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There is nothing quite like biting into a fresh juicy tomato. Whether you love them straight from the vine with a little salt and pepper, or are a whiz in the kitchen and can whip up a heavenly tomato sauce served with perfectly-cooked pasta, you probably have a deep appreciation for this fruit. You may, then, very well be interested in the annual Napa Valley Heirloom Tomato Festival, a celebration and tasting of more than 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes (paired with wine). Held each fall on the prestigious Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, it has grown to become one of the most delicious events in Wine Country.
Also called the Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival, this year’s 20th annual festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It sells out nearly every year, so mark your calendars and start making plans to spend an incredible weekend in the Wine Country. The festival is about an hour from Churchill Manor, allowing you to enjoy a lovely drive through the valleys to get your fill of delicious tomatoes and wine during the day and then return to relax in comfort at our luxurious inn at the end of the day!
The much-anticipated festival highlights the flavors of more than 150 heritage varieties of tomatoes that the Kendall-Jackson Estate grows in its expansive culinary gardens. Tents will be set up on the winery lawns under which you’ll find a bevy of tomato-inspired dishes prepared by more than 30 chefs. In the past, the dishes served range from sweet to savory to very unique. Original recipes have included everything from BLTs to tomato cotton candy and tomato crème brulee to tomato macaroons.
In addition to wine and food pairings, and wine and garden seminars, you can will enjoy live music and a tomato-inspired Chef Challenge.
In celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary, organizers collaborated with Williams-Sonoma to create a Farm-to-Table dinner in the estate gardens that will benefit local nonprofits that fight hunger in the community. During this special dinner, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 from 4:30-7:30 p.m., expect to dine al fresco around a shared table and enjoy several courses. Each course will be prepared by a different celebrity chef using ingredients from the Estate Gardens. To top it off, each course will be paired with Kendall-Jackson wines
A few of the well-known chefs that will participate this year include Top Chef Masters winner Douglas Keane, Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williamson, Williams-Sonoma Chef Partners Joshua McFadden and Ryan Pollnow, and Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the national organization No Kid Hungry, as well as the local Redwood Empire Food Bank.
After exploring the Napa Valley Heirloom Tomato Festival, come “home” to Churchill Manor, a bed and breakfast surrounded by 19th-century charm and an opulent atmosphere. Conveniently located just a block away from Downtown Napa, you’ll never be too far from all there is to experience. Take your pick of our beautifully crafted guestrooms or delightful vacation packages. We can’t wait to see you in Napa Valley soon!