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First Napa Valley Cabernet festival opens with great success

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.”

Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible
Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine BibleEdgar Solís
First ever Napa Valley Cabernet festival
First ever Napa Valley Cabernet festivalEdgar Solis

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: