Twice is Not Enough…

It’s always fun to renew tasting experiences you’ve enjoyed before. So it was a kick to drive down the 29 recently and have a Merlot tasting at Duckhorn Winery and a whole bunch of different wines at Castello di Amorosa.

After turning off on to Lodi Lane we wound up the driveway to Duckhorn’s Estate, taking  in its beautiful grounds, before settling into their outdoor deck where a bunch of tasting groups were celebrating birthdays, graduations and the like. Tasting thru a bunch of merlots we liked the 2015 Patzimaro Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon the best, while mildly wishing that Duckhorn’s 2016 Three Palms Vineyard had been part of the tasting. After our tasting we took a nice stroll around their grounds before heading up road 29 and turning left up the winding drive to the Castello di Amorosa.

My web gal loves animals so much it was hard to get her away from all the birds, goats and various other creatures that were baying at us in front of the castle. Not that she’s alone in this, as there were a ton of other tourists who were flocking to the animals too.

Once I dragged her away from the cute critters, we made our way up to the Il Passito Tasting Room that specializes in salumi and cheese tasting paired with Italian style wines.  Our fav castle pourer Jamie, in the nifty double breasted Italian suit wasn’t on but Luca filled in admirably. Last time I left Jamie we were sharing a grim chuckle about all the atrocious movies DeNiro and Pacino have made since Heat. Knowing in a way that nothing will take away from the mark they made, but jeez guys, will you stop making that crap… you don’t need the money. Imagine a winery putting out nothing but crap wines for the last 20 plus years…

As for our salumi, cheese and wine tasting it was a relief for me as I have a hard time finding a wine that the web gal likes as she leans towards the sweet wines and I like the full bodied, tannic wines. So our server, Luca attuned to our likes, kept my glass full with a bunch of full bodied, tannic wines and sweet wines for the web gal. For our purchases I settled on Castello’s 2014 Napa Valley Sangiovese whose grapes were growing out in front of the castle. My web gal got Castello’s 2017 La Fantasia Rose and also Castello’s 2016 Dolcino, which is the Italian word for gently or slightly sweet. The web gal really loved the local cheeses as well, with the blue cheese being her favorite.

Almost out of the grounds I noticed a stairway down to the cellar that we missed on our previous visit. Couldn’t resist descending and were glad that we did. Really a fun spot with neat architecture, a horseshoe tasting bar and a bunch of rooms on either side that’s got a bunch of cool Napa stuff.  When a Chinese tourist gal asked about the olive oil in front of us, I said, it would be good for dipping or cooking, she beamed and said, “Oh thank you, my father would love this for cooking.”

Before you leave Castello di Amorosa, go down to the basement, you’ll be glad you did, as it easily has the best merchandise rooms in Napa…

And finally for a night’s staycation at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa right off the 29. The Marriott has a lobby with a terrific concierge who knows where to go and plan if you don’t. And just off the lobby is a fine pool and deck for socializing. It was convenient to grab a bite at the VINeleven restaurant located within the hotel.