Situated smack in the middle of the Napa Valley, Yountville calls itself the “Culinary Capital of Napa Valley” and now, during the first week in April, you can judge that claim for yourself. Two of the town’s most popular annual events have joined forces, so from March 31 to April 3 you can immerse yourself in top-flight food, wines, and music at both Taste of Yountville and Yountville Live!
This will be the 23rd– annual Taste of Yountville, which has changed its date this year to coincide with the Yountville Live! music event. On Saturday, April 2, from noon until 5 pm, you can stroll along Yount Street sampling culinary offerings, local wines, and artisanal wares from the town’s boutiques and shops. You’ll find other activities at the Yountville Community Center and Plaza, including music, microbrews, and more fine wines.
Yountville is completely walkable, so wander around the charming downtown area to participate in chef demos, garden tours, and live music and entertainment. For $85, you can purchase a Premium Tasting Passbook, which gets you in to unique tasting experiences at all participating restaurants and tasting rooms, access to the Grand Tasting Pavilion, a souvenir tasting glass, and eligibility for the afternoon drawing.
On March 31, the town launches its popular food, wine and music celebration, Yountville Live! The four-day event features a red-carpet gala, a “Bubbles Brunch,” and a VIP after-party. The first evening will include “Eight @ Eight” dinners – each one an exquisite, coursed dinner paired with a premier winery or restaurant. Best of all: Guests will enjoy a personal performance by an up-and-coming artist who will be seated at the head of their table. Each dinner is limited to 30 guests, to keep it on an intimate scale.
Other event entertainment will include live music by the Goo Goo Dolls, “American Idol” winner Kris Allen, Mayer Hawthorne and the Plain White T’s, along with other performances by emerging artists.
Its lineup of culinary superstars includes Michael Chiarello (Bottega Napa Valley), “Top Chef” Victor Scargle (The Culinary Institute of America at Copia), and Bob Hurley (Hurley’s Restaurant), along with Las Vegas chef Grant MacPherson (Bellagio and Wynn in Las Vegas, Raffles in Singapore), Julian Serrano (Picasso, Aria, and Lago in Las Vegas) and James Beard Foundation award-winning pastry chef Gale Gand (Tru and Spritz Burger in Chicago).
Among the wineries pouring wines will be Trinchero Family Estates, Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines, Grgich Hills Estate, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Franciscan, Clos du Val, Peju, Paraduxx, Ma(i)sonry, Priest Ranch, Robert Mondavi Winery, Provenance, Hewitt, and Somerston.
Passes are now on sale at YountvilleLive.com, and range from $75 for single events, to $1,095 for the all-access VIP Pass. Visitors need not purchase admission to Yountville Live! to participate in Taste of Yountville.
Photo credit: Bob McClenahan