Festival del Sole, Napa Valley's annual celebration of arts and culture, left wine country abuzz with celebrities, special events, and delicious cuisine. With a week-long calendar packed with everything from al fresco concerts to patron dinners to an elegant gala, the 10-day-long offered something for all wine country tastes.
Of the many events, the true standout was an exclusive dinner honoring film legend Sophia Loren. Chefs Michael Chiarello (of Bottega and Coqueta) and Piero Selvaggio (of Los Angeles’s Valentino) teamed up to host a special dinner honoring Loren. The evening began with an elegant reception at Far Niente Winery followed by a speciality three-course dinner, and emcee Whoopi Goldberg delivered an homage to Loren and her life’s work. Robert Redford showed his support for Loren by joining the event and mingling with the guests. Loren’s son, Carlo Ponti, was in attendance with his chamber orchestra LA Virtuosi, who debuted live as a special treat near the end of the evening.
Patrons of Festival del Sole enjoyed a series of dinners at top local wineries, including Castello di Amorosa, Gargiulo Vineyards, Robert Mondavi Winery, Hall St. Helena, and several others. Vintners hosted intimate luncheons on-site at their wineries throughout the week to give guests a glimpse into the intricacies of winemaking. The annual Festival Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley transported guests into an enchanted garden, complete with an outdoor dinner on the Vintner’s Glen and after-dinner performance by Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval.
Other notable guests of the festival included Newt Gingrich, Gary Danko, Alexis and Trevor Traina, Gordon Getty, and a host of the Bay Area's food, culture, and tech elite, all brought together by the Festival del Sole.