Napa Valley Mustard Festival
Every season in the Napa Valley has its own splendor. In the winter months, that splendor is the wild mustard. The mustard plant’s brilliant yellow flowers set against a gray winter sky brings a magical beauty to the dormant Napa Valley vineyards.
The Napa Valley Mustard Festival is held each year at this time when the wild mustard is in full bloom. Mustard Festival is a way of getting tourists to the Valley during the winter season. This is the quiet time for the wineries when the weather is cold and the vines are bare. This year marks the 15th annual festival which runs from February 2nd to March 29th. There are a series of fancy wine and food events, a mustard recipe contest, and what we consider to be the main event, the mustard photography contest.
The photography contest has categories for both the amateur and the professional photographer. All the photo entries are displayed at the beautiful Mumms Napa art gallery. The Mumm Napa Photo Finish is the final event of the festival and the most festive of all the activities. The winners of the photo contest are announced at this final event. We are planning on entering at least two photographs and of course attend the Grand Finale Event. The photo seen here is one possible entry. We plan to make two or three more trips specifically to photograph the beautiful mustard plant. For complete information visit the official Mustard Festival Web site.
The Zap Festival
This is a crazy and wild weekend of Zinfandel activities for Napa Valley vintners and other California wineries. This is a four-day event sponsored by the Zap (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) organization. The main event is the Zinfandel Tasting on Saturday afternoon January 26, from 1 to 5 pm, at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Over 250 wineries will be pouring their Zinfandel to a crowd of 9000 wine enthusiasts. If you plan on attending this event get there at the opening bell. The crowds are very dense at the popular wineries and by late afternoon quite a few folks, shall we say, have had a bit too much Zin. A better event to attend is the Good Eats on Thursday night. This is where some 50 wineries pair up with a restaurant to present a Zinfandel food match. This event is much less crowded and a lot more fun. The Good Eats is on Thursday night from 6 to 9 pm. Tickets are sold in advance and are $125 per person. Check the Zap Web site for complete details.