The Napa Valley town of Yountville has been on the culinary world map for decades, notably since Thomas Keller took the helm at The French Laundry in 1994, and then later with the opening of bistro Bouchon in 1998. Yountville Live first launched in 2015 as a spin-off of November’s popular Live In the Vineyard festival. The lush setting made it a no-brainer to enhance the Grammy award-winning musical lineup with tastings, chef demos, and fun presentations with renowned culinary stars.
You can buy passes for the entire festival, or buy à la carte tickets for different events. A VIP Weekend Pass includes concierge service for access to special wine tasting opportunities on Friday, as well as preferred seating at all events. The four-day weekend typically kicks off with a concert and a Welcome Gala event on Thursday and Friday, followed by Saturday and Sunday’s Taste of Yountville event, which has some stand-alone experiences (like the Bubbles Brunch), but otherwise focuses on Grand Tastings at the festival pavilions against the backdrop of live music. Many restaurants and wineries represented are from Napa—like such staples as Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, Kollar Chocolates, and Charles Krug—while the music lineup skews toward blues, indie-style country, and soul.
Springtime in Napa makes an idyllic backdrop for the weekend. "Yountville Live brings out the gifts that people in Napa Valley love to share,” says chef and philanthropist Claudia Sansone. “Food at its finest, the mystery of the grape growing, the lure of the vineyards, the stories that guests can take home, and music that makes your heart sing.”
Insider tip: Parking at all venues is very limited; ride services such as Lyft or Uber or local taxi options are recommended.