I have been missing from this space for over two months and the reason is my new passion: Pottery.
It's been an interesting experience of moving out of my comfort zone, of trying something new, of rediscovering myself.
It's been loads of practice, struggle, frustration and patience.
It has also been about a sense of achievement of seeing one's first not-so- perfect pot fired and glazed.
You can see my progress in this beautiful art here.
Now for a post about the trip to this delightful castle winery in Napa Valley in sunny California: Castello di Amorosa.
Napa Valley attracts visitors from all over the world due to it's picture perfect scenic views, the blue skies, rolling hills,vineyards and wineries on either sides of winding road.
As we drove through the wine country we realised they were filled with a wide variety of wineries.
On researching, we found a castle for a winery and decided to follow the GPS leading us to the gates of Castello di Amorosa.
...and what followed will be conveyed through my photographs.
The castle isn't particularly ancient, it is just 20 years old and was built by Dario Sattui of V. Sattui Winery in a 13th-century Tuscan style. The architectural style with the picturesque vineyard backdrop is what makes it so breath-taking.
We were just in time for a wine tour...
The castle is built over 171 acres of land filled with forest, stream, lake and vineyards. It has 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below the ground.
The gorgeous courtyard where balmy evening parties are hosted...
The Tuscan style is evident in the details...
Our super interesting wine guide giving us information about the castle.
The afternoon shadows of furniture in the courtyard.
The castle has a Chapel as well!
We sure felt transported to Tuscany.
The masonry and ironwork were handcrafted using old crafting techniques.
The Great Hall has lovely frescos painted by two Italian artists who took over a year to finish.
The castle has authentically designed features of a moat, drawbridge, defensive towers, an interior courtyard, a chapel, a knights' chamber and a a torture chamber! (will omit that;-)
The metalwork were all hand-crafted.
Now for the cellar and wine-tasting :-)
The huge wine cellar.
Following our wine connoisseur's instructions of smelling, twirling, sipping the wine...
Their list of wines.
Our wine tasting session.
....and I came back with a bottle of their best dessert wine and one teeny-weeny bottle of grape-seed oil. Filled with great nutritive properties, going to replace the olive oil with this one for the salads!
Hope you enjoyed the visual tour of the castle winery.
(Images by Arch)