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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

21st Annual Kitchens in the Vineyards Home & Garden Tour - Healing Napa Together

Kitchens in the Vineyards (KITV), a sensational Napa Valley home and garden tour, will host its 2018 event exclusively in St. Helena, April 27 & 28. Mirroring the hospitable nature Napa Valley is known for, owners of five inspiring residences will welcome more than 800 visitors and share an up-close look at Napa Valley living. The annual tour and related events occur to raise funds in support of Music in the Vineyards, (MITV) the renowned Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival. In turn, MITV supports a variety of local music programs. This season, MITV introduced the Inaugural String Quartet Apprenticeship Program, a three-week workshop for an emerging youth ensemble. The funds raised also help support the Napa Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra, Boys and Girls Club, and providing music programs for locals that may no longer leave home such as, Veterans Home of California, Yountville, The Springs of Napa and others.

In light of the recent fires that touched every one of our lives, the creative focus of the 2018 tour took an unexpected turn. The emphasis this year will be rebuilding, starting over, and celebrating the strong community we cherish. The House Selection Committee chose to present homes that appeal to people of all financial ranges, while showing sensitivity to those who may have lost everything. The spirit of our families, the hospitality Napa Valley is known for, and the kind-hearted volunteerism shown during those difficult days will be reflected during the schedule of events.

Home Selection & Preparation

The homes are hand-selected in a process which takes many months. Deborah Tonella, Chair of the 2018 House Selection Committee shared her thoughts with us:

With over 800 guests touring, they will have very different tastes and we aren’t looking for a cookie-cutter approach. This year, in particular, with the fires, we want to showcase a variety homes and represent different ways people may need to rebuild. We want the homes to illustrate a variety of styles, sleek glass, wood, or traditional. Some homes are on vineyard lots, and some are ‘neighborhood’ homes. It’s not all about massive vineyard estates.

Rarely do homeowners volunteer their residences. KITV learns of the homes through a variety of ways. People taking the tours make suggestions, as well as friends produce connections for homes they feel may be suitable candidates. The search for cooperative homeowners is not only the biggest challenge, finding those homeowners is also the biggest reward, once a KITV home, always a KITV home. In many cases, lifelong friendships have formed because of this program.

Preparations begin each December, and continue until the last flower arrangement is set. The homeowners work closely with the KITV staff and stylists who begin their work by touring the homes. The stylists seek visually interesting items, already on-site, and then identify what may be needed to stage the homes to their best advantage.

On your self-guided tour will be tasteful kitchens, outstanding in equipment and design, gracious entertaining areas and outdoor living spaces, blooming gardens––manicured to perfection––and a heartfelt welcome. This reminds us what makes Napa Valley such a beautiful place to live.

2018 Homes

‘Natural to the Nines’ was newly built from the ground up. This home reflects a modern style with an essence of rustic design––created with old-barn wood and repurposed materials. It sits on a cozy lot in the heart of town and will be stylized by the homeowner, an interior designer, in her own right.

‘Perched Above the Vines’ was built in a contemporary style with curved, floor-to-ceiling glass walls. A glass-lined staircase leads the way upstairs to a great room, kitchen, and master suite, beautifully highlighted by the natural setting. An outdoor entertainment area boasts a one-hundred and eighty degree view of the surrounding vineyards.

‘Prefabbed to Perfection’ was recently built. A modular concept home, constructed on Mare Island, with steel hinges that unfold on site. This home offers state-of-the-art amenities, minimalist design, and is eco-focused with low-water landscaping, solar panels, and electric car chargers. It’s a true inspiration for someone who needs to rebuild.

‘Old Stone Sanctuary’, was originally built as a winery in the 1880s. Its classic style is sure to provide excitement through this season’s tour. Charming rose gardens lead the way to the ebony and walnut doors. The interior features a curved staircase, a massive fireplace mantle and formal dining room.

Michael Holmes, a Napa native, will complement ‘Old Stone Sanctuary’ with his sophisticated florals. Michael shared with us, “This year is going to be fun. The home is in impeccable condition. I can only add to the owner’s personal style with my floral designs, nothing more is necessary.” Long considered a valued asset to KITV, last year, his residence was included on the tour.

‘Wisteria Haven’, a traditional ranch style home, was recently renovated. The stunning interior features a formal dining room, large fireplace and open kitchen. Finish your walk outside to see an expansive deck and lounging area, and lush vegetable and cutting gardens. Brooklyn Santiago, the house coordinator, will be the stylist of this fabulous location.

KITV is always looking for new and inspiring homes to showcase. If you’re interested in becoming one of the KITV viewing homes, please reach out through the online volunteer form, selecting the KITV event, followed by “I would like to offer my house for the Tour.”

Volunteers, Docents, Stylists & Sponsors

More than one hundred fifty volunteers and docents give their time each year. From the set directors, to the parking attendants, every single volunteer helps the event run smoothly. Leslie Baribealt organizes the group; her efforts are invaluable to the success of the event each year.

Bob Hurley, of Hurley’s Restaurant, in Yountville, has been involved since the inception of KITV. Bob appreciates the local centric aspect of the event, which creates a diverse experience for our community. “Whenever a project involves art, music, and something I’m passionate about, food, I’m involved. During these home tours I see my friends, and the people that eat at my restaurant. There is a direct correlation between participating in the community and marketing.”

Many local restaurants and chefs support KITV by providing delicious treats, and printed recipes for the tour guests to take home. Making the list in 2018 along with Hurley’s are Angèle, Cabot Creamery, Culinary Institute of America, Fumé, Hop Creek, Ink House, and Tarla, who welcomes back, Chef Michael Powell.

Chef Tastings/Recipes for Saturday’s Tour:

• Vanilla Rice Pudding (Like My Mother Never Made It) With Marinated Strawberries and Biscotti Recipe courtesy of Chef Bob Hurley, Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar

• Salmon Rillet - courtesy of Chef Roberto Bonefont, Angèle

• Chicken Liver Toast Recipe courtesy of Chef Polly Lappetito, Copia

• Cabot Clothbound Cheddar - courtesy of Janet Fletcher

• Penne Pasta with Caggiano Sausage and Tomato Fennel Ragoût - Recipe courtesy of Chef Terry Letson, Fumé

Preview Party

If you want to enjoy KITV to the fullest, don’t miss the festivities and exciting auction lots at the Preview Party, on the 27th of August. Tre Posti, located at 641 Main Street, in St. Helena, will host the exclusive wine-paired dinner, prepared by Executive Chef, Anthony ‘Nash’ Congnetti. Not only will you tour the five homes before anyone else, an additional venue has been added to the evening fun. The Ink House, will be open for viewing by the Preview Party guests, exclusively.

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