LUPO GOES TO EUROPE
My long-haired German Shepard Lupo is famous for being the Castle winery dog. Whenever I am at the Castle, Lupo, my best friend, is there at my side. He has become popular and well known to our customers. He has even become somewhat famous gracing the cover or interior of several winery dog books. And yes, his name means ‘wolf’ in Italian.
As I ease into semi-retirement, I travel to Italy for more prolonged periods to stay at my monastery, now finally refurbished after 3 years and 6 months of restoration. For years I had made promises to myself to bring Lupo to Europe with me, as he and I suffer greatly when we are apart for extended periods. For weeks after I would depart he would go to the Castle searching for me, hanging out at my car, not eating---hoping I would arrive. Hearing this always saddened me.
This past April, I decided to go to Europe for 12 weeks. I just had to bring Lupo irrespective of cost or trouble. It wasn’t easy. Many airlines didn’t want dogs at all. Others would only take smaller dogs. Lupo weighs 122 pounds. Other airlines that would take a large dog didn’t fly where I wanted to go. I kept hearing no at every turn. Finally, I found an agency that could do it for about $4,000. As a last resort I was willing to pay the money, but I kept researching until a godsend happened. That godsend was LUFTHANSA. They agreed to take him and even walk and water him in Frankfurt, the stopover. And the cost was only $400 each way plus the cage. Not only does Lufthansa give great service to passengers, they really treat animals well.
But still I wasn’t sure. Friends said 11 year old Lupo might die on the long, 15 hour flight and layover. Others said he would suffer greatly, and I shouldn’t do it. Then there was all the paperwork with the vet, the state of California, the vaccinations, etc. But the vet assured me it could be done safely. And since Lupo sleeps most of the time anyway, could lie down, stand up and turn around in his cage (also equipped with lots of water) I decided to do it. I wish I could lie down on a flight.
I had to fly to Rome instead of my usual destination, Florence, as a bigger plane was needed, but it worked. Upon disembarking in Rome, I nervously looked for Lupo. As soon as he saw me he howled with delight. I promptly let him out of his cage, and he did an extraordinary thing. He christened Leonardo Di Vinci Airport by pooping in 5 different spots on the polished marble floors – which I had to clean up, but Lupo was healthy and happy, and we happily drove off to the monastery.
In Europe, I took Lupo everywhere with me, traveling through much of Italy, Germany and Austria. We hung out together every day, and he slept near me at night. I used to allow him to sleep in bed with me sometimes when he was younger and smaller. He was allowed into all restaurants and hotels with me. Nobody refused him. He was even offered meat and bones at restaurants. Europeans have a different mentality about animals. He was a good---and pampered---watchdog at the monastery as well.
Lupo and I had a great time together. He is one of the most well traveled dogs I know. I do wish he had studied Italian harder to communicate with that country’s dogs better. And thankfully he didn’t soil the San Francisco airport on our return, probably out of respect for American soil. I vow now that every time I go to Europe for a month or more my best friend Lupo will be with me.
Castello di Amorosa's "Capture the Flavor" video contest on our Facebook page is in full swing. One of the recent entries can be viewed by clicking:
Click on the link below to go to Castello di Amorosa's "Capture the Flavor" video contest page:
Peter Velleno Promoted to Associate Winemaker at Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa, Dario Sattui’s authentically-styled 13th century Tuscan castle and winery in Calistoga, is pleased to announce that Peter Velleno has been promoted to Associate Winemaker from Assistant Winemaker. He will have overall responsibility for crafting all wines in collaboration with Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking.
”Pete has shown himself to be a skillful and creative Winemaker who excels in managing our wine quality and Production Team” said Painter. “His background in technical winemaking is matched both by his talents as an artistic blender and his determination as a manager to seek out the best wines we can possibly produce.”
Before joining Castello di Amorosa in 2008, Velleno worked at William Hill Winery as Assistant Winemaker.
“We are very pleased with the direction of our winemaking,” said Castello di Amorosa President, Georg Salzner. “Peter’s focus is on crafting wine of exceptional quality, balance and style that truly reflects the terrior of the Napa Valley.”
Velleno holds a B.S. in Fermentation Science from the University of California, Davis. He was born and raised in San Francisco where he and his two older brothers were the fifth generation of their family to the born in the city. Today, Velleno, his wife, Lauren and their daughter make their home in Napa where they enjoy playing tennis, biking, cooking and spending time in the Napa Valley.
Following fourteen years of construction, Sattui opened Castello di Amorosa on April 9, 2007. Situated in the hills above Calistoga, Castello di Amorosa- a family-owned business- produces world-class wines which are sold only at the winery direct to the consumer. The castle winery was made with brick, wood and iron imported from Europe and combined with over 8,000 tons of local, Napa Valley stone. Today, Castello di Amorosa, a popular Napa Valley destination, offers a variety of wine tasting and touring options in a unique Tuscan castle setting.
Castello di Amorosa Promotes Jim Sullivan to Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing
Jim Sullivan has been promoted to Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing at Castello di Amorosa, Dario Sattui’s authentically-styled 13th century Tuscan castle and winery. Sullivan will spearhead the Castello’s publicity and marketing initiatives. He will report directly to Georg Salzner, President of Castello di Amorosa.
“I’m proud to congratulate Jim on his promotion to this new position and look forward to his continued professional growth in the wine industry,” said Georg Salzner, president of Castello di Amorosa. “He is an asset to our winery, and I know he will continue to provide exemplary leadership for our organization.”
With over 20 years of marketing, public relations and business development experience with professional motorsports teams and in a variety of healthcare organizations in Southern California, Sullivan first joined Castello di Amorosa in 2008 as Public Relations and Marketing Manager.
Sullivan holds an MBA from the University of Redlands and a Bachelor of Science from Central Washington University.
He resides in St. Helena, Calif.
Calistoga's Winter in the Wineries:
A passport provides access to world-class Calistoga wineries and great Napa Valley wines
Castello di Amorosa joins world-class Calistoga wineries for the 2010 Winter in the Wineries passport weekend held December 3, 2010 through February 6, 2011. All you will need to participate is a Winter in the Wineries passport; they're only $50 and it will provide you access to participating wineries where you'll taste great Napa Valley wines this winter.
With a bountiful harvest now completed, our focus now turns to relaxing and enjoying the fruits of our efforts. Make Castello di Amorosa your first stop as you taste great wines from some great wineries including Chateau Montelena, Sterling Vineyards, Bennett Lane Winery, Clos Pegase, Envy Wines, Lava Vine Winery, Madrigal Vineyards, Rios Wine Company, Summers Estate Wines, T-Vine Cellars, Twomey Cellars, Vermeil Wines and Von Strasser Winery.
Here's how it works. Purchase your passport by calling 707-967-6274; it's one (1) passport per person required (no split tastings). Visit each winery once during the program period.
With a variety of wineries participating, we suggest you come back often. Enjoy the cool days of winter while you're wine tasting and treat yourself to world famous hot springs, shopping in downtown Calistoga or dining in one of the local restaurants. That's plenty for one day so bring your family and check out the many hotels and B&B's in Calistoga.
Calistoga's Winter in the Wineries- 12/3/10 -- 2/6/11
Passports are on sale now! Call 707-967-6274
Hit Broadway Musical Cast of "Young Frankenstein, The Musical" Visits the Castello
The cast of Young Frankenstein in the tasting room at Castello di Amorosa. (Photo: Jim Sullivan)
The cast of the highly-acclaimed, hit Broadway Musical, "The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein, The Musical," were in the Napa Valley and dropped by the Castello recently for a tour and tasting during one of their rare days off. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Elizabeth, Inga, The Monster, Frau Blucher, Inspector Kemp, Igor, Villagers and Ensemble- they were all here and in rare form.
Based on Mel Brooks comedy masterpiece, the story follows bright, young Dr. Frankenstein (that's Dr. Fronkensteen) as he attempts to complete his grandfather's masterwork and bring a corpse to life. (Now I see why we spent so much time in the Castello's Torture Chamber!) Together with his oddly-shaped and endearing helper Igor (that's Eye-gor), his curvaceous lab assistant, Inga and in spite of his incredibly self-involved madcap fianc, Elizabeth, Frankenstein succeeds in creating a monster-- but not without scary, and quite often hilarious complications.
There were no scary complications, no real monsters and, heavens, no corpse when they toured here. Just plenty of comedy. And I mean plenty.
Click on the link below to purchase ticket to the show and watch the video which includes Mel Brooks.
To purchase ticket and view the video
Headlining this year's events at Castello di Amorosa include International stars Jean- Yves Thibaudet, Nina Katova; jazz-pop prodigy Nikki Yanofsky, Francesco Demuro and conductor, Omer Wellber. Also appearing is actress, singer and dancer, Rita Moreno. A recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, and an Oscar, Emmy Grammy and Tony award winner, Moreno opens the program with a special reading. The Festival runs July 16 through July 25 at other venues around the Napa Valley.
Jean Yves Thibaudet and Nina Katova (below) will join the Rossetti String
Quartet for chamber music on July 20. (Photo credit: FdS website)
Cellist, Nina Kotova (Photo credit: FdS website)
Jazz-pop prodigy, Nikki Yanofsky performs at
Castello di Amorosa on July 21. (Photo Credit: FdS Website)
On July 22, tenor Francesco Demuro (not pictured) and cellist Nina Katova headline a
concert with the Russian National Orchestra (pictured above)
Rene Fleming performs at the 2009 Festival del Sole in Castello di Amorosa's revered Courtyard. (Photo: Vi Bottaro)
"Festival del Sole is a great event." said Dario Sattui. "The Castle is a perfect backdrop to the immense talent performing throughout this great international summer music festival. This year is no exception. Once again, the lineup of international stars is incredible."
All performances take place in the Castle's outdoor Courtyard built with handmade, antique European bricks. It provides an ideal acoustical venue for world-class music.
Festival director, Richard Walker says, "Five years ago we set out to create a festival combining the best in music, art, food and wine. And we have done just that. Today Napa Valley Festival del Sole has become one of the country's leading music festivals."
The schedule at Castello di Amorosa is as follows:
Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Nina Kotova join the Rossetti String Quartet for chamber music on July 20. Renowned for its sophisticated, sensual sound, the Rossetti String Quartet is a frequent collaborator of the virtuoso French pianist.
Jazz-Pop prodigy Nikki Yanofsky performs at the Castello on July 21. The 16-year old sensation who recently sang Canada's national anthem at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics, is also poised to release her first studio album.
On July 22, tentor Francesco Demuro and cellist Nina Kotova headline a concert with the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of Omer Wellber at Castello di Amorosa. Also appearing is actress, singer and dancer Rita Moreno. A recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, and an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony award winner, Moreno opens with a special reading from Master Class , Terrence McNally's award-winning play based on the life of Maria Callas.
The ten-day schedule for Napa Valley's world-class Festival del Sole is packed with events for every taste and budget --- from classical music to tango and jazz, from exclusive gourmet meals to free family-friendly concerts, from wellness programs and art exhibitions to wine tastings and after-parties, and a first-ever croquet match between artists and vintners.
Festival del Sole operates under the umbrella of Festival Association Napa Valley, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.
For tickets and Festival Packages, please call 888-337-6272.