Who would have thought that what began as an off-the-wall idea for enticing tourists to Napa during (what used to be) the slow season, would turn into a world renown two-month-long line up of fantastic food, wine, and art events– all to honor the humble mustard flower.

From January 31 through March 28, 2009 you’ll be able to find a wide array of bloomin’ festivities that everyone will enjoy: wine tasting, marathon running, fabulous photography exhibits, gourmet foods or perhaps just exploring Napa when the valley is carpeted by rich golden wild mustard.

Mustard Magic
, the lavish grand opening event, will jump-start the season on Saturday, January 31, 7 pm, at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. You’ll be dazzled, amazed and entertained while wandering through the candlelit historic stone mansion, oohing and ahhing as the festival’s award winning artwork, (seeabove) Magique de la Moutarde by Melissa Baker and paintings by European masters magically come to life. This black-tie/Art Nouveau gala features sumptuous tastes of food and wine throughout, a visual arts exhibit, dancing, a silent and live auction guaranteed to generate a few bidding wars for some very unique food and wine experiences, ending with an incredible performance by some amazing trapeze artists.

Tickets are $125 in advance through January 9;
$150 in advance (after January 9);
$175 at the door.

Purchase Online

And That’s Just the Beginning:

Be sure and visit the Mustard Festival website for details on other exciting events such as the “Mustard, Mud & Music — A Calistoga Jazz Festival,” an awards night at Napa’s Black Stallion Winery honoring “world champion mustard-makers,” where you can taste and vote for your favorite Chef’s original mustard recipe as you rock out to California cowboy music or perhaps you’d rather taste mustards from around the world and shop for wine, arts and crafts, and local culinary and gourmet products at The Marketplace, held at the beautiful Robert Mondavi Winery, March 14-15.