Producers of “The Quest” needed a medieval-style castle to serve as a set for their fantasy-based reality show and found one in Napa Valley.
COVID-19 restrictions scotched original plans to use Burg Kreuzenstein castle in Austria. The pandemic meant the producers had to track down the essence of the Middle Ages in the New World.
Enter Castello di Amorosa near Calistoga.
Vintner Dario Sattui opened his $30 million, Tuscany-style “castle winery” in 2007. He strove for authenticity, down to importing almost a million antique bricks from Europe and employing building methods used 800 years ago.
“It looks so authentic, that’s why they wanted it,” Sattui said on Wednesday. “I don’t know if they had another choice.”
The winery as of Wednesday morning had yet to sign the contract with the producers, but will do so, he said.
“The Quest” ran on ABC television in 2014 and is being revived on Disney + streaming service. It involves contestants engaging in various tasks in the fantasy world of Everealm.
Pre-production work at Castello di Amorosa is to begin on Nov. 9 and filming should be completed by Feb. 13. The maximum number of people on site at any one time would be 250, a county report said.
Producers estimate the film production will provide a $6-million benefit to Napa County, including 30 temporary jobs, local fire and security contracting, $2.5 million in purchases of goods and services and $1.7 million in hotel taxes, the report said.
“I thought we can really help the Napa Valley economy, especially during the winter, if we do this,” Sattui said.
The county has been hit by the pandemic, the Hennessey Fire and the Glass Fire. Sattui, who owns two wineries, said the economy is awful and this is the most devastating year he’s seen over the past 45 years…