Every summer, the very best of music, dance, theater, wellness, food and wine come together in spectacular fashion at the Festival Del Sole. Now in its ninth year, Napa Valley’s 10-day music and lifestyle festival offers festivalgoers the best artistic experiences that wine country has to offer. Here are the highlights of this year’s magical event, an event which celebrates the art of life.
Thursday, July 10th – Saturday, July 12th
Festival del Sole opens with the exclusive Founders Dinner hosted by Claire and Steven Stull, who will welcome benefactors and patrons to their home for a VIP reception and dinner. The festival then officially kicks off to the public on Friday with a performance courtesy of violinist Joshua Bell at Castello di Amorosa. After the concert, VIP pass holders will descend through Castello di Amorosa’s candelit caves for a special Patrons Dinner. Rise and shine on Saturday with a gentle yoga session overlooking Sullivan Vineyards before heading to Taste of Napa for a cornucopia of gourmet food and wine. Rest up for a few hours, then head to see Pinchas Zuckerman and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, the world’s only all Black and Latino professional orchestra, followed by a concert and Patron Dinner at Gargiulo Vineyards.
Sunday, July 13th
Festival del Sole’s Annual Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley is, without a doubt, the highlight of the festival. Meadowood’s beautiful, elegantly rustic setting is the perfect backdrop for the Festival’s annual charity event, which includes an alfresco dinner, a live auction and a performance by the Concord Jazz All Stars and 10-time Grammy Award Winner and Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval.
Monday, July 14th – Thursday, July 17th
Pace yourself through the second half of the festival, which includes another lineup of incredible events highlighted by the Patron Dinner at the Grgich Hills Estate on Monday evening. The momentum picks up on Tuesday with this year’s first Bouchaine Young Artist Series concert featuring bassist Xavier Foley. On Wednesday, you may choose to start early with a concert and a Vintner’s Luncheon at Jaffe Estate or, instead, opt for the upscale evening affair as Zukerman Chamber Players performs under the stars at Castello di Amorosa. Following the performance, Robert Mondavi Winery will welcome VIP guests for a birthday dinner celebration for Mr. Zukerman. You’ll be in for a special treat on Thursday as well as Festival del Sole presents its full-length chamber opera dedicated to the tunes of the late Leonard Bernstein. Following the performance, head over to the evening’s Patrons Dinner, which is presented by Alpha Omega.
Friday, July 18th – Saturday, July 19th
Trust us when we say that Friday and Saturday will be two of the most exciting, action-packed days of the Festival. Friday starts off in style, as Tiffany & Co. are hosting a dazzling luncheon at the Auberge du Soleil. Tiffany’s will showcase its collection of magnificent diamond and gemstone jewelry with the help of gemologist Melvyn Kirtley. After the morning of sparkles and bling, you’ll be well prepared for an evening of major events starting with the Dance Gala, featuring a show by Polina Semionova, who will perform with an all-star cast of principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Staat Ballett Berlin, Stuttgart Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Finally, the patron dinner at Hall Winery will be a fitting end to the evening. There, VIP guests will enjoy a welcome reception in the winery’s sophisticated new tasting room followed by dinner on the lawn overlooking the Mayacamas. The evening ends on an unforgettable note, when opera stars Maria Agresta and Matthew Polenzani perform a moonlight serenade under the stars. To date, one of the most talked-about events of the festival thus far is the Saturday night tribute to Sophia Loren at Far Niente. Loren’s son, conductor Carlo Ponti , will be on hand to debut his new LA Virtuosi chamber orchestra. Robert Redford will also be in attendance to introduce the evening as stars of stage and screen pay homage to Ms. Loren and her life’s work.
Sunday, July 20th
The events that bring the Festival Del Sole to a close are always bittersweet. Start the end slowly and take things easy with lunch among the vines at Ehlers Estate’s Wine Country Brunch. An afternoon of rest will be well-deserved before the festival comes to a triumphant close at its annual Opera Gala, with performances by leading opera stars Maria Agresta and Matthew Polenzani, followed by a closing dinner and ceremonies at Chimney Rock, capping one of the truly most memorable events of the season.