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Hobnob for a cause at annual Flavor! Napa Valley fest

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It's still two weeks away, but the popular Flavor! Napa Valley festival is so packed with wine and food events, it's going to take some time to schedule everything you'll want to taste and try.

Taking place March 16–20, this annual celebration of the farm-to-table fare and wine that only Napa Valley can deliver ranges from celebrity chef demonstrations to wine workshops and tours, all benefiting the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone campus in St. Helena. Still, with dozens of restaurants participating and 40 separate events, where's a foodie to start?

Well, your first taste happens March 16 with a downtown StrEats Market at the new Culinary Institute location in the former Copia building in downtown Napa. Flavor-masters like Ca'Momi and Eiko's showcase unique dishes, while wineries pour their pairings and live music from Royal Jelly Jive sets the groovy mood.

On Thursday, March 17, you can toast the 40th anniversary of the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris that introduced California wines to the world with an all-star celebration at Silverado Resort.

Local rising-star chefs have their night on March 18 with the "Young Guns Pop-Up Dinner" at Inglenook Winery in Rutherford, and March 19 offers the Grand Tasting at the Culinary Institute at Greystone, featuring an adventurous showcase of Napa Valley's most celebrated and innovative tastemakers. For more info, visit flavornapavalley.com.

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