Travel Guest Post: Napa Valley Events

Wine lovers, prepare – the Napa Valley’s famed summer concerts, harvest season’s wine festivities, and Cabernet Season’s film, art and food festivals offer a cuvee of sensory delights. Napa Valley is known for it’s natural beauty, phenomenal culinary scene (14 Michelin Stars awarded for 2012), world-class accommadations, art, spas and of course, award-winning wine.
While grapes gently ripen on the vines, fans can shop at farmer’s markets, hike, bike and kayak the area’s state parks and nature preserves, and experience the following spring and summer happenings:
  • NAPA VALLEY ARTS IN APRIL™ (APRIL 1-30, 2012) – A celebration of the elemental connection between wine and the arts, this month-long program satisfies cultural cravings with an exploration of winery art installations, pop-up exhibitions and tastings. Introduced in April 2011, Arts in April offers special access and packages to enjoy the Napa Valley Collection, making it the perfect time to get a dose of Napa Valley culture.
  • AUCTION NAPA VALLEY 2012 – THE AMERICAN WINE CLASSIC (MAY 31-JUNE 3, 2012) –Recognized as the charity event of the season, Auction Napa Valley brings wine lovers and winemakers together to celebrate the best Napa Valley has to offer with four days of: insider’s access into the cool cellars and warm hospitality of renowned Napa Valley vintners; parties ranging from blue-jeans casual to wear-your-finest formal, hosted by the people behind some of the world’s most recognized wines; and more than 250 auction lots ranging from a single case of wine to one-of-a-kind trips.
  • NAPA VALLEY FESTIVAL DEL SOLE (JULY 13-22, 2012) – Set among lush rolling foothills and breathtaking vineyard landscapes, Napa Valley Festival del Sole brings together music, dance, fine wine and cuisine, and unique lifestyle programs for a 10-day experience. Currently in its seventh year, the 2012 festival includes performances by internationally renowned soloists, orchestras, ballet companies, and jazz and popular music artists, all held in settings as diverse as candlelit wine cellars and outdoor amphitheatres. Featured artists include Joshua Bell, Danielle de Niese, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Lisa Delan, Angel Romero, Nina Kotova, Hélène Grimaud, Philharmonia Baroque, the Russian National Orchestra, dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet and more.
  • MUSIC IN THE VINEYARDS (AUG. 1-19, 2012) – This three-week celebration features nearly 40 renowned musicians from around the globe in a variety of stunning outdoor “vineyard venues.” Music in the Vineyards, now in its 18th season, brings together nationally recognized musicians in winery settings in which both performers and audiences experience chamber music as it was originally intended.
Enriching Cabernet Season Happenings – The season that follows “Crush” offers the valley a little time to relax once wines are poured into barrels.
  • NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL (NOV. 7-11, 2012) – For the second year now, Napa Valley Film Festival showcases the best in new independent filmmaking and world cinema alongside acclaimed food and wine. The festival provides visitors with the opportunity to attend film screenings throughout the Napa Valley’s distinct and charming communities, to get up close and personal with filmmakers and to enjoy exclusive epicurean adventures crafted for festival attendees.
  • FLAVOR! NAPA VALLEY™ (NOV. 14-18, 2012) – Flavor! Napa Valley festival showcases the legendary food and wine talents of the Napa Valley – a region that earned 14 Michelin restaurant stars for 2012 – and offers a five-day series of epicurean and oenophile events, hosted at the Silverado Resort & Spa, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA) and at local vineyards, wineries, restaurants, farms and artisanal food purveyors. Net proceeds from the event will support programs and scholarships at the CIA’s Greystone Campus.
Spirited Holidays – The Napa Valley’s holiday traditions include quirky lighted tractor parades and magical winter wonderlands complete with horse-drawn carriage rides, as well as festive winery parties and special holiday dinners prepared by celebrated chefs. 
  • YOUNTVILLE’S 23RD ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS (NOV. 23, 2012) & WINTERSCAPE (December 2012) – Kick off the holiday season at the 23rd Annual Festival of Lights in Yountville, and watch as this charming Napa Valley town transforms into a glowing winter wonderland. Throughout December, Yountville’s Winterscape provides a range of holiday entertainment including carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, food and wine events and a visit with Santa.
  • CALISTOGA TRACTOR PARADE (DEC. 1, 2012) – The 17th Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade is the ultimate small-town holiday experience. Vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks and construction equipment bedecked with dazzling lights roll down Calistoga’s scenic main street to celebrate the season and the city’s agricultural heritage in the most Calistoga way. This popular and charming Napa Valley event gets bigger and better every year and is perfect for the whole family. Local merchants stay open late for holiday shopping and offer spiced cider, Christmas cookies and other sweet treats. 
  • NAPA’S HOLIDAY HISTORIC B&B TOUR AND TASTE EVENT (DEC. 1, 2012) – Featuring food and wine pairings from the City of Napa’s premiere chefs and wine makers, each of the 12 historic Napa inns pull out all the stops for the holidays, with festive lights and entertainment – live music, choral ensembles, pastry demonstrations and even mini massages. Buses and shuttles provide complimentary transportation between inns, and tickets include food, wine and access to all B&B tours.
  • THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AT MEADOWOOD (2 weeks in December 2012) – Guests are invited to attend Meadowood’s signature holiday culinary extravaganza as a dozen of the country’s most renowned chefs collaborate with 12 of Napa Valley’s preeminent vintners to present holiday feasts on 12 festive December evenings. Along with Christopher Kostow, Chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood – which has earned a Michelin Three-Star rating– the events feature cuisine from world-celebrated chefs and Napa Valley vintners.
  • NAPA VALLEY RESTAURANT MONTH™ (JAN. 1-31, 2013) – Throughout January, the Napa Valley offers unique dining opportunities and special menus at some of the region’s most notable restaurants. These special dining opportunities offer new ways for culinary adventures to access Napa Valley’s acclaimed dining scene.
  • NAPA TRUFFLE FESTIVAL (JAN. 18-21, 2013) – A celebration of food, wine and truffles, the third annual Napa Truffle Festival is presented once again by the American Truffle Company featuring a unique gathering of leading truffle cultivation experts and scientists, along with internationally renowned Michelin-star chefs and special guests from the food and wine world. Events include Michelin Star dining experiences, cultivation and culinary seminars, cooking classes, a truffle orchard tour excursion and an epicurean marketplace. 

A full calendar can be found online at, along with seasonal packages and offers from Napa Valley’s resorts, B&Bs and inns.

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