|FIELD TRIP: Castello di Amorosa, located in Calistoga, first opened its doors to the public in April 2007. It is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885. |
Sattui claims to have spent nearly all his resources during the 14 year process of building this medieval replica castle on the vineyard grounds. The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet. Among many other features it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet great hall with a 22-foot-high coffered ceiling.
The torture chamber has an authentic 300-year-old iron maiden which Sattui states he bought for $13,000 in Pienza, Italy; a replica rack; prison chambers and other torture devices. The great hall features frescoes painted by two Italian artists which took about a year and a half to complete and showcases a 500 year old fireplace. The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand, using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe.
Extending into the hillside adjacent to the castle lies a labyrinth of caves some 900 feet in length. Beneath the castle are a 2-acre barrel cellar and tasting rooms where visitors can sample the wines - all sold only at the Castle. We have a guided visit and wine tasting.