The Second Annual Flavor! Napa Valley Food and Wine Festival

Following a successful 2011 debut, an impressive array of Napa Valley-based celebrity chefs, restaurants, vintners, sommeliers and artisan food producers are set to once again headline this year’s Flavor! Napa Valley food and wine festival, scheduled for November 14 – 18, 2012.

“The 2011 event exceeded our expectations and drew more than 3000 people to the Valley during a time of year that is traditionally lower occupancy,” said Clay Gregory, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Napa Valley Destination Council. “We were also able to make a substantial donation to The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) from the festival’s net proceeds,” added Gregory.

Napa Valley Chef Michael Chiarello, the originator of the Flavor! Napa Valley concept, is joined again this year by fellow Napa Valley chefs such as Thomas Keller, Christopher Kostow, Cindy Pawlcyn, Jeffrey Jake and Masaharu Morimoto. Visiting graduates of The Culinary Institute of America include Scott Conant, returning for his second year, along with Geoffrey Zakarian, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, Larry Forgione and all three of his sons – Marc, Sean and Bryan – cooking a course together at the opening night tribute dinner to their father, a chef often referred to as the “godfather of American cuisine.”

Wine experts include author and CIA graduate Rajat Parr, the wine director of the Mina Group, along with Karen MacNeil, Chairman of Professional Wine Studies at the CIA and author of The Wine Bible and Napa Valley resident Andrea Robinson, the first female Master Sommelier in the United States.

According to festival producer Herb Karlitz, one of the festival highlights is a two-day tasting of wines “that have and continue to put Napa Valley on the map, reaching back to the post-Prohibition wines of the ‘40s through the present day.” Featured wines on day one are the ’57 Louis Martini Pinot Noir, ’66 Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘76 Joseph Phelps Insignia, ’77 Beringer Private Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, ’78 Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, ’78 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘79 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Estate

Cabernet Sauvignon, ’83 Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon , and 2001 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs Late Disgorged bottling, among others.

On day two, attendees experience special tributes to legendary winegrower Andy Beckstoffer and winemaker Heidi Barrett, including wines from Bacio Divino Cellars, Carter Cellars, Schrader, Tor Kenward Family Wines and La Sirena as well as examples from David Arthur Vineyards, Hundred Acre and many others. Curated by Anthony Dias Blue of The Tasting Panel magazine and the Napa Valley Vintners, the tasting features winemakers and vintners sharing their personal perspective on their wine and its place in Napa Valley’s history.

Tickets go on sale in mid-July and the festival’s net proceeds support student programs and scholarships at the CIA at Greystone Campus in St. Helena, Napa Valley.

For more information, along with a complete lineup of festival events and activities, please visit

A glimpse of last year’s Flavor! Napa Valley festival

Masaharu Morimoto's Demo

Thomas Keller's Demo

Guests partake in the wine tasting demo

Michael Chiarello at the CIA kitchen Demo

Brunch at the Silverado Resort

Richard Blais Demo

The Appellation Trail Food and Wine Tasting

Tyler Florence pours and serves his wines to attendees

Top Taster Blind Wine Tasting with Rajat Parr