The Agenda: Summer In Wine Country


Indulge your senses in Wine Country for a richness of events covering art, design, fashion, live performances, and of course, wine.

Festival del Sole begins its 10th anniversary year on July 17 with 10 days of world-class live performances of music, dance, and theater in beautiful venues throughout Wine Country. The festival supports arts programs in local public schools and in 2014, every need and wish was fulfilled. One of the big fund-raising events during the festival is the Gala at Meadowood on July 19, headlined by award-winning performer, director, and producer Kevin Spacey. The highly-anticipated evening of entertainment and delectable food and wine will be followed by an equally exciting live auction of luxury experiences. The intriguing auction lots were just released on Friday for guests’ advance planning.

Photo by Paul E. Richardson

The “art of life” is complete with an array of classic Wine Country lunches and dinners hosted by local vintners to choose from. For an art-driven luncheon with loads of style, attend the Brunello Cucinelli luncheon and fashion show hosted by Neiman Marcus and Kathryn and Craig Hall at the Hall’s beautiful hilltop residence. The alfresco luncheon, hosted in honor of Ann Getty (style and taste-maker extraordinaire) is set amidst the Hall’s extraordinary 20+ year collection of modern art including works by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, and Roy Lichtenstein. Models will stroll between the tables showcasing the Fall collection of leading Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli.

Photo by Alejandro Gomez

One of the many live performances to choose from during the festival is the dance gala on Friday, July 24, which is unique in assembling star dancers from ballet companies around the world. Principals will perform works from classic to contemporary with added appearances by cellist Nina Kotova and pianist Mikhail Korzhev performing Tchaikovsky live with the dancers.

A limited number of individual tickets and passes to select events are still available. Check the website or call the Festival del Sole concierge at 707.346.5052, ext. 2.

Image courtesy Odette Estate

In Stags Leap District, Odette Estate has opened their inviting new estate lounge designed by Downtown Napa-based Shopworks. Like the mythical Odette and Stags Leap wines, the new lounge is bold in style but feminine in spirit with lacy screens and circular chandeliers. We love how the spacious new room speaks to the Gold LEED-certified winery across the vineyards, nestled in the curved folds of the mountains.

The Estate Lounge was designed with distinct spaces for new guest experiences. On one end is comfy lounge seating with deep black velvet sofas to sink into; on the other end, a 10-person dining table reserved for seated tastings under their new 90-minute Estate Tour ($60 per person) or for the 2-hour Vineyard View Lunch ($165 per person, minimum party of 6). On the patio, cushioned benches provide additional seating with beautiful views of the Stags Leap landscape.

Odette Estate Winery experiences are by appointment.

Visit: 5998 Silverado Trail, Napa

Image courtesy West Sonoma Coast Vintners

The West Sonoma Coast Vintners host the 5th annual West of West (WOW) Festival at The Barlow in Sebastopol July 31-August 2 weekend. These singular Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines hailing from the far, far west Sonoma Coast evoke the freshness and purity of the rugged coastline. This celebration of West County wines features two grand tastings, sumptuous dinners, and comparative wine seminars. Don’t miss an eye-opening vineyard tour, “A Stroll Down Taylor Lane,” where the towering Redwoods meet the Pacific Ocean. Guests will be able to explore the single vineyards producing select wines they’ve tasted and meet with growers, all the while marveling at the stunning views from the ridge.

WOW weekend passes are $595 per person and individual tickets to the opening West County Whole Hog event ($150 per person) and Grand Tastings ($100-$125 per person) are available. Main events are held at The Barlow, a re-purposed apple processing facility that is now the epicenter for food, wine, and art in West County.

Visit: 6770 McKinley Street, Sebastopol

Image courtesy di Rosa, Napa

The Carneros Wine Alliance celebrates its 30th anniversary and the Year of the Ram, its namesake, with a Birthday Bash at di Rosa on Saturday, July 25 between 3:30pm-6:30pm. The Carneros region, bordering the cool San Pablo Bay in Sonoma and Napa counties, is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Festivities include art-walking tours of di Rosa’s modern art collection, cork craft tables, raffle drawings, and a blind tasting contest. Vintners will pour both current release and library wines alongside delicious bites and live music. Tickets are $100 per person with a portion of the proceeds supporting di Rosa, an art destination with over 200 acres of beautiful preserved land in the heart of Carneros. Di Rosa has one of the most significant holdings of northern California contemporary art with nearly 2,000 works by 800 local artists in its permanent collection.

Visit: 5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa