A major highlight of my summer was experiencing Festival Napa Valley 2016, a 10-day celebration and of music, art, food, wine and dance that raises funds to enrich art and community programs. It’s the third season in a row I have covered this event, formerly known as Festival del Sole.

This year I had the opportunity to attend most of the events on the Festival Napa Valley calendar, which was such a special treat for me and my husband! I will be writing a few posts about this outstanding festival in the coming weeks. I would like to begin by sharing some unforgettable highlights from Festival Napa Valley’s Tribute to Margrit Mondavi that took place in late July.

Festival Napa Valley Tribute to Margrit Mondavi 4

As you may be aware, Margrit Mondavi passed away earlier this month on September 2nd, at the age of 91. Mrs. Mondavi was honored at this event for her longtime dedication to the arts, viticulture, education and the Napa County community – and beyond – for over four decades.

Wife of Robert Mondavi, who passed away in 2008, the two donated $35 million to University of California at Davis to create the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. In 1981, Margrit Mondavi launched the incredibly successful charity wine event, Napa Valley Wine Auction, currently known as Auction Napa Valley. This world-famous fundraising event has raised over $150 million for Napa County nonprofit organizations to date.

It’s an understatement to say Margrit and Robert Mondavi have left an indelible impression on Wine Country. They were instrumental in turning the area into the rich culinary, art and wine region it is today.

This tribute, underwritten by Mrs. Mondavi’s friends, philanthropists, art patrons and owners of Clos Pegase Winery, Jan Shrem and Maria Minetti Shrem, took place at Far Niente Winery in Oakville.

Far Niente a stunning winery nestled among trees and expansive vineyards at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain Range. This was our first visit to Far Niente. I have always been curious about this winery and was excited to see what awaited us at the end of their long, tree-lined driveway.

Built in 1885, the winery was abandoned at the start of the Prohibition, then purchased by Gil and Beth Nickel sixty years later in the late 1970s. A three-year restoration was complete in 1982, which was also the year winemaking returned to Far Niente. Far Niente produces fine Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines.

Once you drive down the long driveway, you come upon a magnificent stone building with climbing ivy and red geraniums in window boxes. I felt as though I was in Europe.


Before we made our way down the stairs to the event area, we stopped for a few photos. It was a warm summer evening and I chose an off-the-shoulder lace top with lightweight linen blend pants and heeled sandals. I carried my Louis Vuitton clutch and chose not to wear any jewelry except my diamond stud earrings.


As we made our way to the stairs, we could see the tent were the event was taking place through a pair of very old olive trees.


We made our way down to the reception area where people were starting to gather.


The tribute dinner would take place over a stone bridge and next to a gazebo and tranquil pond. Such a lovely and charming setting!


I ventured inside the tent before it started to fill up with guests so I could have a look around. The first thing that caught my eye was the stage in the middle of the tent against the the far wall. This 12-foot wall of fresh pink roses, created by Melody Raye Flowers, used roses from Passion Roses. The room smelled amazing!

Festival Napa Valley Tribute to Margrit Mondavi

The time, effort and attention to detail this piece required had to have been substantial. And in summer’s heat, no less!

Festival Napa Valley Tribute to Margrit Mondavi 2

The table decor was elegant and feminine. I loved the silver, ivory and pink color choices and the chandeliers were a gorgeous addition.


There were beautiful pink rose center pieces throughout.


Some well-known guests were due to arrive soon such as Sophia Loren!

Festival Napa Valley Tribute to Margrit Mondavi 5

From the end of the tent you could see the stone building in all its stateliness.


Once outside on the patio, Bill and I got a glass of Far Niente Chardonnay, mingled with guests and waited excitedly for Margrit Mondavi and Sophia Loren’s arrival.

Roses at Far Niente Festival Napa Valley

We also took in the gorgeous views around the property.


We got to see the stunning and alluring Ms. Loren arrive, wearing a long black sequin dress with pink flowers. She was with her son, Carlos Ponti Jr. and his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Shrem. Mrs. Mondavi arrived shortly after guests were seated.

While we got acquainted with the other guests at our table, a slideshow was playing with video recordings of many of Margrit’s friends including Boz Scaggs, Jaques Pepin and Thomas Keller just to name a few, who all sent greetings and messages of gratitude. There were also photos of Margrit with her husband, Robert.


Once the guests were seated, Beth Nichols came out to greet the crowd. She soon introduced cookbook author, chef and TV personality Lidia Bastinich. Bill and I watch Lidia on PBS frequently and were so thrilled she was at the event. Lidia, along with her chef at New York’s Felidia, Fortunato Nicotra, created the menu for the evening.


What a culinary delight to enjoy this special dinner!


The wine was phenomenal, which was no surprise, and added to our already wonderful meal.


Not only was the dinner spectacular but so was the entertainment! Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz performed for guests.


Then double-Grammy nominated singer Monica Mancini took the stage to sing a couple of songs with Koz.


After the dinner and musical performances concluded, Margrit took over the spotlight and spoke to the crowd of about 300 guests. She thanked her friends for attending and recounted memories from her 40 years in Napa Valley.


I loved Margrit’s wry sense of humor and wit. At one point, she joked that she wished she had Sophia’s long legs.


After Margrit Mondavi spoke, the evening was about to conclude. But first, dessert. We walked outside onto the patio where there was an assortment of sweet bites and Dolce. Known as “Liquid Gold of Napa Valley”, Dolce is a late harvest wine and the perfect finish to the evening.


This magical scene greeted us as we walked to the valet for our car – fitting for such a magical night. There were so many pinch-me moments, I started to lose count!


Although I never had the chance to meet Margrit Mondavi in person, being in the same room with her, celebrating her countless impactful accomplishments and her contributions to the arts, the wine industry and our region was an honor and an experience I will always treasure.


Make it a rich day, friends!




Disclosure: I was asked to attend Festival Napa Valley and write about my experiences. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 


how I wear yellow

Welcome to How I Wear My: Yellow, the 62nd post in the How I Wear My series.

Happy September! Can you believe it’s almost fall? Yellow is one color of the rainbow that transitions beautifully as we head from summer into autumn so my HIWM partner, Jill of Everything Just So and I want to highlight all of its wonderful possibilities for September’s “How I Wear My.”

Jill gets us started with her stylish look featuring yellow. Jill tells us:

“Since I wear so much black and navy my favorite way to add yellow is as an accessory! My vintage Yves Saint Laurent scarf features a bold yellow square and I get compliments every time I wear it. I paired it with a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag and L’Wren Scott sunglasses to make this look all about the details.”

how i wear my yellow jill

Ana of Mrs. American Made has this to say about her yellow outfit:

“The most popular way I wear yellow seems to be in a print with gray. I actually have a few tops that are yellow, gray and white – like this casual and comfy #madeinUSA pocketed tee by Weston Wear from Anthropologie. I tend to not wear large swaths of this color near my skin as I think it is not flattering, but little bits in a print here and there seem to work fine and not wash me out.”

how i wear my yellow

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun says:

“Here I’m wearing an ikat print dress by Karina and fun vintage Prada shoes.  My only yellow is my bright Michael Kors bag! I love yellow, but it washes out my coloring, so I need to stick to yellow accessories.  I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect yellow shoes too!”

how i wear my yellow

Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes tells us:
“I really like yellow because it’s such a happy color. But I don’t own or wear a lot of yellow as I’m rather pale. I know that some shades of yellow look better on me than others, and I’m always on the lookout for shades that look good on me. I also like pairing yellow with blue, especially near my face.”

how i wear my yellow

Nicole of High Latitude Style tells us this about her look including yellow:

“Yellow is not in my color palette. If at all, a citron or neon yellow works on me. Thus, the only yellow items in my closet are a sunflower yellow bag and citron yellow pumps. I use this bag or the pumps when I want to add a pop of color to an outfit in neutral colors, typically with an all or nearly all black outfit. Given fall’s “yellow plus pink” trend I also tried this combination. Well, it’s to don the trend, but I prefer the pairing of yellow with neutrals due to the stark contrast.”

how i wear my yellow

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion tells us:

“I love the edginess of this outfit as I combined the yellow knitted sweater from Kenzo with black leather jogging trousers. They are great to make even a frilly flower top look bad ass.”

how I wear my yellow

Crystal of Success in Heels has this to say about her outfit featuring yellow:

“Jackets are such versatile pieces in a wardrobe. So many jackets can go from day to night effortlessly. I wear this floral print jacket paired with a skirt and pumps for work. Then if I have plans after work I change into jeans and some high heeled mules and I’m ready to hit the town.”


Colette of Styled Comfort tells us:

“Yellow adds a wonderful pop of color to neutrals.  I love the classic pairing of white bottoms and a simple gray tee, which I usually top with a denim jacket. When I want to brighten things up a bit, I simply switch out the denim jacket with a cropped yellow cardigan for an instant color pop.”

how i wear my yellow

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style has this to say about her yellow sweater:

“I don’t wear yellow often, so it’s only a cardigan, but it’s a bright one!”


Malia of Style by Malia tells us:

“My love of yellow sometimes borders on obsession. And while I have lots of yellow in my closet, this yellow cropped leather jacket from Ashley Stewart is one of my favorite pieces. I paired it with this Carmakoma Dress I picked up from Gwynnie Bee, Nine West Oxfords and my new Henri Bendel clutch.”


Trina of Tea Time With Trina says this about her look:

“This is my take on bringing yellow into fall and blending in with my surroundings.  I found pairing this yellow and blue paisley blouse with a camel color softened the entire look for a summer transition piece.”

how i wear my yellow trina

Nora of Jacket Society tells us:

“I am wearing a Zara ivory jacket, Black Rag & Bone jeans, yellow H&M camisole top and our own yellow and white geometric scarf with tassels which is actually on sale right now. My bag is Gucci and sorry the sandals are not showing but they were Dolce Vita lace ups.”


Camerin of Style by Malia tells us:

“I don’t have very many yellow things in my closet. But when I saw this yellow flowered blouse on display I loved the length and high neck. I decided to wear a small black belt around the waist to pair with the skirt and give the blouse some shape. The ruffles around the sleeve and neck give it a super-feminine appeal. However, the blouse could still pair well with a black blazer or jacket.”


Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style says this about her look:

 “I can’t tell you how much I love the color yellow. To me it’s the color of sunshine and happiness—and since I’ve been retired, I certainly feel the happy much more! I’m wearing my yellow shoes as a contrasting item. This is one of my favorite ways to add in a fun pair of shoes—make them pop against the outfit. These yellow pumps are at least 5 years old, from Aldo Shoes! They had a couple marks on them since they are well loved, but I spruced them up with a Magic Eraser and now they are almost good as new.”

how i wear my yellow

Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge tells us:

“I bought these mustard lace and pom pom shorts last year and could never figure out how to style them.  Once I decided to keep it simple with a basic tee and sandals (inspired by Shelly of The Queen in Between), they became a favorite of mine all summer.”

how i wear my yellow

Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb says this about her yellow look:

“Yellow is one of my favourite colours which I wear a lot. This look was a little inspired by summer colours: Sunshine yellow, blue sky and white clouds. I love the ruffles trend so was excited to find a yellow blouse with ruffles – I can’t wear to wear it with autumnal colours as the weather gets a little colder.”


Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen tells us:
 “The yellow in my top is really a shade that’s too acidic for me to wear in one block; it’s practically lemon curd colour! Not a good shade on me.  But as this outfit shows, you can wear a small amount of a colour that might not work on you, if worn in a small amount and paired with colours you can wear.  My brown leather skirt and the brown in the top dilutes the bright yellow enough but is dark enough to be a counterpoint to the pale lemon cardigan.  Add a couple of pops of cobalt blue with my belt and bag and leopard print booties for some pizzazz and this is a perfect outfit to transition from Summer to Autumn.
“I think this is my favourite How I Wear so far because it pushed me to put my sartorially thinking cap on!  Great choice, ladies and I’m really interested to see what everyone comes up with. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds this colour a tricky one!”


Teresa’s look was submitted by her husband and professional New York City photographer, Denton Taylor who says:

“Here is my wife Teresa, who is Colombian, wearing a mostly yellow dress by the Colombian designer, Beatriz Camacho, purchased on a recent trip to Medellin. She accessories with sunglasses by Balenciaga, and of course, her Fitbit. We’re on the High Line, in light rain, so of course she brought a matching umbrella.”


“A pineapple graphic on my t-shirt and a boldly colored wall was how I wore yellow this past summer.”


Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo has this to say about her yellow look:

“This pale yellow sequinned top is one of the very rare pieces of soft yellow I own. I think the sequins make up for the lack of saturation.”

How I wear my yellow suzanne

Angela is an attorney who loves living in wine country and writing fictional mysteries in her spare time. She tells us:

“I only have two yellow pieces in my wardrobe, both by Stella Carakasi and both of which I love.  I wore the Stella Carakasi long sleeved draped tunic in Citron to an event at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma.  As it was chilly in the Champagne Cellars, I paired it with a Max Studio poncho.  It was a beautiful night with delicious wine from Buena Vista, as always!”


Susan of High Heels in the Wilderness has this to say about her yellow outfit:
My yellow sweater is from Brooks Brothers. I bought it in 2014, but still love it. Especially with navy. Early in the summer, and now that the weather has cooled a bit, I wear it with my Burberry dark denim skirt, my Stan Smith Adidas, and my Michael Kors gold tote. “


Rosemary of Distinctly Southern Style tells us:

“I’m wearing my latest end of summer shopping find. Chico’s Sutton Poncho in Golden Haze. Unstructured and summer weight it’s perfect for the coming cooler North Florida days. I’ve paired it with a navy camisole and Tommy Bahama linen slacks. I’ve added accents of yellows with my Michael Kors handbag and Kelly & Katie heels. The necklace that I am wearing is a one of a kind, made by a local artist Ivecita’s Designs.”


Yellow is one of my favorite colors. It’s happy and bright and can be frequently found in nature – like this enormous yellow dahlia my friend Michelle grew in her garden!

I was rather surprised to discover I have very little of this lively color in my wardrobe. Aside from my much-loved yellow Adora by Adrienne bag, this yellow scarf is the only other yellow item I own. I wore it to our friends Michelle and Bill’s house in Sonoma last weekend for a Sunday lunch and to see their newly remodeled kitchen for the first time since its completion. Don’t you love their yellow front door?


I bought this yellow scarf in Italy, outside of Milan, in 2012. A friend from college moved to Treviglio about twenty years ago. Bill and I stayed with her and her lovely family for a short time. While we were there, she took me shopping around town. We went to a sewing shop where designer dresses by Dolce & Gabbana were being sewn. It was such a treat to see this workshop! These beautiful Versace silk scarves were for sale and I just had to have one. I ended up buying two for 25 euros each, kept this one and gave the other to a friend.

how I wear my yellow

I wore my scarf with my new Stella Carakasi Attitude Sweater, part of their latest collection for fall, girlfriend jeans, and black sandals. I got a yellow pedicure too, just for this HIWM occasion.

After lunch, all four of us went to The General’s Daughter in Sonoma for a cheese class taught by local cheese maker and expert, Sheana Davis. I will be telling you more about our fun cheese-making class in a future post!

how I wear my yellow

Thank you to all the stylish participants for showing us great ideas for how to wear yellow. Be sure to click over and see all the other HIWM looks on Jill’s blog, Everything Just So.

how I wear yellow

**Time to announce the theme for October**

How I Wear My Badge

A fun look for fall we’ve noticed in magazines and on runways features one of the smallest scarf sizes made—the neckerchief! It adds a splash of color and pattern to your outfit and it could not be easier to wear—just tie one onto your neck, bag, or wrist or wear it in your hair – feel free to get creative!

So join us in October for “How I Wear My: Neckerchief.” Send photos to [email protected] by October 3, 2016 and be sure to include a quotable description of your look!

Make it a rich day…

and be sure to see all the other Yellow looks at Jill’s!



 Disclosure: The Stella Carakasi Attitude Sweater was given to me. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.