A Visit to an Italian Castle — in Napa!

You don’t have to go to Europe to explore an Italian castle — just visit Castello di Amorosa in Napa!

I’ve been to Portugal, England, and Wales and visited castles in all three countries, so I figured this Castle in the northern Napa valley was just a tourist attraction — a step below Disneyland.

Well, I was wrong! This is so much better than Disneyland!

While you may never have heard of the wines from Castello di Amorosa because they ONLY sell direct to consumer and to select restaurants, visiting the castle is a MUST SEE experience if you’re in Napa.

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Let Pasqua Put a Little Love in Your Life Appassimento Style #ItalianFWT

Pasqua puts a little love in your life via their wines which feature Verona’s most famous love story — that of Romeo and Juliet. Even today in Verona, lovers write around 3,000 messages on the wall of Juliet’s house in Cappello Street. A photo of that wall shot by photographer Giò Martorana superimposes with the names of these wines: PassioneSentimento.

Pasqua offers two very unusual dry wines, one white and one red wine made by an unusual and time consuming process– and one that is rarely (if ever!) done intentionally in the US. In fact, Pasqua offers the only dry red in the U.S. market made from 100% dried grapes that’s not Valpolicella nor an Amarone, and one of the rare whites.

What’s the process? It’s called appassimento and it’s what the Italian Food Wine and Travel group of writers is writing about this month! 

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Let Pasqua Put a Little Love in Your Life: Prosecco and Rosato

It’s time to put a little love in your life!

If you can’t travel to Black Rock City aka Burning Man or the city of Verona — home to one of the most famous love stories of all time,  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare– you can put a little love in your life this summer or fall by using your imagination with a little help from Pasqua’s romantic reds, whites, rosatos and Prosecco wines!

equally romantic and delicious…

Shakespeare’s TIMELESS love story about Romeo and Juliet resonates today, and with Verona indelibly associated with it, you won’t be surprised to learn that every day 3,000 or so messages are written on the 20-foot wall of Juliet’s house in Cappello Street.

The label for Pasqua’s Romeo & Juliet wines features an eye-catching photo of that graffitied wall, shot by photographer Giò Martorana, with the PassioneSentimento wine name superimposed.

We paired these inexpensive, excellent valued and beautiful wines from Pasqua with a late summer and fall favorite — make your own pizzas with a gathering of three families poolside at a friend’s home.

As several people in our party are vegetarian or rarely eat meat, the focus was on veggie toppings. Joining me tasting was Sue and her partner John, and our host Judy and her spouse Jay who have a wonderful large granite slab for laying out ingredients and making the pizzas, plus an assortment of kids drank Italian soda and my husband enjoyed Italian beer.

Today check out Pasqua’s Prosecco and Rose, and tomorrow, we have two passimento wines, one red and one white, for #ItalianWFT! Read the invite by host Katarina here.

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Terroir Champagne Expert Caroline Henry Visits The Cave, Ventura 8/20

The dirty secret about Champagne is that the water of that region is the most polluted in France – and possibly the world. Why? Because of all of the pesticides used in growing the grapes to be made into wine.

I learned this fact last summer from Champagne resident, journalist, and wine educator Caroline Henry when I went to get a glass of water from the tap while visiting her.

In the introduction to her book, Terroir Champagne: the Luxury of Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Cuvees, Caroline explains what “terroir” means — beyond simply the place of origin– and why she focuses on how the people who make the wine interpret the expression of the soil. To truly express the soil, Caroline argues that the winemaker needs to facilitate bringing the minerals in the soil to the plant which requires that water “be able to freely move in the soil.”

“With all the herbicides generally used in Champagne,” says Caroline, “the soil is often hard and impermeable.”  During a heavy downpour, she says, you can see the water run off the land and erode the soil

According to Caroline, in Champagne

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