Napa, CA
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Castello di Amorosa

First the fantasy, now the reality: Winemaker Daryl Sattui has created Castello di Amorosa as an Tuscan palace-cum-winery. Twelve years in the making, Castello di Amorosa, just south of Calistoga in the Napa Valley, promises to open in April. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
In case the neighborhood turns, Castello di Amorosa has five defensive towers with battlements. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
A hand-made antique dragon greets visitors at the front entrance of Castello di Amorosa. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Arches frame the interior courtyard of Castello di Amorosa. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Octavio Rios chisels a block of stone at Castello di Amorosa. Medieval designs and construction methods were employed to create 121,000 square feet of Tuscan castle south of Calistoga, Calif. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
The Sattui family coat of arms over the entrance to Castello di Amorosa in the Napa Valley (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Winemaker Daryl Sattui with one of several frescoed walls he commissioned for Castello di Amorosa (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Huge frescoes grace the wall of the great hall at Castello di Amorosa. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
The great hall at Castello di Amorosa measures 72 feet by 30 feet, with a coffered ceiling 22 feet high. Frescoes — decorative but perhaps not museum-worthy — cover the walls, inspired by classics including Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Good and Bad Government” at the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, Italy. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
One of the chairs that grace the great hall in Castello di Amorosa. Its owner, Daryl Sattui is a self-confessed medieval architecture fanatic. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Castello di Amoroso owner and winemaker Daryl Sattui walks through the castle’s cellars, which house thousands of wine bottles and barrels. The largest underground chamber is the main barrel cellar, 135 feet long, with 40 cross vaults. It contains 1,200 barrels and took three years and $2 million to build, Sattui said. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
The castle may have been inspired by the Middle Ages, but it has state-of-the-art winemaking equipment. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Wine bottles gather dust in the cellars at Castello di Amorosa. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Hand-made dragons add a medieval touch to the entrance of Castello di Amorosa. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
A view of the interior courtyard through arches of loggia at Castello di Amorosa, a meticulous, if not always authentic, vision of a Tuscan castle. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)
Hand chiseled local stone and 200-year-old, handmade brick from Europe were put together using medieval designs and methods of construction at Castello di Amorosa. (Spencer Weiner / LAT)