If ever there was a destination worthy of a world-class food, wine and lifestyle festival, it would be Napa, California. The very mention of this renowned wine producing area evokes savoring swoons among those who have sipped the nectar of the gods produced there.
Even more delirious with delight are those who know the history of this venerable wine area and how in 1976, the wines from some of Napa's producers upended the wine world by winning blind competitions over France's most esteemed wines. (See the movie Bottle Shock to experience firsthand, the history, serendipity, drama, and pride that this victory created.)
Yet, despite its long and illustrious reputation for excellence in the viticulture and culinary world, it has only been since 2011 that Napa has hosted its own festival, Flavor! Napa Valley Food & Wine Festival. This year, the fest takes place from November 20-24.
Having attended, one might say it was worth the wait. Taking place the week before Thanksgiving, five days and nights are devoted to the celebration of all things Napa. In one place, you have the origins of what has made the American wine scene so renowned. Imagine being in the spot where the combination of people, place and product makes for sensational synergy.
The Silverado Resort and Spa and the Culinary Institute of America are among the host venues that anchor the variety of activities to sample. There are wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, lunches, dinners, and tastings featuring some of the finest culinary and viticulture personalities around, many of whom live and work in Napa. There are one-of-a-kind opportunities to savor the regions' bounty such as a two morning tasting of Napa's most renowned and coveted wines, rare and legendary from the old and new pioneers of the region and a hands-on truffle lunch hosted by Chef Ken Frank who knows more than a trifle about truffles.
Other signature events include the opener, First Taste Napa: A Downtown Napa Tasting. This event opens Flavors by featuring the local restaurants, vintners and wine bars that make the downtown area of Napa a destination unto itself.
On Wednesday and Thursday you can immerse yourself in the culture of Napa by experiencing Terroir to Table: Farm, Cellar & Kitchen Experiences. These workshops offer an in-depth taste of what makes Napa so unique. Get into the local scene where olive oil, truffles, winemaking, cooking and lifestyle reign supreme.