sattui started the business in 1885 after emigrating from Genoa, Italy.  The law-abiding Vittorio was forced to shut down when Prohibition went into effect, and the winery would lay dormant until 1976, when Vittorio’s great-grandson, Dario, would realize his dream of resurrecting the family business in the town of St. Helena in Napa Valley.” ( website*) That winery would be the Costella Di Amorosa. 

The vibe was relaxed as we enjoyed some wine – portobello sandwich/cheese outside in the beautiful weather. We were fortunate as the weather was sunny and gorgeous the whole trip! We also learned that sitting outside with food/wine was not customary in Napa. The owner was grandfathered in, and that made the day even more enjoyable.

Again, if you missed my post about San Fransisco, Alcatraz/Presidio, please read yesterday’s post-

Muir Woods

My brother and my sis in law recommended going to Muir Woods when they were there a few years ago. This was about a 30 minute drive from our house in Port Costa. A National Park, Muir Woods was beautiful. The Redwood trees were enormous and so stately, they made me feel miniscule and small.

We walked through the park, after enjoying some hot apple cider, and read about the trees as we walked 2 miles through the park. We heard people from around the world. I was able to walk part of another trail, walking 3 miles that day, enjoying the nature and stature of these stunning trees. A couple was nice to take this picture of Roy and I inside this large beauty!

Sausalito – for Lunch

After hiking in Muir Woods and not having much for breakfast, we were ready for lunch! Hubby mentioned wanting to check out Sausalito, and I was game. I did have a head cold, and wasn’t feeling great, but I thought I would feel better after a good meal. We found a place right on the bay.. you see, I love my views! The restaurant, The Spinnaker, decor was straight out of the 1980s, and could have turned some people off, but the delicious seafood and view won it for me.

You can read all about my trip by visiting Part 1, and 3. ( fRI)



Ill be back featuring other blogs next week! Thanks for linking up!

Have you been to Wine Country? What are your favorite wines to enjoy?

  • Ashley
    Posted at 10:40h, 08 November Reply

    Napa looks so beautiful and sounds like a blast- I wanna go!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom
    Posted at 00:11h, 08 November Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful recap and you look refreshed and happy in these photos. Napa is on my to do list and soon!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:20h, 08 November Reply

      So glad you enjoyed the post Carrie! It is really a beautiful place. Ill be posting about Sonoma on Friday. xx

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    Posted at 19:07h, 07 November Reply

    It looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time in Napa! It’s such a beautiful place! I’ve never been to Castello Di Amorosa, but it’s been added to my list!

    Thanks for the link up!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

  • cheriejamesp
    Posted at 19:05h, 07 November Reply

    Oh Jess, I have never been to Napa, it’s been on my list for so long. You’ve inspired me to try and make it happen soon. Beautiful photos!!


  • heathernoire89
    Posted at 17:26h, 07 November Reply

    This is such a beautiful place! I love your style it is really chic 🙂 http://www.bauchlefashion.com/2018/11/armani-prive-rose-alexandrie-review.html

  • Suzanne
    Posted at 15:16h, 07 November Reply

    That drawbridge was quite spectacular! Looks like quite the place. I can’t imagine the amount of work it took to build. I’ve seen many castles in Europe but they are so much older. I’m amazed they were able to recreate this version in California.


  • mummabstylish
    Posted at 14:44h, 07 November Reply

    How interesting Jess, I love the idea of wine tasting. One for me to try! The size of those trees – amazing – what a sight to see! Thanks for hosting. Jacqui Mummabstylish

  • Linda Cassidy
    Posted at 09:43h, 07 November Reply

    I really need to get to Napa, it’s one of the few wine regions we have not yet explored. Thanks for taking me on your trip

  • Mary The Pouting Pensioner
    Posted at 03:59h, 07 November Reply

    Love this post. ADORE your dress!
    Hugs, Mary x.

  • Laura
    Posted at 22:51h, 06 November Reply

    I’ve never been to Napa but it is on my bucket list! It looks like such a fun place!

  • chezrama
    Posted at 21:48h, 06 November Reply

    Jess ! what a beautiful place. I am hoping to visit Napa next. You seemed you enjoyed your time and thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 I enjoyed that you took us with you in this journey


  • Anna Shirley
    Posted at 20:34h, 06 November Reply

    Such a lovely adventure. I love your beautiful pictures.


  • Cristina - Memories of the Pacific
    Posted at 15:56h, 06 November Reply

    What an amazing vacation, Jess! Being the daughter of a wine-maker I visited many wineries around the world during my childhood and teenage years. In fact, when my parents visited me in SF, we went to Sonoma and visited some wineries there too. Oh, and I also love Sausalito! What a charming place.

  • Elle
    Posted at 15:48h, 06 November Reply

    Wow, these photos are super amazing. How wonderful that you got to see both the vineyards and that glorious castle! Such wonderful pictures of you and your husband. My very favorite is the photo of you sitting under the tree trunk !!! Feel well Jess !

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 16:18h, 06 November Reply

      Hi Elle!
      Good to be back. Thank you ! My husband loves to take pictures so there was alot to whittle down. It was such a fun trip, and the most relaxing part was visiting the vineyards. The castle was like nothing ive seen and delicious wines! That was a fun pic. Thank you Elle, I did rest for about 4 days and just had PT today. xx

  • Cheryl Shops
    Posted at 14:48h, 06 November Reply

    Yay, I’m glad you had such a great time in Napa and Marin. V. Sattui is such a great place for a picnic. Can’t wait to read part 3!
    Cheryl Shops | http://www.cherylshops.net

  • eyeloveknots
    Posted at 13:59h, 06 November Reply

    Love seeing all these pictures and places! Thank you for sharing!


  • Emma Peach
    Posted at 13:56h, 06 November Reply

    What a great trip, and fabulous photos! The castle is stunning!

    Emma xxx

  • Mutton_style
    Posted at 13:03h, 06 November Reply

    Looks like you had a fantastic time. Thank you for the linkup. I just adored those pictures. So interesting. The castle is amazing. Pssss I like wine too 🙂

  • aquamarinastyle
    Posted at 12:07h, 06 November Reply

    Hi Jess,

    LOVED your photos and the tale of your trip. We are headed to Napa in January for our anniversary, so your scoop is very timely! Thanks for sharing.

    xx Darlene

  • Liz
    Posted at 11:39h, 06 November Reply

    I hope you had fun! I have always wanted to visit Napa!

  • Hilda Smith
    Posted at 11:09h, 06 November Reply

    What a wonderful time you had. Love the pics…looking forward to the next post.

  • Jennie
    Posted at 10:18h, 06 November Reply

    Napa is gorgeous and I enjoyed all the photos of the wineries! I remember the Franzia days – lol! Muir Woods looks stunning and it sounds like you really enjoyed visiting it. Thanks so much for sharing about part of your trip. I can’t wait to read about the rest!

  • Maureen
    Posted at 10:16h, 06 November Reply

    These are beautiful photos Jess and I love reading about your adventure to Napa, Muir Woods and Sausalito. All fabulous getaway locations! Pre-kid my hubby and I visited Napa and Sonoma frequently. My hubby is a big wine fan and I actually learned to love wine through him. Duri

    • Maureen
      Posted at 10:23h, 06 November Reply

      Sorry for multiple comments but my iPad had a mind of its own and posted my reply quite immaturely. But I wanted to say that during our visit to Napa I don’t remember visiting Castello Di Amorosa. What a structure and that tour you took sounds amazing! I am always up for learning a bit about how things came about and the story behind them. I am so glad you guys had a good trip and visit. Looking forward to hearing about your Sonoma adventures!

      Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  • ee0926
    Posted at 10:12h, 06 November Reply

    WOW, these photos are gorgeous! I have never been to Napa, but for sure ant to go. Castello Di Amorosa looks so beautiful!

    xx, Elise

  • Highland Fashionista
    Posted at 09:47h, 06 November Reply

    Your photos of this trip REALLY make me want a nice glass of red and it’s only 9am here in Florida, lol. I love that dress you’re wearing in the first photo. Perfect travel dress and the color is gorgeous.

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:34h, 06 November Reply

    That castle? OMG…after going there everything else would pale in comparison!! That’s where i want to go next time we visit!!
    PS…We would never think about the bicycle option either….heck, it’s vacation~

  • Lisa Richardson
    Posted at 09:27h, 06 November Reply

    I’m so happy you had such a wonderful trip. The winery’s are so beautiful. We’ve driven through Napa and Sonoma, but we don’t drink so we don’t go into the winery’s. I wish we’d had some rain so you could have seen the hills are green. They are so beautiful against the blue sky (a few months out of the year).

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 16:22h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you Lisa, we had a fabulous time! The weather was wonderful, it was sunny and with a breeze, as we had a cold spell in NC at 45 degrees! I am sure you enjoy the area. x

  • This Main Line Life
    Posted at 08:41h, 06 November Reply

    Your trip sounds amazing. I would love to visit wine country in CA. My husband and I really like wine and learning about wines too.We have a few small vineyards near us, but PA can’t produce a good wine. We just don’t have the climate for it.
    X, Julie | This Main Line Life

  • Amy
    Posted at 08:40h, 06 November Reply

    Wow! My husband and I don’t drink alcohol but we would love to go to that castle and those grounds to explore. Gorgeous! Love the woods too! Pinning!

  • Andrea Nine
    Posted at 08:00h, 06 November Reply

    Like a dream Jess. This trip is on our bucket list and after seeing these photos and reading your adventures, I hope sooner than later! So funs and majestic!! xo

  • Shelly @ The Queen in Between
    Posted at 07:46h, 06 November Reply

    What a fun vacation! I have never been to Napa but hope to go some day. This dress looks spectacular on you!

  • Jill
    Posted at 07:41h, 06 November Reply

    Napa is on my bucket list and looks amazing! That castle is beautiful!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

  • awayfromtheblue
    Posted at 07:13h, 06 November Reply

    It looks amazing. That castle is so beautiful! What a great trip 🙂

    Thank you for the link up!

    Hope that you aare having a good week so far! Still so hot here!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 06:19h, 06 November Reply

    We loved Muir Woods – isn’t it just beautiful? I am so glad you enjoyed the vineyards, I’d love to do that some time. Renting an RV was a great idea. I’ll bet the Rimini’s kept your feet comfy all week long and you look just gorgeous standing in front of the castle!!! What great memories and wine!!!

  • stinedurfdl
    Posted at 05:34h, 06 November Reply

    That castle…omg! It’s so so beautiful and medeival!

  • Meagan Brandon
    Posted at 05:09h, 06 November Reply

    This trip looks amazing, Jess! I bet you were in wine heaven! I know I would be. Also, I love your paisley print dress you wore.


  • passion fruit, paws and peonies
    Posted at 03:26h, 06 November Reply

    What a fabulous holiday Jess. You did so many things we love to do. We didn’t make it to Muir woods but did find an ancient tree you could stand inside – it was impressive xx Maria

  • Laurie
    Posted at 02:51h, 06 November Reply

    What a beautiful place Jess. It looks very romantic. I’m longing for a good time away & taking time out. xx

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