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Jim Sullivan/Castello di Amorosa

Key Info

4045 North Saint Helena Highway

Details

Tours, Sightseeing, Wineries/Breweries Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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 O'Brien Estate

From planting to bottling, the entire wine-making process occurs on this relatively small plot of land (comprising 40 acres of vineyards, a winery and the owner's home). And by all accounts, the end result is a hit with visitors. Consider a wine tour at O'Brien Estate if you're looking for a relaxed, intimate atmosphere with personalized service. 

Recent visitors raved about the tour guides, who share interesting and educational facts about the winery, but also give plenty of alone time to kick back, relax and savor the wine experience. Expect stunning views of Oak Knoll Appellation, plus a welcome glass of wine upon your arrival.

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O'Brien Estate/O'Brien Estate
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