Before I attended my first wine country festival, I didn’t know what all
the fuss was about.
To be sure, I’ve put in my fair share of time at festivals of all sorts
over the years, from music festivals to art festivals to boating
festivals (don’t laugh – I was in Monte Carlo and figured “when in Rome;”
plus, it was sponsored by Prada). And although I’ve always enjoyed myself,
I can honestly say I never left a festival feeling I simply HAD to make
it back the next year.
That is, until I attended last year’s Taste Napa Valley, the day-long festival
that marks the beginning of the hugely successful Auction Napa Valley.
An impossibly colorful, decadent and fabulously bacchanalian event
celebrating all things Napa Valley, the festival held annually on the
eve of the valley’s celebrated live auction features barrel tasting, celebrity
chef cameos and a who’s-who crowd of wine personalities, winemakers and
local luminaries. All this, and there’s some fantastic fashion sported
by guests, including plenty of Prada.
In short, it’s everything a girl like me could want in a festival, and
I didn’t even have to travel outside my wine country comfort zone to find
Whether it’s the Prada, the Pinot or the prosciutto that does it
for you, wine country festivals bring together wine country’s best assets
in one place, usually along with a dash of live music, dancing and games.
Add amazing surroundings to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a seriously
And although spontaneity is undeniably stylish, observing a few rules of
thumb while attending festivals like this weekend’s highly anticipated Sonoma
Valley Film Festival will help ensure that you get the most out of your
Festivals invariably involve a wonderfully wide array of things
to do, see and taste, which means participants run the risk of missing
highlights amidst all the distractions. Taking a few minutes to scan a
list of vendors, activities or – in the case of this weekend’s Sonoma
celebration – films to see will help ensure you don’t miss out on something
Many wine country festivals take place at least partially in the
beautiful outdoors, especially around this time of year. Sunscreen and
a good hat are indispensable at these events, and it’s always a good idea
to drink plenty of water.
Festivals are virtual smörgåsbords of new experiences, from the
culinary to the artistic. So whether it be a new film, wine or food stuff,
be sure to try something new next time you’re at a festival – you may
even discover a new favorite.
Festivals are long, the sun is hot and there are always lots of
things to see and do. Especially when there’s wine involved, try pacing
yourself by substituting plenty of water between alcoholic drinks. That,
and be sure to line up a designated driver.
After all, you want to make sure you can make it back next year.
The day-long celebration will be held this year on Friday, June
8 at Trinchero Family Estates in the heart of Napa Valley. Learn more
The festival runs April 11th-15th at locations throughout Sonoma
Valley. Screenings of more than 75 new films from around the world are
open to the public at a cost of $10 per guest. The weekend’s highlight
– the Festival Gala – will be held Saturday, April 14th in the barrel
room at Cline Cellars in Sonoma. Tickets are still available for the celebration
of wine, food and music and cost $100. Learn more at SonomaFilmFest.org.
Click Here to view previous
articles by Courtney Cochran