Just Like Frozen...

1:34 PM

2 sisters and a castle...

...just like Frozen. Except we're Asian, there was NO snow, and it's really a winery.

So basically, just like Frozen. Every Princess needs a Castello (de Amarosa), right? Napa is known for many things, but mostly for their delicious vino. Did you know a perfect castle is nestled right outside of the Napa city limits? Once you get off the 80 and start your journey on the 12 to Napa, you only have to go about 35 miles to get yourself to a real, live castle. For every girl that grew up dreaming of becoming a Princess, thanks Disney, you can make it happen as an adult. I mean the castle at Disneyland (and World) might also satisfy that craving too, but this one has wine...lots of wine. Take your pick.

You'd think I'd have already been here with all my Napa day (and overnight) trips OR during the 11 years of me being legally allowed to drink, but NO! I always talk about it and always mention it when I'm in Napa, but since it's out of the way, it was always a no-go. Or something closer just sounds more alluring, more tasting, less driving is usually the consensus.

Well, J made my dream a reality on Monday (re: finally, haha teasing). We both had the day off and it was almost like our faux Valentine's Day celebration AND he so sweetly knows I love to get out of the house on holidays. No pressure though. We had a lovely day of soccer games, visiting our fave Valentine, and the movies on Sunday -- but it was almost like any other Sunday. So it was nice to have the extra day to go explore with my Boo.

J and the Lil had been arranging all the plans, so I just went with the flow. Before we left, we grabbed a breakfast burrito to share and coffees. Then we were on our way. I was SO excited! The drive was much more congested than we anticipated, but we stuck it out. Once we pulled onto the grounds, we could already tell it was going to be crowded.
To be completely honest, I don't think we got the most out of our visit, BUT I was completely happy with our visit. I loved just going there, taking it all in. There are plenty of other days to pay for the overpriced tour to see the dungeon. I loved walking around the grounds, which lead us to the front, from where we parked. I loved walking around the courtyard and snapping random pics. I loved feeling like a princess on a gorgeous, sunny day. I loved tasting their wines, which are exclusive to the castle.
The Bestest is a pro here and suggested a bunch of stuff. When it was time to decide which tasting to do, we went the baller-on-a-budget route and bought one regular tasting and one reserve tasting. We could share it all and get to try the fancy stuff, and saved $10. Winning! The setup is a little strange, so don't be taken back when you first get there. They have plenty of staff directing you where to go - tasting, tours, or just wander.

We purchased our golden tickets, then we wandered around until we found the tasting room. You make your way down the stairs and it's like a whole different world is happening down there. We walked straight to an open spot in the main area -- but after exploring a bit, there are plenty of spots to taste from. Our servers name was amazing (re: Stephanie) and she was really sweet. She seemed to have her speech on each wine perfected, I'm sure she does it over a hundred times per day. We each got six tastings, the reserve came with up to three (of the six) off of the reserve list. So, to be most effective with our decision we ordered twelve different tastings from both menus.

We tried them all - the whites, the reds, the reserves, and the desserts. We liked most of them, but weren't really WOW'd by the wines. I lied, we really liked the first white we tried and ended up buying a bottle of it, the Pinot Bianco. As I was buying this, I couldn't help but grab one of their wine glasses with their logo. They had fancy ones for over $20, but I went with the baller-on-a-budget one for $8. Seriously, one day maybe I'll grow up and have a normal collection of wine glasses. But for now, I'm content with collecting single glasses from all the wineries I visit. It's like collecting memories, much better than adulting. They have their checkout system down and labeled for you, so you aren't confused about where to buy your stuff.

We wandered around the five or so different rooms downstairs. They even have a sale section of wine and other trinkets. I tried to find a sale Cab Sav (don't judge), but I couldn't. It was mostly whites and a few Merlot's. Oh well, it wasn't meant to be! After that we made our way back upstairs to the courtyard, where I forced J to take a few pics with me. The fellas decided to chat in the blazing heat, while the Lil and I went exploring. There are a lot of old artifacts with signs describing what they were. There was one and Lil dared me to sit in it, then she documented it. We found another little shop and other rooms to explore. They even had a little chapel, where we each lit a candle for our Grandparents and said a little prayer.

After exploring and people watching, we were all starving. On the way to the castle we noticed a new-to-us, Gott's Roadside. How I did not see this on the way to the Napa Marathon start line, is beyond me. I guess it was nerves. Anywho, R and Lil saw it on the way too and R was craving a burger. Even though we'd been to the one near the Oxbow Market, we aren't one to turn down burgers. So we hopped in our cars and met there. The line had at least 25 people in it, but they had a bar area where we could order adult beverages to enjoy in line.
Wine for me, beer for J -- we were happy campers, as we jumped from shade to shade while waiting in line. I went with the California Burger, J opted for the Western Bacon Blue Ring Burger. I have this odd feeling, this is dejavu from when we tried it the first time, but don't quote me on that. I also went with an order of onion rings, peer pressured from Lil and J went with the fries. I really wanted a shake, but wasn't trying to play with fate and my lactose intolerance, so I stole about five huge sips of Lil's instead! I also grabbed another glass of wine to wash down our late lunch, which in hindsight was an awful idea for my 7:20PM soccer game!
It was really fun to spend the day with Lil, R, and J. Especially since we'd all never been to the Castle and since it's been awhile since we've seen them. I appreciate that although J would rather be a homebody, he goes out of his way to make sure my adventurous side is happy sometimes too! It was a great way to end the long weekend. We even hit up the Napa Outlets (re: random), but only walked a way with a little surprise for his Godson, nothing for either of us!
It was kinda like Frozen, but not..

PS - Happy National Wine Day

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  1. That castle is one of my favorite places (and very little of that even has to do with the wine), I just think it is beautiful and so fun! I'm glad you were able to visit!!!

    1. HAHA, I think everyone goes because it's a freakin' castle, the wine is okay...and just an added bonus ;) It truly is a beautiful place, the castle and the grounds! Me too, I'm sure you'll be going again soon! xoxo, ganeeban


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