Castello di Amorosa

Deep in the heart of Napa Valley, there is a castle.  A wine castle.  It’s called Castello di Amorosa and it is just about the coolest place in the United States.  

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This is a legit castle.  It has everything, from gargoyles…

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To wishing wells…

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To lush gardens…

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To the regal Prince Edward the Cat (we named him… that’s not his official name) who reigns over the castle with a stern paw. 

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He’s so regal.  

And of course, there are the vineyards…

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And the wine itself! 

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The wine, of course, was amazing.  Interestingly enough, I’m usually a fan of red wine, but my favorite wine here was definitely the Chardonnay.  It was the most amazing white wine I’ve ever tasted.  

Finally, after the sampling, we made our way to the gift shop, where I realized that these vineyards and wineries have discovered the most brilliant marketing plan ever: get your customers buzzed and then set them loose in the gift shop.  Seriously.  You want to buy everything.  I especially liked this book…

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After a delightful dinner, we ended up leaving Napa around 10:30 – 11:00 at night.  Four hours later, the massive 6.0 earthquake struck.  My friends and I had no idea until the next morning, when I woke to several text messages, a missed call, and a voicemail.  

I immediately assumed my parents were checking to make sure I would make it to the airport on time (which, in case you’re wondering, I almost didn’t), so I called my mom and told her, “Don’t worry.  I’m awake.  We have plenty of time.”

But instead of expressing her relief, she just asked if I was okay, if we’d been affected at all.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  By that point, my friend Hannah was awake and also receiving text messages from concerned loved ones.  It turns out that, had we been awake at 3 AM, we would have felt the earth shaking and swaying. 

I know it’s been more than a week now, but I’m still thinking about all the nice people that we met in Napa.  It’s such a beautiful and wonderful community with good, honest people.  I hope that they’re all alright and that they will soon bounce back from this horrible disaster.  

Aside from the earthquake, my trip to California was an absolute delight.  Thank you, Hannah, my dearest friend.  I can’t wait to return! 

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