The Agenda: Spring in Wine Country


The Next Gen of Wine Country Events at Yountville Live

For four days, music lovers will converge on Yountville for the 2nd annual Yountville Live, a celebration of world-class food, wine and live performances by some of today’s hottest recording artists including The Goo Goo Dolls, Plain White T’s, Kris Allen and more, plus emerging artists. Produced by music industry insiders including Joe Fischer of BottleRock Napa Valley, Yountville Live 2016 promises to raise the Wine Country experience to a whole new level.

Photo courtesy Yountville Live

The event launches with a Volvo Vineyard Welcome on Thursday March 31 at Brix in Yountville featuring an acoustic performance by Plain White T’s, followed by eight distinctive wine-paired dinners prepared by leading chefs from Wine Country and beyond.


The Goo Goo Dolls, photo by Chapman Baehler

The Red Carpet Gala Friday, April 1 is an evening of live entertainment Napa Valley style with Chefs Michael Chiarello, Julian Serrano, Grant MacPherson and Gale Gand cooking side-by-side as guests watch on big screens. Friday’s gala is highlighted by an up-close and personal acoustic set by The Goo Goo Dolls. Saturday afternoon brings the classic “Taste of Yountville” a culinary stroll featuring food, wine, garden tours and cooking demos against the backdrop of live music. The weekend wraps with a Bubbles Brunch accompanied by an acoustic performance from American Idol’s Kris Allen.

Check the Yountville Live website for details and tickets. Tickets range from $85 pp for Taste of Yountville to $1,295 pp for all-access VIP passes. VIP passholder benefits include an After Hours Party on April 2 at Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Restaurant with DJ experience provided by Grammy-nominated Mayer Hawthorne.

A New Napa Valley Tasting Room for NBA Star Yao Ming

Photo courtesy Ed Aiona

Retired NBA basketball star Yao Ming has opened a spacious and elegant new tasting room in Saint Helena showcasing YAO MING® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The light-filled space is anchored by a dramatic oval shaped bar available for walk-in tastings, complemented by a private club lounge and a shaded, outdoor patio.

Photo courtesy Ed Aiona

We loved the Yao Ming Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, available for tasting as part of the Reserve ($50) or Library Tasting flights ($80). Yao Family Wines is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 929 Main Street, Saint Helena.

A Signature Napa Valley Home and Garden Tour in Kitchens in the Vineyards

No longer just about kitchens, the 19th annual Kitchens in the Vineyards Home and Garden Tour (April 29-30) features Wine Country living at its finest showcasing five homes designed for entertaining, indoor-outdoor living and relaxation. Guests will be inspired by the spring décor as they stroll through the self-guided tour, enjoying small bites by local Napa Valley chefs from Angele, Meadowood, Ninebark, La Toque and more. Kitchens in the Vineyards benefits Music in the Vineyards, celebrating its 22nd season July 29 to August 21 at various Napa Valley wineries.

Photo courtesy Kitchens in the Vineyards

The homes span Napa Valley, showing the diversity of residential styles from a weekend getaway cottage to Mediterranean villa to a rustic country guest house. In Downtown Napa, guests can gander at the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Ackerman Heritage House, a textbook 1888 Queen Anne Victorian designed by iconic Napa architect Luther Turton.

The main tour ($70 pp, $75 at the door) takes place Saturday April 30 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The popular preview party with a private sparkling wine tour and dinner at Robert Mondavi Winery ($250 pp) takes place Friday April 29 from 3:30 – 10 p.m. See website for details and booking.

Spring is Arts in April in Napa Valley

April is the time to be out-and-about in Wine Country and in Napa Valley, there will be over 75 local arts events throughout the month to head out to. Arts in April begins with “Napa Valley Collects”, an opening reception at the Napa Valley Museum on April 7 from 5-7 p.m. featuring significant works of art from private collectors throughout the valley.

Photo courtesy Beringer Vineyards

The Art of Stained Glass at Beringer (April 3) is an example of the uniquely Napa Valley art, culture and history that will be on display during Arts in April. The tour provides guests with an inside look at the 41 hand-crafted stained glass windows of the 17-room Rhine House built in 1884.

The month-long event ends with ENGAGE Art Fair (April 30 – May 1) in Calistoga where local artists, craftspeople and performers interact with visitors through the creative process as well through discussions and hands-on activities. Be inspired by an array of media such as photography, textiles, clay, drawing, metal and glass. Completing the Art Fair will be a Maker’s Marketplace, over 10 local bands performing and food and wine available for purchase.


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