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Yountville, in the Napa Valley, hosts a new music, food, and—of course—wine festival this weekend. (Photo by Misti Layne.)

Sure, summer in northern California's wine country offers warm evenings and autumn the excitement of the harvest, but our favorite time of year in the Napa Valley is early spring. The crowds have ebbed, the weather's cool enough to hike and bike even at midday, and the hotels, restaurants, and wineries have all caught their collective breath.

This is also when you'll find events like this year's inaugural Yountville Live (brought to you in part by Sunset): four days of music, dinners at such local stars as Bottega, and the Taste of Yountville. Addendum is still closed for the season, but maybe—hint, hint—Thomas Keller will pony up some of his famous fried chicken?

You can purchase tickets to the festival online (passes from $450). The fun begins this Thursday, March 19th, and runs through the 22nd.

We'll see you there, with a glass in hand!

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