Yountville Live Livens Up Napa Valley’s Culinary Capital

yountville live
Eileen and Michael Chiarello at Bottega on March 20, 2015

Photo Credit: Kelly E. Carter

Yountville rocked this past weekend with the inaugural Yountville Live, a four-day festival full of food, wine and music sandwiched around the 22nd annual Taste of Yountville. Locals and visitors to the Napa Valley’s culinary capital soaked up the sun and fun during the day and in the evening enjoyed concerts by Colbie Caillat, Aimee Mann, Matt Nathanson and O.A.R at the Lincoln Theater.

Haute Living was on the scene for the late-night VIP party at Michael Chiarello‘s Bottega Ristorante on March 19. The celebrity chef and his wife Eileen Chiarello, who has been keeping busy Barnraiser, her new new social community and crowdfunding platform for sustainable food and farms, were on hand, along with Michael Polenske, the proprietor of Ma(i)sonry, Barry Schuler, former CEO and chairman of AOL and his wife Tracy Schuler, co-owners of Meteor Vineyards, and Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar. Cocktails from Bulleit Bourbon, Tanqueray Gin, Ketel One Vodka and Don Julio Tequila flowed freely as guests enjoyed late-night bites such as trenne alla bolognese, ahi crudo and salt-crusted rib eye with salsa verde. Things really got going at 11 p.m. when Scars on 45, a British pop band, took to the large, makeshift stage set up in one of the dining rooms and entertained the stylish crowd.

We also checked out Taste of Yountville, which included a Grand Tasting Pavilion with wines by Odette Estate Winery, Cliff Lede Vineyards, hope & grace Wines, Alpha Omega, Peju Province Winery and many more. Festival goers strolled Washington Street, Yountville’s main drag, wine glass in hand, stopping at places like Jessup Cellars, Ma(i)sonry and Cornerstone Cellars for a taste of vino, while eateries including Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, Redd Wood, Hurley’s Restaurant provided fuel in the form of food. On a grassy area at V Marketplace, Robert Mondavi, Trefethen Family Vineyards and Raymond Vineyards poured and fare from Pacific Blues Cafe, Kollar Chocolates and NapaStyle were also available.

There was a breathalyzer station for those wanting to test drive a Volvo—Volvo Cars of North America was the presenting sponsor—and a DC Solar charging station for those who drove their Teslas. Bands performed in the Community Center Plaza, where Volvo also had a lounge.

On Sunday, Atlanta-based roots-rock ‘n’soul artists Larkin Poe performed during a gospel brunch featuring a soulful buffet of craft foods by Chef Morgan Robinson of Smoke and a Domaine Chandon champagne bar. The festivities ended later than night when Caillat wowed the crowd at the Lincoln Theater.