Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Taking the castle and tasting good wine............

Continuing along the highway, each side beckoned with world famous wineries waiting to share their delicious wines. Paula had a plan for just where we'd stop for our tasting. Our dear friends Kim and Rob were on their first wine country tour and, although I'd visited before some years ago, this amazing castle wasn't even built then. Paula knew we'd love it.


Kim, Rob, and Mary on the castle ramparts.
(Image by Paula)

Amazing.......a real European castle, hidden on a hillside in the Napa Valley!


The 107 room Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, California took 12 years to build and the story is quite awesome....go here to read more.

Gargoyles guarding the castle.



Kim at the castle courtyard door - almost everything used in the massive building is authentic.



Some very good years in these oak barrels...........we did a tasting flight of five delicious wines.  All wines are only available for purchase from the Castello or online - you will not find it in shops.  I love full-bodied dry red wines but have to admit their sweet dessert wine named Fantásia was excellent.


As we were limited for time we passed on the grand tour (which I know must be so interesting), and just did the self-guided look around the main area of the castle and the beautiful grounds with vineyards, aged olive trees, grazing sheep, and colorful chickens.



We passed the beautiful chapel on leaving the Castello.


Tiny B&B on the way to Sonoma.


Rob, Kim, Paula and sweet Kilty (see her on my sidebar) checking out the quaint square in Sonoma - 1933 Sebastiani Theatre and lots of great shops.
It was a great day out......good friends, beautiful scenery, and although cloudy and cool, the rain held off.

A sad note:  Next time I'll tell you about my non-fun-in-the-air California experience!!

17 comments:

  1. You always have such fun pictures. Loved the tour. Hope whatever your not so fun thing is isn't too bad.

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  2. What a beautiful castle, Mary. And you can't beat the scenery! Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

    xo
    Claudia

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  3. Good morning Mary, I came by to see if you were home yet. I have been recovering from eye surgery the last three weeks. Today I am feeling great but my eye are puffy and red. It takes time to recover.

    I LOVE, this castle. Your descriptions and photos are wonderful, as always. It sounds like
    CA is agreeing with you. I too love full bodied red wine. I am happy you are having such a wonderful time with your friends.

    I am wondering now what happened on your flight to CA. I will be checking back.
    Smile.

    Love, Jeanne

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  4. Mary, that Castle winery is just amazing! Looks like everyone is having such a grand time!! Enjoy!

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  5. That castle really looked like it was in Europe! I so love the wine country.

    Hugs,
    Penny

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  6. Next time I buy wine from the Napa valley I shall know a little more about where it comes from.

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  7. Fabulous photos, Mary and that castle looks so old! I am enjoying your trip very much.

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  8. Mary, savor every day in this beautiful country side. Lucky you! I'm yearning for a trip to the CA wine country. ;-)
    ~ Sarah

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  9. Hi Mary,
    I haven't been to the castle yet, but your photos are urging me to go soon.
    Amazing photography. Glad you had a fun time in Napa and Sonoma.
    Wondering if you made it to Healdsburg? My favorite wine country town.
    ~Delores

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  10. What a great trip Mary!! That castle is beautiful.
    I love full bodied red wines as well!!
    Great photos!!

    Pamela xo

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  11. Imagine building that fantastic place!
    I'm curious now, as to what happened to you en route!

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  12. Hang on my lovelies, tomorrow I'll show you what happened........a huge disappointment but some day, some way.....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Oh how much fun is that castle. I didn't know it was there. I must run off and find it. Darling B&B too, love the red chairs.

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  14. What a great day out, the castle looks fantastic. I have noticed Kilty in your sidebar many times and wondered about her. I've had two Scottish terriers in my life and I love them - always stop to fuss them on the rare occasions I meet one. You don't often see them these days in the UK.

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  15. As always, incredible photos ... a Travelog Delight!

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  16. What a neat place to visit! The photo of you is pretty good too! I am longing for a trip somewhere, and I haven't been out west in ages. At least I can see a lot through all of your photos!
    Take care,
    Ulrike

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