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Alison Cochrane
 
October 28, 2013 | Alison Cochrane

Create the Castle: A Photo Contest on Instagram

 

WEEK TWENTY-FOUR WINNER

We had a fantastic time this past weekend at our Pagan Ball, and were thrilled to see so many wonderful costumes! Our "Create the Castle" winner for this week is @alexaolavarria, who shared this great photo collage showing off some of the fantastic costumes at the party! Thank you for sharing such great shots! We hope to see you back at the Castello for next year's Pagan Ball!

Here are a few more of our favorite photos from this past week! Thank you for tagging your fantastic photos with #castellodiamorosa and sharing them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

     

 

WEEK TWENTY-THREE WINNER

This week's winning photo is from @dlupynos, who shared this mysterious shot in front of our large format reserve room beneath the Castello. Thank you for sharing such a creative photo, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa!

With just three weeks left for our photo contest, we've been receiving so many great photos of your visits to the Castello and how much you're enjoying our wines! This week alone we received roughly 300 photos from you! Keep sharing your great pictures, and tagging us at #castellodiamorosa on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week:

     

WEEK TWENTY-TWO WINNER

This week's "Create the Castle" contest winner is @cathybauer0105, who took this beautiful and creative shot of the chandeliers above the Great Hall. Thank you for sharing this wonderful photo, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa!

Check out these other fantastic photos from our fans this past week! We love to see the ways you enjoy visits to the Castello and our wines! Keep on sharing your great photos with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

     

WEEK TWENTY-ONE WINNER

This week's winning photo comes from @jdmedina, who took this great photo of the Castello. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful photo of the Castello and Primitivo vineyard!

Here are a few more of our favorite fan photos from this past week. Thank you all for sharing your great pictures of the Castello and how you enjoy Castello wines, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

    

WEEK TWENTY WINNER

Congratulations to @khaniasjournal, our Week 20 winner of our "Create the Castle" Instagram contest! Thank you for sharing this beautiful photo of your wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie in our Il Passito Room, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa!

We've received over 7,000 photos from our guests and fans who have tagged us with #castellodiamorosa on Instagram! Here are a few more favorite photos from this past week:

     

 

WEEK NINETEEN WINNER

This week's "Create the Castle" winner is @studiobrooke, who took this beautiful shot of the clouds above the Castello from the South Tower. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful photo, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa!

Check out our other fantastic runners-up from this past week! Thank you all for sharing your great photos of the Castello and enjoying your Castello wines with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Keep up the fantastic photography!

     

 

WEEK EIGHTEEN WINNER

Congratulations to @raquelfsantos, this week's "Create the Castle" Instagram contest winner! Thank  you for sharing such a creative shot in our covered loggia above the courtyard, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa!

Check out our fantastic runners up from this past week! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos of the Castello and our wines, and we're looking forward to seeing even more great photos from you on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

     

 

WEEK SEVENTEEN WINNER

This week's winner is @williamjsaunders, who took this beautiful photo of our Primitivo vineyard in front of the Castello. Thank you for sharing such a great picture with us on Instagram, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa! We can't wait to harvest those grapes!

Check out the other great photos from our fans this past week! Thank you for sharing your pictures of the Castello and our wines on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

     

 

WEEK SIXTEEN WINNER

Our winning photo this week was taken by @amandamelissa91, who shared this great shot "admiring the architecture" of the Castello. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful photo of your visit, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa on Instagram!

More great photos from our fans from this past week! Thank you all for sharing your great photos of the Castello and how much you love Castello wines!

     

 

WEEK FIFTEEN WINNER

This week's winning photo comes from @rachelloser, who compiled this beautiful collage of panoramic scenes from around the Castello. Thank you for sharing such a great photo, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa on Instagram!

Here are a few more of the fantastic photos we received from you this past week! Thank you for sharing such great shots of the Castello and how you enjoy our wines on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

     

 

WEEK FOURTEEN WINNER

Our "Create the Castle" contest winner for this week is @yurisinata, who shared this wonderfully creative shot of her and her fiance in our tasting room. Thank you so much for sharing such a fantastic photo!

So many wonderful photos keep pouring in from all of our fans! Thank you for sharing your visits to the Castello and how you enjoy our wines at home, and tagging us with #castellodiamorosa! Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week:

     

 

WEEK THIRTEEN WINNER

This week's "Create the Castle" winner is @squirrelgirl84, who took this stunning photo of the Castello during her visit this past week. Congratulations, and thank  you for sharing such a beautiful photo on Instagram!

We've been getting so many fantastic pictures from all of our fans! Thank you all for sharing your photos of your times at the Castello and enjoying our Castello wines, and for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa. We can't wait to see more of your great pictures! Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week:

     

 

WEEK TWELVE WINNER

Congratulations to @maybememories, this week's "Create the Castle" contest winner! She and her boyfriend got engaged at the Castello in our North Tower! Thank you for sharing such a special day with us!

 

We are loving all of the photos we are receiving from you when you tag us at #castellodiamorosa on Instagram, and share them on Facebook and Twitter! Keep taking great photos of your visits to the Castello and how you enjoy our Castello wines at home or out and about with friends! Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week:

    

 

WEEK ELEVEN WINNER

This week's winner is @ccarmona9, who shared this beautiful photo of our sunflowers in front of the South Tower. Thank you so much for posting such a great picture!

Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week. Thank you for taking such wonderful photos of your visits to the Castello and the ways you enjoy your Castello wines, tagging us at #castellodiamorosa, and sharing them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

     

 

WEEK TEN WINNER

Congratulations to @ivancng, this week's winner of our Create the Castle contest! Great sillhouette shot from the upper loggia above our courtyard.  Thank you for posting such a creative photo and sharing it with us by tagging us at #castellodiamorosa!

Here are a few more fantastic photos from this past week. Thank you all for tagging us and sharing them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! We're looking forward to seeing even more great photos next week!

     

WEEK NINE WINNER

This week's winner is @anacuartero, who posted this great picture of her recent visit to the Castello with her friends. Thank you for sharing such a fun picture, and congratulations!

We had some fantastic photos to choose from this week! Thank you for tagging your photos with #castellodiamorosa on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and we're looking forward to seeing more of the ways you create the castle! Here are some of our favorites from this past week:

     

 

WEEK EIGHT WINNER

Congratulations to @tarapaleg, this week's winner of our "Create the Castle" contest! Thank you for sharing such a cute photo of your visit to the Castello!

We have been receiving so many fantastic pictures from all of you of your visits to the Castello and enjoying our wines! Thank you for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa and sharing your photos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Here are a few more favorites from this past week:

     

 

WEEK SEVEN WINNER

This week's winner is @jenifercohn, who shared this creative shot of her glass from her recent visit to the Castello. Thank you so much for posting such great photos, and we hope to see you back at the Castello soon!

Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week (and it was hard to pick just a few!). Thank you to everyone who is sharing photos of your visits and how much you love our Castello wines to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and tagging us at #castellodiamorosa! We're looking forward to seeing even more great photos next week!

       

 

WEEK SIX WINNER

This week's winner is @shitiatetoday, who took this beautiful photo of our wine and chocolate pairing in our tasting room. Thank you so much for sharing such a great picture with us, and congratulations!

Even more fantastic photos have been coming in daily from you of your visits to the Castello and how you enjoy your Castello wines at home. Thank you all for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa and sharing your photos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Here are a few more of our favorites from this past week:

       

 

WEEK FIVE WINNER

Congratulations to @casey_myvice, this week's "Create the Castle" contest winner! Creative and classy shot of you two sitting in the thrones in our Great Hall! Thank you for sharing such a great picture with us!

We received so many great photos from our guests and fans over this past week; thank you all for tagging us at #castellodiamorosa, posting on Instagram, and sharing on Twitter and Facebook! Here are a few more favorites from this past week:

           

 

WEEK FOUR WINNER

This week's winning photo comes from @rcees, who shared this great compilation of shots of our 2009 Anderson Valley "Dry" Gewürztraminer. Thank you for posting such a fantastic shot, and we hope you enjoyed your wine! Cheers!

We have already received over 600 photos from you in the first four weeks of our contest! Thank you all for sharing such great photos of how you enjoy the Castello and our wines, and tagging us at #castellodiamorosa. We're looking forward to seeing even more pictures! Here are a few of our favorites from this past week's entries:

         

WEEK THREE WINNER

This week's winner deserves an extra special congratulations! @trulovee_25 recently got engaged here at the Castello! Beautiful way to capture such a special moment! Thank you for sharing such a memorable day with us!

Here are a few more of our favorite photos from this past week! Keep on sharing your great shots of the Castello, our vineyards, and your favorite ways to enjoy our wines!

          

 

WEEK TWO WINNER

We would like to announce this week's "Create the Castle" contest winner: @edwardmetropolitan! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing such a beautiful photo of the Castello!

 

Here are a few of the fantastic runner-ups from this week! Keep up the great photos, and thank you all for sharing how much you enjoy the Castello and our wonderful wines!

          

 

WEEK ONE WINNER

Congratulations to our first "Create the Castle" contest winner: @_mymy1908_! We're so glad you could visit us on Mother's Day! Thank you for sharing your photo with us on Instagram!

 

Here are a few of the other fantastic photos we've received over the past week. Thank you all for sharing, and we're looking forward to seeing more of the ways that you Create the Castle!

     

Be sure to look for next week's winners right here, and keep on sharing your great pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! #castellodiamorosa

Time Posted: Oct 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Alison Cochrane
 
October 4, 2013 | Alison Cochrane

Red Wine Barrel Fermentation

During the Harvest season, there are always exciting things going on around the Castello, and today on the Crush Pad was no exception. Today, for the first time at the Castello, our winemaking team reserved a small lot of our Don Thomas Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon for fermentation directly in French Oak Barrels.

Traditionally, the fermentation process takes place in stainless steel tanks, where the must (skins and seeds of the grapes) are cold soaked with the juice before yeast is added. The cap, or layer of skins and seeds that get pushed to the top of the tanks from the activity taking place during fermentation, is broken up by either the punch-down or pump-over method, both of which ensure an even distribution of the color and flavors we wish to impart into our red wines. After five to eight days in these fermentation tanks, the juice is pressed from the skins and seeds and pumped into French Oak barrels for aging in the Castello’s extensive underground cave and cellar system.

Barrel fermentation means that the freshly destemmed grapes and their juices are pumped directly into French Oak barrels whose heads have been removed. Dry ice is added to cool the berries before the barrel heads are secured to seal in the must. The barrels are then laid on a rack that allows them to be rolled back and forth daily to ensure the cap stays moist and the oak is evenly introduced to the fermenting must and juice. Typically, two full barrels of must and juice will amount to one barrel of wine. The process of fermenting the juice in oak barrels helps to impart an added silkiness to the tannins and a rounder, more lush mouthfeel, especially to Bordeaux varietals. This extremely labor-intensive method of fermentation is typically reserved for only the most exclusive of wines, and the highly-acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon from the Don Thomas Vineyard is an exceptional example of the quality of grapes deserving of such treatment.

The Don Thomas Cabernet Sauvinon clusters are conveyed into the berry sorter/ destemmer as a lucky tour group watches

The new French Oak barrels are filled directly from the destemmer

Our Cellar Supervisor, Chema, overseeing the juice and must being pumped into a special French Oak barrel that has a door in place to make filling and emptying easier

The deconstructed barrel waiting to be resealed with the juice and must inside

Dry ice is added to the must before the barrels are resealed to help cool off the berries

Resealing the barrel heads before they are sent into the cellars to begin the fermentation process

The barrels are stored in a special temperature-controlled room in the Castello's cellars during the fermentation process.

 

Alison Cochrane
 
July 9, 2013 | Alison Cochrane

Midsummer Medieval Festival 2013

We hosted our annual Midsummer Medieval Festival on June 22 this year, and our guests (and staff) had a fantastic evening filled with wine, food, and a whole array of medieval games and entertainments. Please enjoy a few of our favorite moments from the event below, and we're looking forward to next year's festival already!

It was a perfect June day in the Napa Valley as our guests arrived for a glass of wine on our Il Passito patio before the Joust

Our president, Georg Salzner, graciously welcomed our wine club members and their guests to the festivities (and even found a fair maiden whose costume matched his!)

A few of our guests in their medieval finery welcoming the knights to the Joust!

Sir William and his companions, our noble knights of the Joust

 

Everyone eagerly awaiting the start of the Tournament

 

A fair guest was invited to challenge one of the knights, whom she soundly defeated in battle

 

He graciously gave her a rose in thanks for not being too rough on him

  

The knights displayed their skill on horseback in a number of Tournament events

The highlight of the evening: the Joust!

   

Noble Lords and Ladies of the Tournament

 

 

 

Our guests were enjoying the chance to be noble (and not-so-noble)

 

A taltented troupe of singers entertained as our guests learned the "latest" dance steps

 

Fire Dancers mesmerized the audience with a spectacular evening finale in the Courtyard

Even the Supermoon made an appearance above the Castello as the festivities drew to a close.

Want to see even more pictures from this great event?

Check out our album on our Facebook page, and see even more photos on our Flickr feed!

Alison Cochrane
 
June 10, 2013 | Alison Cochrane

"Stay Rad Wine Blog" reviews our 2012 Pinot Grigio and 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Recently, Jeff of "Stay Rad Wine Blog" came "back to the Castle" to review our 2012 Mendocino County Pinot Grigio, pairing it with a scrumptious looking Mac n' Cheese. Here's what he had to say:

"Color: Very pale yellow.  Think of the color of hay.

"Nose: Massive amounts of honeysuckle (maybe due to the 3.8 g/L of residual sugar) create a nice backdrop for the green apple and honeydew fruits.  The nose isn’t overly sweet.  There are plenty of wet rocks to balance everything out.

"Taste: There is a surprisingly nice petrol note to this wine which provides for a very fun, viscous mouthfeel.  As with most Pinot Grigios, there is a brightly acidic backbone to this wine that delivers a variety of citrus fruit flavors of lemon and lime zest.  There is a nice combination of honey and minerality at play here too.

"Score: I get it.  Castello di Amorosa makes wines consisting of mainly Italian varieties of grapes, and no self-respecting “Italian” winery would ever label a bottle as “Pinot Gris”, but… This is not one of those ordinary, 20-dollar, flat-lemon-lime-soda-tasting, Italian Pinot Grigios that have been taking over your local super market in recent years.  This drinks like one of those rich, subtle, and intriguing Oregonian Pinot Gris that I have been grooving on in recent months.  Stylistically, these guys have done everything right with the grape they call the “Grey Pine”.  At 87+ points, you may want to introduce this Pinot Grigio to your favorite housewife."

Check out the rest of his review on his blog here, and be sure to scroll down to see his fantastic comments about our 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir as well! 

Alison Cochrane
 
May 7, 2013 | Alison Cochrane

Thumbs Up Wine visits THE CASTLE!

Recently, Joe and Matt of Thumbs Up Wine paid a visit to the Castello, and had a blast making this fantastic video. It's THE CASTLE!

Matt and Joe from Thumbs Up Wine

"If you're coming to the Napa Valley either for a day or for a week, there are certain things you have to see. We call them the Seven Wonders of the World, and this is one of them: THE CASTLE!" - Joe, Thumbs Up Wine

Toasting our Il Barone with Dario

The Thumbs Up Crew with Dario

Thank you Matt and Joe for such a great review of the Castello! We're looking forward to your next visit!

Time Posted: May 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Alison Cochrane
 
April 30, 2013 | Alison Cochrane

Ragin' Cajun spices things up at the Castello

On Saturday, April 20th, New Orleans came to the Castello for our Ragin' Cajun party.  As the sun went down, the beads and beats came out, and the Castello was transformed into a sizzling scene full of live music, tarot readings, and hot and spicy Cajun foods paired with our Castello wines!

The main event featured Gator Beat, a high-energy Zydeco and New Orleans R&B band based out of Sonoma. They kept the Cajun beats going throughout the evening out in our courtyard, where guests dressed in their best Creole "style" danced the night away.

In all I'd say it was a "ragin'" success, but you can see for yourself in the photos below!

You know it's going to be a great night when Fantasia is flowing!

 Gator Beat getting the party started out in the courtyard.

A few of our favorite Wine Club members with the Voodoo King.

Guests enjoying some of the delicious Cajun cuisine (and Castello wines!) in our Great Hall.

So many good things in one pot!

All of the delicious Creole cuisine at the party was provided for our guests by Oak Avenue Catering. Ca c'est bon!

Way to rock that New Orleans style!

The featured cocktail of the evening was the "Hurricane di Amorosa," a tantalizingly effervescent mix of our Fantasia with orange sorbet. Santé!

Who wants to hear their future? Tarot card readings in the chapel.

Feelin' the love!

Ragin' Cajun Ladies

Willard Blackwell on washboard keeping the Zydeco beats bumping through the night.

Out on the dance floor. Laissez les bon temps roulet!

Il Barone himself, Dario Sattui, made an appearance later on in the evening.

Our wonderful events team celebrating the fruits of their labors. Merci boucoups for throwing such a great party!

Another fantastic Wine Club event at the Castello. We're looking forward to next year already!

 

Photos by Raymond Ibita Photography. Check out his album here or visit our Facebook page!

Time Posted: Apr 30, 2013 at 10:26 AM

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