The Napa Valley plays host to a slew of annual events, including Premiere Napa Valley and the attention-grabbing Auction Napa Valley, not to mention hundreds of events at local wineries, hotels and restaurants.
If you’re looking for a reason to plan a trip to wine country, here are four events that are well worth scheduling around.
Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Release Day
Held every February, this event attracts visitors from all over the world. The winery celebrates the release of its flagship wine, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, by inviting guests to the recently rebuilt estate in Oakville. In addition to tastes of the new release, guests can try other vintages as well as pours from the Duncan Family’s other label, Twomey Cellars. Local chefs are on hand to provide delicious food pairings and the atmosphere feels like one big family party.
Spottswoode Late Summer Garden Party
Held every year in mid to late August for wine club members and the winery’s best customers, this annual rite of passage is a sophisticated, yet relaxed celebration of the passing of the warm season. The gorgeous Spottswoode estate in St. Helena is the venue, complete with beautifully manicured gardens and plenty of space for relaxing with a glass of Napa Valley’s finest. The winery breaks out older vintages along with both current and future releases to go along with delicious fruits, nuts, cheeses and fresh dishes served up by local chefs.
Napa Valley Film Festival
The inaugural event was held in November 2011 and was such a big hit that work is well underway for the 2012 event that promises to be even better. Held over the course of five days at numerous venues spanning the entire valley from Calistoga to Napa, the Napa Valley Film Festival features sneak previews and special screenings of upcoming films. The 2011 event saw screenings of Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” “The Descendants” starring George Clooney and attracted numerous celebrities, including Dane Cook, James Cromwell, Adrian Grenier and many others. Local wineries, restaurants and hotels put together special packages and deals to make things even more enticing. Discounted tickets for the 2012 event are available through March 31st.
Flavor! Napa Valley
Also a new event in 2011, Flavor! Napa Valley was a four-day series of epicurean and oenophile events that brought together the who’s who of the valley’s fine dining and fine wining establishment. With a home base at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Flavor! included meet and greets, special appearances and chef demonstrations from the likes of Chef Richard Blais, Chef Scott Conant, Chef Ken Frank (La Toque), Chef Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Napa), Chef Michael Chiarello (Bottega), Chef Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Bouchon, Ad Hoc), Andrea Robinson and many others. The Appellation Trail Grand Tasting Event included an absolutely dizzying array of fine food and wine that is sure to be the highlight of any trip to the valley. Details on the 2012 version are still being ironed out.