CALISTOGA (CBS SF) -- It was a labor love for winemaker Dario Sattui, building and expanding his unique medieval castle inspired winery Castello di Amorosa.
But in a matter of hours, flames from the Glass Fire had devastated the winery compound, leaving piles of burned bottles of wine amid the wreckage.
"I spent nearly 15 years of my life designing and building the castle, which besides my wife Irina, is the second love of my life," Sattui posted on the winery's website.
"I never thought the stone and brick fortress would be affected by fire. Unfortunately, in the early morning hours of September 28th, Castello di Amorosa sustained significant fire damage to the Farmhouse building, a separate 15,000 square foot building across the crush pad about 50 yards from the castle itself. The Farmhouse was completely destroyed. The beautiful castle itself and underground cellars which comprise approximately another 121,000 sq. ft. were not harmed by the fire."
"Flaming embers landed in the grass near Highway 29 creating a massive fire that ripped up the hill to the Farmhouse before I knew it. My first response was to let our farm animals out of their pens, and then I raced to find a fire truck which responded quickly, but it was just too large a fire to handle."
"Fortunately, most of our wine inventory is stored in the castle and in our off-site warehouse and is in great condition. The Farmhouse contained about 120,000 bottles of wine with a retail value of approximately $5 million, a bottling line, a portion of the wine from the 2020 vintage and offices and a laboratory above."
"The castle itself was unaffected by the fire. I estimate that repairing this craftsman building and re-equipping it will cost approximately $10-12 million and take 2-3 years as most of the antique materials must come from Europe. The estimated total loss is approximately $15-20 million."
"I really appreciate your heart-felt support during this difficult time. Your calls, emails and wine orders are very much appreciated. I am thankful for your support of the castle and honored that you continue to purchase and enjoy our wine which will help sustain the castle during this horrible time."
"I am thankful that no one was injured and want you to know that we are strong and resilient, and we will overcome this tragedy. Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors, some of whom have suffered great losses. We are forever grateful for the hard work and dedication of the brave fire fighters and the first responders."
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