Castello di Amorosa#4 in Best Things To Do in Napa Valley
Most wineries are a bore for children. Some don't even allow them to enter in the first place (see O'Brien Estate Winery). But that's not the case at the Castello di Amorosa winery. This time-warped 13th-century Tuscan castle mystifies visitors of all ages. If the allure of seeing a moat, a drawbridge — even a torture chamber — in Northern California is not enough, recent guests also vouch for the wine.
Past visitors describe Castello di Amorosa as a real-life fairy tale with the added bonus of incredible wine. Many also recommend the guided tour and tasting — instead of just the general admission — for the educational tour guides who do a great job at explaining how to properly taste wine. And if you're not into drinking wine, the architecture of the castle alone is worth a visit, as well as the beautiful scenery.
The tour and tasting lasts about an hour and a half and reservations are suggested. The facility is open to the public daily 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. March through October; 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. November through February. The basic tasting and access to a few of the rooms costs $25 per person, although more elaborate tours and classes are available as well. For more information, check out the winery's website.
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#1 Frog's Leap Winery
Owner and winemaker, John Williams, started as a dairy farmer in New York, but fell in love with winemaking and opened his own winery in 1981, known as Frog's Leap Winery. This country farm meets vineyard is the perfect place to enjoy great wine and company without the stuffiness sometimes found at wineries. Plus, Frog's Leap farms organically, so you're making healthy choices by the drinking wine – right?
Some say this winery offers the most relaxed and enjoyable tour-tasting in Napa Valley. Tour guides lead you through the fruit and vegetable gardens, the fermentation room, barrel room and the gorgeous farmhouse. Recent guests love leisurely savoring their wine while gazing at the gardens and Mayacamas Mountains from rocking chairs on the farmhouse porch. Guests also said that the occasional run-in with the jovial winemaker John Williams is always a treat.
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