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!
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-
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)
HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PICTURES AND READING ABOUT MY VACATION. AS A REMINDER, JAMBU IS OFFERING 20% OFF ANY PURCHASE ON JAMBU.COM. I WORE MY RIMINI BOOTIES ( POST HERE) NEARLY THE WHOLE TRIP AND THEY WERE WONDERFUL.
ITS TIME FOR TURNING HEADS TUESDAY LINKUP! I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE YOUR POSTS AND HAVE YOU LINKUP. I APPRECIATE ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS, THEY MEAN ALOT TO ME!!
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?