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.  

12511_10203716273040978_4485328006783349643_n 10420133_10203711838530118_280410715710271264_n 10562942_10203716272360961_4428178330204143571_n 10590655_10203716271920950_7375282606631132810_n 10653725_10203716314162006_3748328652163232792_n10622798_10203711831849951_1547690339992735662_n 10624904_10203711838010105_7592316948198780039_n

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


To wishing wells…


To lush gardens…


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. 

10629723_10203711845730298_7870414299686550845_n 10521098_10203716270960926_3980681980153855455_n

He’s so regal.  

And of course, there are the vineyards…

10420784_10203711830009905_2612376478973094833_n 10616213_10203716315602042_7277222959553566418_n 10628335_10203716313681994_4843211252226682188_n 10647176_10203711829489892_1569890361596384665_n10628366_10203711837330088_2352331148174107984_n

And the wine itself! 

10639728_10203716285321285_1823322051190433987_n 1976924_10203716290041403_2331727504998174286_n 10659152_10203716287401337_3939091745594783538_n

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…


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! 

1908409_10203711808009355_3285491432403269666_n 10393876_10203695263395750_685834268541363922_n 10460322_10203695227874862_6517463231347229474_n 10614268_10203695262675732_5804351485236691470_n 10620820_10203711817569594_6399239458534339511_n 10653361_10203703834090012_5362267396607986980_n