Ridesharing: Castello Style
Dario Sattui (with the Cal Bears football helmet) and his team are serious about ridesharing. His Citroen 2CV which was originally designed to hold 2 farmers and haul 50 kilos of potatoes at 30 mph has been selected as the rideshare vehicle of choice for his enthusiastic employees.
CASTELLO DI AMOROSA OFFERS RIDE-SHARING FOR EMPLOYEES
Biggest program in Napa Valley
Frustrated with traffic in the Napa Valley? Wondering if any wineries are doing anything about it? Castello di Amorosa launched a ride sharing program in August and has seen the program succeed beyond expectations. The castle wishes to be part of the solution.
Approximately 30 castle employees have taken advantage of this program and are carpooling, cycling, walking or taking the bus to work. In this program drivers and passengers are incentivized with cash payments by the winery of $5 per round trip per passenger if there is less than a 15 mile commute and $10 per round trip per passenger for distances greater than 15 miles. The winery is proud to be reducing traffic generated by its employees on Napa County roads.
“We are delighted to be doing our part in cutting down on traffic and pollution,” says winery founder Dario Sattui. “We may be the only winery offering a financial incentive to our employees to ride to work together,” he continued. “We see this program growing at a great pace in the near future, and we’re honored to be a leader in our community to make this a worthwhile project both for our employees, local citizens and ‘Mother Nature,’” he added.
Napa County has studied local traffic patterns over the last several years and, in broad terms, has determined that most of the traffic is caused by people who work here but live somewhere else. “There are many factors---such as the lack of affordable housing---which cause the traffic which we all are noticing,” Sattui adds. “If other wineries follow our lead and incentivize their employees to share their rides and take public transportation, we may be able to see a difference in a relatively short period of time,” he continues.
In the County’s study (http://www.nvta.ca.gov/travel-behavior-study), tourists accounted for only 21% of the County’s traffic. The study estimated that 9% of all traffic is just passing through the County.
Castello di Amorosa will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2017. Building the winery was a fifteen year labor of love for Dario Sattui. The authentically built castle/winery used European artisans and materials such as antique bricks and roof tiles, hand-hewn timbers and doors, hand-forged iron gates, lamps and hardware and medieval construction techniques and over 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled local stone create this architectural gem.
The winery itself is a modern contrast to the castle. It contains the most advanced crushing and fermentation facilities, four underground levels and 24,000 square feet of caves for barrel aging.
Castello di Amorosa owns a total of 83 acres of estate vineyards in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. It sells its entire production of wine exclusively at the winery.
Castello di Amorosa is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. March-October and 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. November-February. Guests can come only to taste or can take a guided tour followed by tasting. Reservations---for tours only---are recommended.
I've spent a few years around various farms and ranches in Montana and Washington State working with livestock and performing various farming duties and I’ve had the opportunity to dine on some very good steak. I’ve been a real fan of steak ever since and so I was very excited to meet the folks at Best Filet Mignon and taste their product, paired with our Il Barone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, of course. You can read about our meeting in our last blog post, but let’s talk about the NY Strip steaks.
Just when I thought I had tasted the finest filet mignon ever, our friends at Best Filet Mignon sent me a package of their NY Strip steaks and I didn’t waste any time organizing a party and then heading to the grill. The steak was cooked to perfection which was great, but now all my friends have very high expectations when they come for dinner!
Sent overnight in an elegant shipping box, the NY Strip steaks, in their vacuum sealed pouch were very fresh, just like the filet mignon steaks I tasted earlier. Their steak is USDA prime and no hormones or antibiotics are ever used in the diet of their cattle.
What really impressed me was that Executive Chef, Phil Horn of Best Filet Mignon included a great recipe which I followed. Here it is. Follow every step and you won’t be disappointed.
Roasted Garlic Dijon Mashed Potatoes
- 2 3/4 pounds medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (or more) whole milk
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Placed peeled garlic cloves in small piece of tin foil, drizzle with olive oil, pinch of salt, close and place in 425 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.
- Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 25 minutes.
- Drain well.
- Return potatoes to pot. Add butter, roasted garlic cloves and mash potatoes until almost smooth.
- Mix in 2/3 cup milk and Dijon mustard.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Parmesan Tomato Crisps
- 6 cups thinly sliced beefsteak tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Gently drizzle and toss the sliced tomatoes in the olive oil to coat slices.
- Place slices without overlapping onto dehydrator shelves or a baking pan.
- If you are baking preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
- Sprinkle mixture over each slice.
- Depending on how thick the slices of tomato are, dehydrating could take anywhere from 12-24 hours.
- If baking check every 30 minutes until edges show some charring, could take 2-3 hours.
To order these delicious NY Strip Steaks from Best Filet Mignon, head to their website. Normally, Best Filet Mignon offers their 8 pack of 10 oz. NY Strip steaks for $289, but for a limited time, friends of Castello di Amorosa will receive $100 off which includes free FedEx overnight shipping. Simply enter the code “cdany” at checkout.
And if that’s not enough, you should know that BestFiletMignon.com is more than Filet Mignon. If you need guidance, ideas, or culinary advice, call the chef on his personal cell at 310-729-3264 or email him at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more recipes from Chef Phil and wine pairing ideas from Castello di Amorosa.
In our previous blog post, I described how we met some new friends. Here is a continuation of that post:
“I’ve got the Filet Mignon if you’ll bring the wine,” said Ed Diaz, the CEO at Best Filet Mignon. Now I was curious so I asked him where should we meet to which he replied, “I’m coming to see you at the Castello… are you available on October 21st around 11:00 a.m.?” I said heck yes and we set the date.
What I did not know was that Ed loves a good road trip. He packed up the car and picked up his Executive Chef, Phil Horn and they left Los Angeles at 4:00 a.m. on October 21, tweeting (@TheBestSteaks) along the way.
Tweet from Ed Diaz in the wee morning hours of October 21. Only 299 more miles to go!
They arrived right on time and as they walked up the steps of the Drawbridge, their eyes were wide open and filled with amazement. We toured the Castello and got to know each other. We headed to the wine fermentation room and then to the cellars.
Phil Horn, Executive Chef of Best Filet Mignon in the Grand Barrel Room at the Castello.
Ed and Phil came prepared with their Filet Mignon so I invited Georg Salzner, our President to join us for an epic tasting of Filet Mignon; prepared and cooked by Phil and paired with our 2011 Il Barone.
Preparing the Filet Mignon for the grill.
A 6 oz. cut of Filet Mignon ready for the grill.
Georg Salzner and Ed Diaz dining at the Castello.
I must say, the Filet Mignon was simply the finest cut of meat that I've ever tasted and the pairing with Il Barone was nothing short of spectacular. The flavors of the Cabernet Sauvignon framed by the lightly toasted oak and gentle acidity wine met the savory, succulent flavors of this steak. You owe it to yourself to experience this extraordinary steak as we did.
Ed and Phil want you to experience this wonderful food and wine tasting experience so they created a special offer exclusively for friends of Castello di Amorosa.
And as we promised, check out this video by Best Filet Mignon that pairs Il Barone with Filet Mignon (and wonderful side dishes). You'll learn how to make the perfect meal, without fail, everytime. Here it is:
Click on the logo below to see a special offer from Best Filet Mignon, available exclusively for friends of Castello di Amorosa.
Meet Best Filet Mignon's Executive Chef, Phil Horn
"Whether you are an aficionado or a quality flavor-craver, the king of steaks is the filet mignon because of its decadently rich, smooth, mild flavor and super savory, buttery texture. As a lifetime beef enthusiast, I love my filet mignon with nothing added (i.e. bacon, etc) and I love how it pairs with fine wine.
What you serve alongside filet mignon is what enhances the delights that your palate will experience upon tasting and ultimately bring out the earthy notes of the meat. For example, I really enjoy pan-roasted carrots in a butter sauce along with savory mashed potatoes.
Il Barone paired with a nice cut of beef from Best Filet Mignon
When it comes to pairing a wine for this dish, I recommend a wine that compliments filet mignon's more subtle flavors. Wines with dark fruit, elegant balance, and structure seem to work best. That said, I strongly recommend Cabernet Sauvignon, and particularly the Il Barone 2012 from Castello di Amorosa grown in California’s Napa Valley.
Filet mignon with sauted mushrooms and onions
The ripe, refined tannins framed in the generous body of the wine coupled with its hints of tobacco serve as a complement to the dish, without overpowering the flavor of the meat. This provides a wonderful balance due to the wine’s acidity and alcohol levels. Whatever is chosen to serve alongside the dish guarantees a simple, elegant, and delicious dining experience for your guests.”
Mary Davidek gives us a primer on Cabernet Sauvignon:
“Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely grown and recognized red wine grapes,” said Mary Davidek. ”Cab is grown in every major wine producing region covering a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. However, with a near perfect Mediterranean climate combined with rich soil ranging from rocky to alluvial--Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as Napa Valley’s king of grapes.
A Cabernet Sauvignon block 7 at the Castello
Mary Davidek, sommelier
Cabernet Sauvignon is an interesting study—thick skin, small, tightly clustered, darkly pigmented purple-black berries. Cabernet also has a higher ratio of skin and seeds (tannins) to pulp (juice) which contributes to the wine's aging potential and typically leads to oft used descriptors; i.e. big, intense, bold....
Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful wine and can be quite tannic when young, just the qualities to make it an ideal match for foods that are rich and packed with flavor. Cabernet Sauvignon tends to pair best with meat dishes as fats and proteins tend to soften the tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon.
It does not take a connoisseur to savor the sheer bliss of Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a char-grilled Filet Mignon. When showcasing a special bottle, remember, keep it simple. Cab + a great steak = pairing perfection!”
It does not take a connoisseur to savor the sheer bliss of Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a char-grilled Filet Mignon. When showcasing a special bottle, remember, keep it simple. Cab + a great steak = pairing perfection!”
Stay tuned to this blog as www.BestFiletMignon.com will soon be delivering cooking videos exclusively to Castello di Amorosa subscribers that will teach you how to make easy, impressive meals that pair wonderfully with our wines. Can you guess which wine they’ll be pouring first?
Nadine Sierra, one of the most promising emerging talents in the opera world today opened the landmark 10th season at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole on July 17, 2015. Boasting formidable 13th century Tuscan architecture and stunning views of the Napa Valley from it's Diamond Mountain District vineyards, the Napa Valley and Castello di Amorosa was a perfect setting to experience the performing arts, wine, wellness and the culinary delights offered by Festival del Sole, one of the world's premiere cultural events.
Nadine Sierra, one of the most promising emerging talents in the opera world today, performs.
Nadine Sierra celebrates with Jan Schrem, a major benefactor
of Festival del Sole.
Nadine Sierra on stage at the 10th anniversary of Festival del Sole.
An elegant dinner for patrons followed Nadine Sierra's performance in The Grand Barrel Room.
The Russian National Orchestra performes Moscow Nights in the Courtyard featuring world-renowned baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, acclaimed Russian-born baritone, Rodion Pogossov and tenor Daniil Shtoda.
The much-revered coutyard at the Castello was filled with the sounds of the Russian National Orchestra.
Cellist Nina Kotova performs with the Russian National Orchestra.
Herb Alpert was simply magical on the trumpet playing many classic numbers and songs from their latest album, Steppin' Out.
That's Michael Shapiro on drums and percussion and Hussain Jiffry on bass.
Bill Cantos performs with Herb Alpert and Lani Hall.
For more details visit: http://www.festivaldelsole.org
Expedia Viewfinder teamed up with Castello di Amorosa to reveal what about the winery makes it a royal experience.
Napa Valley, California, is an iconic destination perfect for those who want to learn about wine, sip rare vintages, and visit more than 400 wineries located in the area. Although there are plenty of choices for wine connoisseurs, only one will make visitors feel like royalty: Castello di Amorosa.
At Expedia Viewfinder we wanted to discover what makes this winery so regal, so we turned to our friends at Castello di Amorosa. Together we reveal why this is a must-visit winery in Napa:
The property on which Castello di Amorosa stands was purchased more than two decades ago by Dario Sattui, who came from a winemaking family. With Sattui’s passion for medieval architecture and knowledge of Italian design, the idea to recreate a castle in California was born. Castello di Amorosa was constructed to emulate the authentic 13th-century Tuscan castles owned by Italy’s elite. Every element of design and furnishing was chosen so that visitors can experience the majestic nature of an Italian fortress.
The castle is certainly part of this winery’s allure. However, oenophiles know that the vineyards are the most superb feature of all. More than 30 acres are devoted to growing merlot, sangiovese, and primitivo grapes, but the cabernet sauvignon grapes are the vineyard’s pride and joy. Castello di Amorosa embraces the concept of “terrior,” which is a French term used to describe the perfect blend of warm climate, sunshine, rich soil, and ideal location.
For more than 100 years, Napa Valley has been recognized as a prime spot to grow California grapes that blossom to perfection. The soil is made up of a diverse array of coastal rock and eroded seafloor from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in rich nutrients that give the grapes their divine flavor. During a visit to Castello di Amorosa, tour the vineyard to see these grapes on the vine or witness the harvest.
The Royal Food & Wine Pairing Tour
The crown jewel of any visit to Castello di Amorosa is the Royal Wine and Food Pairing. It’s truly a luxurious experience that broadens guests’ knowledge of local wines, while simultaneously letting them nosh on delicious bites. After a tour of the stately property, Mary Davidek, an expert sommelier, explains what makes each wine special and describes its perfect match.
Samples of the food and wine pairing menu include a 2012 reserve chardonnay served with a tomato and butternut squash soup, a 2011 sangiovese with chicken and fennel meatballs, and a 2011 La Castellana reserve blend accompanied by Cotswold cheeses and a homemade baguette.
On your next trip to Napa Valley, tap into your royal side and toast the sweet stuff at the grand Castello di Amorosa. Marvel at the sumptuous architecture, tour the pristine grape vines, and sip on the sublime vino.
Written by Expedia Staff Writer
Dario Sattui, owner of V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena and Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, has pledged $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga for its future construction of a permanent Club facility in Calistoga.
Listen to Dario's interview on KGO 810:
“I am really proud to make this small contribution to the future of our community, and believe this will make a positive impact. Let’s hope the Club can raise the rest of the money quickly and open the new Club, “said Sattui.
Dario Sattui with the Board of Directors and Staff of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga
“This is a landmark moment for our organization,” commented Club Executive Director Jay Templeton. “Mr. Sattui’s magnificent lead gift provides us the framework to begin focused discussions of our Calistoga project. The Boys & Girls Clubs and Mr. Sattui share the same values of respect for the environment, and the importance of agriculture, nutrition, exercise, academics, entrepreneurship, technology skills and guidance in preparing today’s youth to be productive 21st century citizens.”
Currently the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga operates an after-school program located at the Calistoga Elementary School on Berry Street. In 2012, registered youth membership at that site was 395 with an average daily attendance of 129. The Club also operates a Teen Center located in the city’s Monhoff Center on Grant Street adjacent to the Calistoga Junior-Senior High School.
“For some time, the Board of Directors has discussed a Calistoga project,” said Templeton. “Our St. Helena facility was opened in January of 2008 following a successful capital campaign. The next vision has been to establish a permanent facility in Calistoga through community fundraising.”
On April 26th, the Board of Directors will hold a Board retreat specifically to discuss the Club’s Calistoga future, including discussions on a potential location, cost, size, fundraising and timing. “We hope to come out of that day with basic direction and to set the course for a new Boys & Girls Club building in Calistoga,” remarked Templeton.
Sattui will attend the Club’s Board of Directors meeting at noon on March 20th to present two $500,000 checks. Each of his local businesses, V. Sattui Winery and Castello di Amorosa are contributing jointly.
The Sattui donation is the second lead gift received for the future Calistoga project. In November of 2012, the DeLong-Sweet Family Foundation made the first contribution, a $250,000 pledge arranged by Calistoga residents Paul and Pamela Ingalls. The Boys & Girls Club hopes these early donations are an indication of the support it will have and need in order to complete the Calistoga capital campaign and the construction project.
The children of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga with Dario Sattui and staff.
Noted Board of Directors President, Kathleen Herdell, “We are thrilled by the generosity of Dario, Paul and Pamela. Their contributions will touch the lives of Up-Valley children for generations to come. ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t adequately capture the gratitude we feel for these visionaries and role models. They are helping to give the kids a safe and positive place to be after school and all summer long. Having watched the excited faces of kids as they enter the St. Helena Clubhouse, I can’t wait to give the Calistoga children that same experience.”
Romantic love will be in full celebration as guests express their love for each other at Castello di Amorosa’s cupid-friendly Royal Hearts Gala on February 16, 2013. A reception kicks off the festivities at 7:00 p.m. followed by dinner seating at 8:00 p.m. The winery’s name embodies the spirit of this gala --- “Castle of Love.” The evening will also include a performance of excerpts from Shakespeare’s works on love.
Castello di Amorosa welcomes special guest chef Alejandra Schrader, a Top 10 Finalist in Fox’s MasterChef USA Season 2. “To say we are thrilled to have Chef Schrader showcase her culinary skills is an understatement,” said President, Georg Salzner. “I’m sure she’ll dazzle us with menu she’s creating. We are looking forward to the menu and the evening,” he adds.
Currently a private chef in Los Angeles, Shrader has participated in high profile culinary festivals such as “Taste of Chicago,” the world’s largest, as well as food and wine festivals in Washington, D.C. and Palm Desert. “I have had the opportunity to learn directly from renowned chefs like Mary Sue Milliken from Border Grill and acclaimed Ricardo Zarate of Picca and Mo-Chica (Food & Wine Magazine’s 2010 Best Chef),” Shrader explains.
“I was fortunate to compete and present my dishes to Judges Chef Gordon Ramsay, Chef Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich,” Chef Schrader explains. “From well over thirty thousand auditions all over the country, 100 people were brought to Los Angeles to compete for the title of MasterChef; and I was one of the lucky ones. I am proud to be part of the MasterChef family and it will be an honor to prepare special dishes for the guests at the Castello’s Gala.”
The Royal Hearts Gala will include a VIP reception with hors d’oeuvres in the Tasting Room followed by a 4-course meal in the Grand Barrel Room. Cost is $195 for the winery’s wine club members and $225 for non-members.
Shakespeare in the Vines will perform selected scenes from Shakespeare’s most romantic plays and sonnets during dinner. Shakespeare in the Vines is an acting troupe which specializes in the works of William Shakespeare.
A top finalist and fan favorite on FOX's popular show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay, Alejandra has established her presence in the culinary world. She has performed cooking demonstrations all over the United States at prestigious food and wine festivals such as this year's Taste of Chicago, the largest food festival in the world. She has shared the culinary stage with renowned chefs like Roy Yamaguchi, Aaron Sanchez, Sara Moulton, Mark Peel and Graham Elliot. Since the end of MasterChef, Alejandra has done appearances on TV shows like Access Hollywood Live, Cafe CNN, NBC’s Today in LA, and Primera Edición (Univision, Spanish TV). Her recipes and interviews have been featured in high profile magazines like InTouch Weekly and Taste of Home. She owns a private chef business in Los Angeles; she is also writing her first cookbook and working on exciting new media projects. More at http://www.alejandraschrader.com/
Chef Alejandra Schrader
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:
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.