Festival Del Sole Napa

Festival Del Sole is an amazing event blending food, wine, culture and arts all set in gorgeous Napa Valley. Over a period of 10 days artists from around the world perform and share their talents. This year there were actors, dancers, vocalists, instrumental soloists and the entire Russian National Orchestra. Events were held in the Lincoln Theater in Napa and also at various wineries who also hosted spectacular lunches and dinners for all 10 days of the festival.

This year I had the unique opportunity to attend the second to last day of the festival as a guest. The afternoon began with a lovely lunch in the courtyard of Chimney Rock Winery with passed hors d’oeuvres and a tasting of Chimney Rock’s Sauvignon Gris and Rose of Cabernet Franc while a guitarist played in the background. Guests were then treated to a lovely sit down lunch with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and valley. Chimney Rock’s Elevage Blanc was paired with an delicious lunch of heirloom tomato salad and mozzarella. The main course was filet in a mustard herb sauce with truffle mashed potatoes paired with Chimney Rock’s Elevage and their single vineyard Tomahawk Cabernet Sauvignon. Dessert was a trio of panna cotta, a peach tart and a decadent chocolate cake.

The afternoon continued at the Lincoln Theater with a spectacular performance of music from Romeo and Juliet by the Russian National Orchestra, a few opera performances by soprano Marnie Breckenridge, a dance piece by Vitor Luiz and Lorena Feijoo from the San Francisco Ballet and acting by some of the members of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. The performance was a melange of dance, vocals and acting interspersed with the wonderful sound of the Russian National Orchestra.

Far Niente then hosted a spectacular evening in it’s magical backyard. The lovely setting behind the whimsical winery featured numerous passed hors d’oeuvres to accompany Far Niente’s 2008 Chardonnay along with pizza baked fresh in their wood burning oven. Guests then were entertained with some acting by members of the San Francisco Shakespear Festival and then crossed a bridge to enter a tent where dinner was served with a harpist providing music in the background. Dinner was prepared by Far Niente Executive Chef Trevor Eliason and consisted of scallops prepared three ways paired with Far Niente 2009 Chardonnay and Slow Roasted Center Cut Filet paired with 2008 Far Niente Estate bottled Cabernet and 2006 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon. Tenor Francesco De Muro provided a special treat performing some opera and after dinner there was more acting from members of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. The evening ended with a dessert of Strawberry Shortcake served under the stars.

The day was one that utilized all of the senses including the sound of beautiful music, opera, acting and the sight of some spectacular ballet, the taste and smell of some delicious and tantalizing food and wine all set within the glorious backdrop of unforgettable Napa Valley.

If you have the chance I highly recommend that you make the time next year to attend some of the amazing performances and also partake in the lunches and dinners available at the different participating and sponsoring wineries of Festival del Sole. You will most definitely be glad you did!  For details on next year’s performances and activities be sure to visit www.festivaldelsole.org

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