Napa Valley should be on the list of any wine lovers. Summer and fall are the best seasons to visit for an obvious reason: there are grapes hanging on the vines and wine harvest should be fun to witness! With that said, I think any season is a good season for Napa. 🙂
Since we only had three days, we started from the northern tip of the valley: Calistoga–Sterling Vineyards and Castello di Amorosa on our first day.
Wine tasting was only part of the reason to visit Sterling Vineyards; the white building complex sit on top of the hill, the view of the valley from the winery is extraordinary! And the ride up to the tasting rooms itself was a great experience, too.
The following were the wines in our tasting:
- 2016 Winemaker’s White Blend ***
- 2015 Oak Knoll Chardonnay ***
- 2015 Sangiovese ***
- 2014 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ****
- 2015 Petite Sirah ****
- and California Malvasia Bianca *****
The entire Sterling Vineyards is best viewed from the Castello di Amorosa, and vice versa.
The Castello di Amorosa, the Castle of Love, is my #1 priority among Napa Valley wineries. The first time I heard about this castle was on Culture Trip, it was listed as one of the 12 most beautiful castles in America.
This Castle of Love has the best tour and tasting experience during our weekend in Napa. A fourth generation winemaker, Dario Sattui, spent more than 14 years to build this 13th century Tuscan-style castle to honor his Italian heritage and to share his deep love for medieval architecture.
Don’t let the look fool you, the castle was newly opened in 2007. There are 107 rooms, and no two rooms alike, wine caves, even a medieval armory and torture chamber, Castello has it all.
All the building materials were 700-800 year-old and hand-made, shipped from Italy! Talking about authenticity! Walking inside the castle we felt like traveling through time to Tuscany, Italy…
These were the wines we tasted at the castle:
- 2017 Ferrington Vineyard Gewurztraminer ***
- 2017 Simpatica Riesling/Moscato Blend ****
- 2016 Bien Nacido Vineyard chardonnay ***
- 2016 Pinot Noir Terra de Promissio *****
- 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ****
- 2013 Napa Valley Il Brigante Red Blend ***
- 2017 Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewurztraminer *****