Flavor! Napa Valley Wine and Food Festival Announces Tickets on Sale and the November 20-24 Schedule of Events

Images by Tubay Yabut Photography

Flavor! Napa Valley wine and food festival announces the November 20-24 schedule of events, featuring new chefs, sommeliers, seminars, and more hands-on, intimate workshops. The festival showcases legendary food and wine talents of the Napa Valley – a region that earned 12 Michelin stars this year. Unique to Flavor! Napa Valley, participating chefs must have a restaurant in the Napa Valley or be a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the festival’s beneficiary. This year is a significant one for several Napa Valley wineries that are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2013. Tickets are now on sale. To purchase tickets and for the full schedule of events, visit flavornapavalley.com.

The Lineup

Renowned chefs joining the festivities this year for the first time include restaurateur Todd English; Roy Choi, who ignited the food truck craze in Los Angeles; and Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, owners of some of the hottest New York City restaurants. Celebrated returning chefs include Michael Chiarello, Scott Conant, Jeffrey Jake, Christopher Kostow, Masaharu Morimoto, and Cindy Pawlcyn.

Wine experts include author of The Wine Bible and Chair of Wine Studies at the CIA at Greystone, Karen MacNeil; Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson; Master Sommelier Larry Stone; the publisher of Vinography.com, Alder Yarrow; Mike Grgich, Violet Grgich, and Ivo Jeramaz of Grgich Hills Estate; Joseph Phelps Vineyards’ winemaker Ashley Hepworth; Robert Mondavi Winery’s director of winemaking Genevieve Janssens; Cakebread Cellars’ winemaker Julianne Laks; and Louis M. Martini’s winemaker Michael Martini.

The Workshops

The popular Terroir to Table: Farm, Cellar, Kitchen™ program has been expanded this year, with 14 small hands-on workshops in the hosts’ vineyards, farms, wineries and kitchens. Eager food and wine enthusiasts will have the chance to learn with the region’s culinary leaders and vintners in a series of intimate three-hour workshops on topics ranging from bee-keeping to micro-distilling to preserving foraged foods to understanding why we like the wines we like. All Terroir to Table events cost $100 per person, and the group sizes are kept small to allow an interactive participant experience. Workshop highlights include:

Three Beekeepers, Three Chefs, and a Winemaker – The Napa Valley Bee Company brings together three of Napa Valley’s premier beekeepers with three chefs and a special guest winemaker for a morning at the apiary to learn about bee colonies and taste honey-inspired recipes.

CADE Estate Winery: Hands-on Green – Winemaker Danielle Cyrot will teach the fine art of creating award-winning CADE wines in the Napa Valley’s first LEED-certified estate winery.

Oenotri: Handmade at Oenotri – Chefs and owners Tyler Rodde and Curtis DiFede will lead a hands-on lesson about preparing an authentic pasta lunch – combining old-world traditions with Napa Valley ingredients.

St. Clement Vineyards: Why You Like the Wines You Like – Master of Wine Tim Hanni will explore the biological and psychological factors that determine personal wine preferences, and lead a tasting to demonstrate the new “rules” of wine and food pairing.

The Demonstrations

The best and brightest in culinary innovation will demonstrate how they expertly work a selection of favorite ingredients into award-winning, signature cuisine. A selection of these events includes:

From the Kitchen at The Restaurant at Meadowood Napa ValleyChef Christopher Kostow, the recipient of three Michelin stars and latest Napa Valley chef to be honored with a James Beard Award, will lead a cooking demonstration showcasing the fresh and bountiful resources from the Napa Valley. Cost: $95 per person.

Chef Todd English’s Interactive Lunch – Award-winning Chef Todd English will lead an interactive lunch experience, featuring a cooking demonstration, hand-on cooking lesson in The CIA’s spectacular Teaching Kitchen, and lunch. Cost: $135 per person.

West Coast Meets East Coast: A Demonstration of Italian Specialties, Presented by Delta Air Lines – Discover the gastronomic alchemy that explodes when four of the hottest chefs from the east and west coasts converge. Representing the west: Michael Chiarello and Brian Bistrong of Napa Valley’s critically acclaimed Bottega restaurant. From the east: Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi of Carbone restaurant in New York City. Join these innovators of modern Italian cuisine as they demonstrate that true culinary genius has a geography all its own. Cost: $110 per person.

The Wine Tastings

Wine tasting events will give guests the rare opportunity to interact with some of the region’s most renowned winemakers. Napa Valley winemakers embody the spirit of innovation, craftsmanship, and camaraderie, creating some of the world’s most sought-after wines. Guest will taste wines from the region’s iconic Cabernet Sauvignon to more rare varieties at events such as:

Premiere Napa Valley Wines: The Tasting of a Lifetime with Alder Yarrow – Wine expert Alder Yarrow will lead participants through the first public, guided tasting of Premiere Napa Valley wines, one-of-a-kind small-lot blends typically offered exclusively at the Premiere Napa Valley barrel auction, the Napa Valley Vintners’ trade-only event. Cost: $125 per person.

10-year Insignia Vertical Tasting with Ashley Hepworth – Celebrate 40 years of winemaking during this rare 10-year vintage vertical tasting (1998-2007). Joseph Phelps Vineyards’ winemaker Ashley Hepworth will share the rich history of Insignia, California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend – considered a benchmark in California wine. Cost: $125 per person.

Exploring the Rutherford Appellation: A Guided Tasting Tour with Larry Stone – Join Master Sommelier Larry Stone and a select group of Napa Valley’s finest producers in a unique exploration of flagship wines from the historic heart of Napa Valley – the Rutherford appellation. This notable tasting will include young and older vintages from Quintessa, BV Georges de Latour, Staglin Family Vineyard, Dana Estates and Alpha Omega. Cost: $125 per person.

The Celebrations

Spectacular dining events offer guests the opportunity to satisfy their inner foodie and meet and interact with chefs, winemakers and vintners.

Welcome Dinner: Celebrating a Century of Milestones – Presented in conjunction with the Napa Valley Vintners, a century of Napa Valley enophilic brilliance will be celebrated at Silverado Resort and Spa with Executive Chef Jeffrey Jake in this salute to five legends of the region: Cakebread Cellars: 40th anniversary; Chandon: 40th anniversary; Grgich Hills Estate: Mike Grgich’s 90th birthday; Louis M. Martini: 80th anniversary; and Robert Mondavi Winery: in honor of the anniversary of Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday, with Margrit Mondavi. Each winery will be paired with one of the featured guest chefs: Roy Choi, Todd English, Larry Forgione, Masaharu Morimoto, and Richard Reddington. The evening concludes with a celebratory cake designed by Napa Valley’s beloved Model Bakery. Cost: $325 per person.

Appellation Trail: Tasting Napa Valley – The festival’s exciting grand tasting event makes an encore performance at The CIA’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena and will feature nearly 100 wineries and 25 restaurants, all in one historic, beautiful stone building. Attendees will have unparalleled access to participating chefs and winemakers during this fun, highly social event. Cost: $165 per person.

Dinner with Napa Valley Winemakers – More than 25 of Napa Valley’s top winemakers will join Meritage Resort and Spa’s Executive Chef Krisztian Karkus in the property’s wine cave. Each dinner table will be hosted by a Napa Valley winemaker who has carefully chosen the wines to pair with the evening’s multi-course feast. Cost: $165 per person.

First Taste Napa – Downtown Napa’s kickoff celebration for this year’s Flavor! is a culinary stroll through town that includes signature tastes from a number of Napa restaurants , as well as access to special Flavor! Napa Valley prix fixe menus. Cost: Complimentary to guests of participating Napa hotels and inns.

Terroir to Table: A Sustainable Brunch: Guests will join esteemed Chef Brad Farmerie, executive chef at The Thomas in Napa, artisanal growers and producers, and several Napa Green winemakers for a brunch at Silverado Resort and Spa featuring sustainable wine and food. Cost: $85 per person.

For more details on the festival, including where to stay, please visit flavornapavalley.com. Additionally, visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/FlavorNapaValley, and follow @FlavorNV on Twitter.

Check out photos from last year’s Flavor! Napa Valley