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Dario Sattui
 
October 22, 2012 | Dario Sattui

Sebastiano Rosa is here during harvest

Consulting winemaker Sebastiano Rosa has been here during harvest working with Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking,  and Peter Velleno, Associate Winemaker. We welcomed some friends to meet him on October 9, where he shared wines from his winery in Sardinia (Montessu and Barrua from Agricola Punica). It was also a chance to taste several vintages of La Castellana, Il Barone and Il Passito with him. 

Dario Sattui
 
September 13, 2012 | Dario Sattui

Lupo Goes To Europe

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.


Jim Sullivan
 
March 31, 2012 | Jim Sullivan

Capture the Castle Video Contest: Video of the Week

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:

http://youtu.be/JhziZB_bwU4

Click on the link below to go to Castello di Amorosa's "Capture the Flavor" video contest page:

http://apps.facebook.com/captureflavorcontest/contests/178426

Jim Sullivan
 
March 30, 2012 | Jim Sullivan

Famous Italian Winemaker from Sassicaia Joins Castello di Amorosa Team

Georg Salzner, Sebastiano Rosa and Brooks Painter celebrate at Castello di Amorosa

Napa Valley's Castello di Amorosa today announced that Sebastiano Rosa, winemaker at Tenuta San Guido- producer of Sassicaia- one of Italy's leading Bordeaux-style red wines has joined the winemaking team of Brooks Painter, Peter Velleno and Laura Orozco. Sebastiano will travel from his home in Bolgheri, Italy to consult with Painter's team on all aspects of Castello's Italian-style red wine program.

"From the vineyard to the glass, the addition of Sebastiano Rosa will bring an international perspective to our program," said Georg Salzner, President of Castello di Amorosa. "Our history is Italian; our winery is Italian style so it's natural that we partner with Sebastiano to create unique, Italian-style wines."

Rosa, the stepson of Nicolo Incisa della Rocchette whose family owns Sassicaia, brings an extensive wine background to the team. Upon graduating from U.C. Davis in 1990, Sebastiano participated in the 1991 harvest at the storied Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

From 1992 until 2002, he was General Manager at Tenuta di Argiano in Montalcino where he worked with legendary winemaker Giacomo Tachis, considered by some to be the father of the renaissance of Italian wine. While Sassacaia was the first wine in the renaissance, his other label, Solengo, was the number 8 wine in Wine Spectator's Top 100 and received 96 points in only it's second vintage.

"We are excited about Sebastiano's collaboration and contributions to our winemaking," said Brooks Painter, Castello's Director of Winemaking. "At Castello di Amorosa we are only interested in producing top quality wine. Sebastiano will help us continue to craft exceptional wines with distinct character and structure while respecting the unique Napa Valley terrior."

Rosa, the Technical Director of Tenuta San Guido from 2002 until 2011, managed the Sassicaia cellar where he started the second and third labels for Sassicaia- Guidalberto and Le Difese.

Jim Sullivan
 
March 26, 2012 | Jim Sullivan

Spring is here

In many parts of the country, winter is still hanging around, but not in the Napa Valley and certainly not at Castello di Amorosa's vineyards where budbreak, the first emergence of shoots that will ultimately bear fruit, occurred earlier this week. Sangiovese showed it's buds first; Primitivo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines will budbreak next. Budbreak occurs when the vines wake from their winter dormancy and begin to show signs of life. Water drawn up through the extensive root system appears on the cuts made by pruning. This is followed by the emergence of tiny buds. Leaves eventually unfold- a fresh start to a new growing season.

Working in the vineyard is a labor of love. Pictured below is Mario Martinez, Vineyard Crew Leader. His gentle hands prepare the Primitivo vines for the growing season.


Mario Martinez tends to the Primitivo vines.

Jim Sullivan
 
March 13, 2012 | Jim Sullivan

Castello di Amorosa Wins Best of Show at American Fine Wine Competition in Florida

Twenty four judges tasted their way through 660 wines from across the country and found Castello di Amorosa’s 2009 Il Passito - a late harvest blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that sees 20 months in French Oak- the top white wine of the competition.  Gold medals were awarded to the 2008 vintages of Il Barone and La Castellana and the 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay.

“We only enter a couple of wine competitions a year,” said Castello di Amorosa President, Georg Salzner. “We were honored to be invited to this invitation only competition and very pleased with the final results.”

Held at the prestigious Boca Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, the American Fine Wine Competition is rapidly becoming the premier wine competition in the country with an all-star judging panel of recognized professionals as wine educators, wine writers, restaurateurs and sommeliers all with top qualifications in the their field.

It’s tough to win this competition-- 100 percent of the panel of judges must agree that any particular wine is worthy of a Gold Medal.  To win Best of Show, the consensus standards are even greater.

Castello di Amorosa’s award-winning wines will be poured at the American Fine Wine Competition Gala at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida by 50 volunteer Wine Angels.  Five courses will be served with the main course being prepared live on stage by Chef Emeril Lagasse.

Benefiting the Diabetes Research Institute and the Golden Bell Education Foundation, the Lifestyle live auction will be presided over by Alan Kalter announcer for Late Night with David Letterman. The Silent Auction features all 600+ award winning wines each signed by the winemakers themselves.

 

Winery

Year

Wine

Region

BOS

Castello di Amorosa

2009

Il Passito

North Coast

BOC

Ferrante Winery

2010

Golden Bunches

Grand River Valley

BOC

Ledson Winery & Vineyards

2010

 

Napa Valley

BOC

Mumm Napa

2005

DVX

Napa Valley

BOC

Mumm Napa

2009

 

Napa Valley

GG

Chappellet Vineyard & Winery

2010

 

Napa Valley

GG

Sbragia Family Vineyards

2008

Gamble Ranch

Napa Valley

GG

Sterling Vineyards

2008

Reserve

Napa Valley

G

Castello di Amorosa

2009

Bien Nacido Vineyards

Santa Barbara County

G

Castello di Amorosa

2008

Il Barone

Napa Valley

G

Castello di Amorosa

2008

La Castellana

Napa Valley

G

Acacia

2009

Sangiacomo Vineyard

Carneros

G

Ceja Vineyards

2008

 

Carneros

G

Domaine Carneros

2006

Le Reve Blanc de Blancs

Carneros

G

Mi Sueno Winery

2009

 

Los Carneros

G

Grgich Hills Estate

2010

Estate Grown

Napa Valley

G

Hall

2010

 

Napa Valley

G

Honig Vineyard and Winery

2010

 

Napa Valley

G

Miner Family Winery

2008

Wild Yeast

Napa Valley

G

Mumm Napa

NV

Brut Rose

Napa Valley

G

Truchard Vineyards

2010

 

Napa Valley

G

Swanson Vineyards

2007

"Tardif"

Oakville

G

Provenance Vineyards

2010

Estate

Rutherford

S

Artesa (Codorniu)

NV

Estate Reserve

Carneros

S

Clos Pegase

2008

Hommage Artist Reserve

Carneros

S

Patz & Hall

2009

Hyde Vineyard

Carneros

S

Beaulieu Vineyards

2008

Reserve

Los Carneros

S

Bouchaine Vineyards

2010

Bouche D'Or

Los Carneros

S

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

2010

Sofia Blanc de Blancs

Monterey County

S

B CELLARS

2010

BLEND 23

Napa Valley

S

Ballentine Vineyards

2009

Chenin Blanc

Napa Valley

S

Bennett Lane Winery

NV

After Feasting Wine

Napa Valley

S

Cornerstone

2010

Stepping Stone

Napa Valley

S

Frank Family Vineyards

2010

 

Napa Valley

S

John Anthony Vineyards

2010

 

Napa Valley

S

Maldonado Family Vineyards

2008

 

Napa Valley

S

Raymond Vineyards

2009

Reserve Selection

Napa Valley

S

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2009

Karia

Napa Valley

S

Trefethen Family Vineyards

2009

LH Riesling

Oak Knoll

S

Turnbull Wine Cellars

2010

 

Oakville, Napa Valley

S

Sawyer Cellars

2010

Estate

Rutherford

S

JCB by Jean-Chaarles Boisset

2010

JCB No. 81

Sonoma Coast

B

Schug Carneros Estate Winery

2009

 

Carneros

B

Gustavo Thrace

2010

 

Napa Valley

B

Hess Collection

2010

Allomi

Napa Valley

B

Rutherford Wine Company

2010

 

Napa Valley

B

Keenan Winery

2010

 

Spring Mountain

 

Jim Sullivan
 
January 8, 2012 | Jim Sullivan

Castello di Amorosa wine wins San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Napa Valley's Castello di Amorosa wins San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition:

We are pleased to announce that Castello di Amorosa’s 2010 Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewürztraminer is the Sweepstakes Winner and Best of Class in the Dessert wine category at the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world.

Sweepstakes awards were given for Sparkling, White, Pink, Red and Dessert. The 2010 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, the only wine from the Napa Valley to win a Sweepstakes title, was the best of 66 other Dessert wines submitted by wineries from across the U.S.

In addition to the Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, our 2010 Mendocino County Gewürztraminer received a Double Gold and the 2008 Merlot was a Gold Medal winner at this prestigious wine competition.

The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition set a new American wine competition record with an astounding 5,500 entries, surpassing its previous record of 5,050 last year.

For complete results, see http://www.winejudging.com

The winning treo of Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Dry Gewurztraminer and Napa Valley Merlot.

(Photo: Jim Sullivan, 2012)

Time Posted: Jan 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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