SONOMA, Calif., July 7, 2015 – Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole is celebrating 10 amazing years this year. This beloved cultural event features 60 events that celebrate the stars of music, dance, theater and art. Napa Valley’s finest wineries and restaurants also have a role, of course. It wouldn’t be an event in Napa without fabulous wine and food.
Imagine yourself sitting in picturesque Napa Valley, surrounded by lush vineyards, towering mountains on either side of you, with the sun shining down warm upon your shoulders as you listen to life-changing classical musical performances while you slowly sip and swirl Napa Valley’s best wine. You may think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
This year’s festival will be legendary with actor/producer Kevin Spacey serving as executive producer, and highly anticipated performances by the Russian National Orchestra, soprano Deborah Voigt, opera star Ildar Abdrazakov, classical mandolinist Christopher Acquavella, Chicago’s Lyric Opera star Ryan Belongie, ballet star Ashley Bouder, jazz violinist Regina Carter and pianists Hyejin Kim and Mikhail Korzhev.
The venues for these performances are just as amazing as the artists themselves. Festivalgoers will have “behind the rope” access to the biggest names in wine and food in Napa Valley. Wineries will be hosting everything from classical performances to divine dinners and luscious lunches. Here are a few venues where you should be sure to catch an event:
Lincoln Theater: The Lincoln Theater is one of Napa Valley’s few large performing arts venues, and it is located on the historic Veterans Home grounds in Yountville. WHAT TO ATTEND: Beethoven’s 9th Symphony Ode to Joy and Gordon Getty Premiere 7/18; Dance Gala: Solo for Two 7/24; Festival Live 7/25; Community Concert Angel Heart 7/26; Finalé Concert: Midori, Hvorostovsky & Orbelian with the Russian National Orchestra 7/26.
Castello di Amorosa: “The Castle,” as it is called in Napa Valley, is the product of a lifelong obsession and 14-year construction by V. Sattui owner Dario Sattui. This 13th century Tuscan-style castle is as jaw dropping as the performances you will see here. WHAT TO ATTEND: opening night reception 7/17; patron dinner 7/17; opening night with Deborah Voigt and Brian Zeger 7/17; Moscow Nights with Dmitri Hvorotovsky 7/22, 6:30pm; Jazz at the Castello 7/23.
Charles Krug: Charles Krug is Napa Valley’s oldest winery, and has been owned and operated by the Peter Mondavi Sr. family for four generations. With the addition of a recent multi-million dollar renovation, this is a must-see location for wine lovers and historians alike. WHAT TO ATTEND: Vintner’s Luncheon 7/21.
Far Niente: The Far Niente winery was originally founded in 1885. After a multi-year restoration, the winery was brought back to life in the late 1970’s by Beth and Gil Nickel, and restored to its original beauty. Guests will be surrounded by 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and vineyards. WHAT TO ATTEND: patron dinner 7/18.
Hall Wines: Owners Kathryn and Craig Hall have created a masterful place to showcase their fine wines alongside fine and performing art. Attendees will be impressed by the architecture, the wine and the art here. WHAT TO ATTEND: Bruno Cucinelli luncheon 7/19.
Meadowood Napa Valley: Meadowood is Napa Valley’s first ultimate country resort, offering golf, tennis, croquet, hiking, swimming, fitness, spa, wine education and a Michelin-rated three star restaurant dining experience. WHAT TO ATTEND: Annual Festival Gala 7/19; Color and Splendor: A Tiffany & Co Luncheon 7/24.
Meritage Resort & Spa: Ideally located just south of downtown Napa, the Meritage is a perfect blend of wine tasting, dining and spa treatments. It boasts a spa in a cave, vineyards and tasting room without ever leaving the property. This is an ideal place to stay during the festival. WHAT TO ATTEND: Allegro After Party 7/18.
Solage Calistoga: Solage Calistoga offers very sophisticated, private accommodations with an award-winning spa and Michelin star-rated Solbar. WHAT TO ATTEND: Yoga in the Vineyard 7/25.
Sattui Winery: Founded in 1885 in San Francisco by Vittorio Sattui, the legendary winery established its roots in 1975 in Napa Valley by Vittorio’s great-grandson Dario Sattui. WHAT TO ATTEND: patron dinner at 9 p.m. 7/22.
Vintner’s Collective: This boutique shared tasting room houses a small group of artisan Napa wineries in an historic stone building that dates back to 1875 and at one point was a saloon and brothel. WHAT TO ATTEND: Allegro Wrap Party at 8 p.m. 7/26.
Festival del Sole runs for 10 days and nights from July 17 through July 26. Individual as well as festival passes are available for purchase. Some events are free, while others range in price. Multi-day passes start at $449.
Info & Tickets:
Where to Stay:
In addition to Solage, Meritage and Meadowood, here are a few recommendations on where to stay during the festival.
Inn on First, downtown Napa: The Inn on First is one of the most welcoming inns in Napa. Owners and partners Jamie Cherry and Jim Gunther outdo themselves with each and every guest. Jamie and Jim put a San Francisco touch on the property. Jamie is also a bit of a concierge and will help you plan out your stay from restaurants to wineries. Your memories won’t end there, though. This contemporary B&B distinguishes itself with Jim’s amazing breakfasts. Food isn’t just part of what they offer at the Inn; it is a huge deal here. Folks come from all over the world just to experience their breakfast. Location: 1938 1st St., Napa, 707-253-1331.
Inn on Randolph, downtown Napa: The Inn on Randolph is a designated historical landmark property. Set on nearly a full acre, the inn is beautifully landscaped and fully renovated to be modern while still holding the vintage charm. Guests have a choice of historic rooms in the main inn or private cottages sprinkled throughout the property. Breakfast here is also a treat. Full breakfast is served on the deck overlooking the garden. Guests can choose to sit at a community table and dine with others or sit at individual tables to relax and enjoy their own company. Location: 411 Randolph St., Napa, 707-257-2886.
Westin Verasa Napa, downtown Napa: Westin really outdid itself with this treat of a hotel. It is located along the banks of the Napa River, and is just a few blocks to the busy streets of downtown Napa. The rooms are very lush, and the suites have mini kitchens, great for a long stay. They have a modest but accommodating gym, pool large enough to swim laps, bocce ball court, and one powerful hot tub. The lobby bar is also an excellent location to get a late night drink. Location: 1314 McKinstry St., Napa, 707-257-1800.
White House Inn, downtown Napa: This historic 17-room resort-style mansion has been renovated to be a hip, contemporary retreat that is both visually striking and relaxing. White House is one of only a few accommodations that offer a serene outdoor swimming pool; ideal for spending a few hours curled up with a book, glass of wine and the warmth of the California sunshine. Another wonderful extra that White House Inn offers is a nightly wine and hors d’oeuvre social hour. If you aren’t certain how to spend your days in Napa, the Inn’s knowledgeable staff can serve as your personal travel concierge during your stay. Location: 443 Brown St., Napa, 707-254-9301.
Napa River Inn, downtown Napa: this wonderful luxury boutique hotel is part of the Historic Napa Mill in the Historic Hatt Building. They have it all here at the Napa River Inn: wining, dining, grooving, relaxing and shopping, all within a block walk around the property. Napa River Inn offers six different types of rooms to meet your fancy: standard, executive, superior, Embarcadero deluxe, historic deluxe, and the coup de grace, the Captain Hatt Suite. The Historic and Captain Hatt Suites are magnificent; you will feel as though you’ve gone through a time machine and landed in the 1880s. Location: 500 Main St., Napa, 877-251-8500.
Mount View Hotel Spa, Calistoga: the recently renovated Mount View Hotel is in the perfect location to wine taste all day and walk to dinner in the evening. Each room is unique, featuring a different local winery. As a bonus, the spa is wonderful and only a short walk down the stairs to get to your relaxing treatments. Double bonus: Jolé is their hotel restaurant. Location: 1457 Lincoln Ave., 707.942.6877.
Harvest Inn, St. Helena: Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer is an idyllic resort designed to celebrate the wine country way of life, with 78 luxurious accommodations, two secluded swimming pools, and a plush spa with indoor and outdoor facilities. Although well situated in proximity to the hub of activity in historic St Helena, Harvest Inn offers picturesque privacy and a feeling of total relaxation. Location: 1 Main St., St. Helena.