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 opened the bistro Bouchon in 1998. Yountville Live launched in 2015, as a spin-off of November’s popular Live In the Vineyard festival. The setting made it a no-brainer to enhance the musical line-up with tastings, chef demonstrations and presentations by renowned culinary stars.
You can buy passes for the entire festival, or buy à la carte tickets for individual events. A VIP Weekend Pass includes concierge services for access to special wine-tasting opportunities on the Friday, as well as reserved seating at all events. The four-day weekend typically begins with a concert and a Welcome Gala event on the Thursday and Friday, followed by Saturday and Sunday’s Taste of Yountville event, which has some standalone experiences (such as the Bubbles Brunch), but otherwise focuses on Grand Tastings in the festival pavilions against a backdrop of live music. Many of the restaurants and wineries represented are from Napa—like staples such as Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, Kollar Chocolates, Charles Krug and Clos du Val—while the musical line-up favours 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 the 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; using ride services such as Lyft or Uber or local taxi options is recommended.