Napa Valley is best known for its stunning Cabernet Sauvignons, and this weekend, an elite group of growers and vintners will show us all why. The annual Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) 2011 event takes place April 29-May 1, as a celebration of the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association.
What that means for wine lovers is a lavish weekend of visiting wineries that are usually closed to the public, mingling with the winemakers themselves, and enjoying a veritable feast of foods created specifically to match with premium Cabernets.
V2V has always been one of the best parties of the season, but this year, organizers promise it will be even better. First of all, the party now spans the entire weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Second, a seminar has been added, with experts detailing the magic of Napa Valley Cabs. Third, more wineries are participating, hosting extravagant dinners and open houses.
The celebration begins with four intimate vintner-hosted Friday Night Dinners, for just 45 guests each and held at a separate Stags Leap District winery with cuisine provided by top chefs. These are some of the Valley’s most exclusive names, including Chimney Rock Winery with Baldacci Family Vineyards, Lindstrom Wines, Robinson Family Vineyards and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars featuring cuisine by Cindy Pawlcyn; Cliff Lede Vineyards with Ilsley Vineyards, Steltzner Vineyards and Terlato Family Vineyards featuring cuisine by Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc; Pine Ridge Vineyards with Clos Du Val, Regusci Winery and Shafer Vineyards featuring cuisine by La Toque’s Ken Frank; and Silverado Vineyards with Hartwell Vineyards, Malk Family Vineyards, Stags' Leap Winery and Taylor Family Vineyards featuring cuisine by Sarah Scott.
On Saturday morning, guests can participate in the “Style and Strength: A Stags Leap District Cabernet Seminar” hosted by Saveur Magazine’s wine editor David Rosengarten leading an expert discussion and tasting with three of the Napa Valley's most esteemed master winemakers: Nicki Pruss of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Benoit Touquette of Hartwell Vineyards and Michael Beaulac of Pine Ridge Vineyards.
Then, it’s on to the On the Trail Open Houses, at all 18 Stags Leap District Association wineries (some wineries will be open on Sunday, too). The tours include personal access to vintners and winemakers as they showcase their caves, barrels and cellars for special tours and tastings unavailable to the public. Each winery will also have unique food-pairings, from light nibbles to hearty wine-country barbecue.
Some individual events are sold out, however, check the waiting lists, or get in on the gala for one ticket price of $335 (it covers all activities) – the Friday dinner from 6:30 to 10 p.m., the Saturday seminar and the weekend open houses.
It will definitely be a weekend worth lifting a glass to.
Tickets can be purchased here.
Tip: Enjoy the glamorous weekend with a glamorous ride. Pure Luxury Transportation can chauffer you in comfort to your dinner, and also from winery-to-winery throughout the weekend, so you can enjoy the wines to the fullest.