With 30 miles long and 5 miles at its widest point, Napa Valley is home of the most world-renowned wines. Per Napa Valley Vintners reports “Cabernet Sauvignon is the acknowledged king of red grapes in Napa Valley, accounting for 40% of our total production and 55% of our crop value. This vine is grown throughout Napa Valley and achieves a variety of expression depending on its vineyard site. Its flavors display a wide variety of black fruits, including currant, cherry and plum and often show notes of spice from oak aging.”
With such unique attributes, it is fitting that the “king of grapes,” finally has its own festival in Napa Valley. Over the past weekend Cabernet lovers were able to taste, amongst the best Napa Valley wines.
CabFest Napa Valley (CabFestNV) kicked-off Friday, February 28, 2014, with a concert with Jeff Bridges and his country-rock band, The Abiders. The concert began with Bridge’s daughter Jessie Bridges, as the show opener. Immediately afterward, the hottest ticket of the weekend admitted VIP level ticket holders to the intimate and exclusive, sold out “Cigars & Guitars” after-party that resulted in an impromptu series of short duets by Jeff Bridges and his daughter who played a second set for the VIPs. Partygoers stopped Jeff Bridges to snap photos as he made his way through the crowd to the Cigar Aficionado Magazine’s cigar-sampling tent.
The official opening of CabFestNV was Saturday, March 1, 2014, and the celebration continued on Sunday. The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater was the home of the first ever CabFestNV. The Center is also the beneficiary of the event proceeds. With over one hundred participating wineries showcasing premium Napa Valley Cabernets, the festival marks a great start for a new annual winter event.
The film “Napa Valley Rocks” was screened both days of the festival at the Lincoln Theater. The documentary film produced, as an appellation educational tool by the Napa Valley Vintners, showcases what makes the Napa Valley unique and distinctive from other world wine regions.
James Beard Award winning author of The Wine Bible and educator, Karen MacNeil served as keynote speaker for both days of CabFest NV. Her keynote opening presentation on Saturday “What Makes Great Cabernet Sauvignon Great,” presented her interesting perspective of Cabernets wine attributes.
Early tallies from CabFestNV organizers indicate that most of the 2,000 attendees were visiting from afar, nearly 70% were from outside of Napa Valley, including guests from 17 states other than California, along with a section of international visitors.
Michael Madden, Executive Director of the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater expressed: “When we planned CabFestNV we knew that we would create an approachable, fun-yet-classy event that would benefit wine consumers, wineries and our performing arts education programs. The result was nothing short of fantastic! I feel that we truly hit a home run, and believe that CabFestNV will become one of the most significant and regularly anticipated wine events in the country. The feedback from participating wineries and attendees was positive. It was an exciting, and gratifying, weekend.”
The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater is Napa Valley’s premiere performing arts venue as well as a leading provider of arts education and outreach. Located in the heart of the Napa Valley on the grounds of the historic Veterans Home of California, Napa Valley Performing Arts Center is home to the Lincoln Theater, a twelve hundred-seat state-of-the-art performance venue. The Performing Arts Center offers a wide variety of year-round performances featuring community and educational programming and world-class entertainment, including its resident Symphony Napa Valley.
Here is a list of some of the current releases and library wines from participating wineries showcased at the CabFestNV inaugural event:
- Amici – 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Bourassa Vineyards – 2010 Symphony
- Ceja Vineyards – 2008 Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon
- Clos du Val Winery – 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Corison Winery – 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cornerstone Cellars – 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2011 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
- Clif Family – 2010 Kit’s Killer Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cliff Lede – 2011 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
- Freemark Abbey – 1999 Sycamore Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon; 1999 Bosché Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Hestan Vineyards – 2008 Stephanie Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- McKenzie-Mueller Vineyards and Winery – 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Bottled and 2000 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Monticello Vineyards – 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; 2010 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon; and 2010 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon
- Peju Province Winery – 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Rentería Wines – 2009 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Saunter Wines – 2011 Eagle Summit Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon; 2011 Red Head Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; and 2011 Swagger Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Saddleback Cellars – 2009 State Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sequoia Grove Winery – 2009 Cambium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- Silverado Vineyards – 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Spring Mountain Vineyard – 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Trinitas Cellars – 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon