January 21, 2014

Calistoga under the clouds

Castles are just awesome. That's a fact. Unfortunately, America is not brimming with remnants of medieval knights and courts. We don't let that stop us though, why not just build a modern castle that looks really old? Problem solved.

Dario Sattui had the grand idea to build Castello di Amorosa as an Italian inspired winery. Located in Calistoga, CA the castello (castle) is modeled after a 13th century Tuscan castle and hosts both wine tasting and tours. 

For Mom's birthday weekend we began with a venture to this not-so-ancient relic. While the whole gang enjoyed walking around the structure and grounds, Mom and Dad got to also enjoy some fine wine. 

The cold gray day gave the castle an eerie out of its time feel. You could turn a corner and nearly forget you were in the center of California in the year 2014. 

Castles do pose the problems of tiny windows, but I like to peek anyway. 

There is also one thing every proper castle needs that we can't forget...princesses! 

Especially princesses that know how to wave properly (thank you Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway). 

Keeping with authentic Italian style, the castle features a small chapel off the courtyard. 

There are also lots of excellent hiding spots throughout the castle (hide and seek anyone?). 

The Castello di Amorosa, though likely (in my opinion) the coolest winery in Calistoga, is definitely not the only one. Napa Valley is home to over 300 wineries and you could shuttle around all day week month long tasting wine. However, Dad's not the happiest wine man, and we were on our merry way to San Francisco, leaving time for only one more stop: Beringer Winery

Beringer is over one hundred years old, making it one of the largest wineries in the area. It's long history has made it infamous, and well known to many Hollywood stars, including Mr. Rhett Butler himself, Clark Gable (my favorite fun fact of the day). 

As the sun settled low in the sky, the winery portion of Mom's birthday trip came to an end and it was "onward and outward, kiddies" to San Francisco. 

Yours, Kenna 

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