It is that time of year for Harvest Festivities again. Coming up on Sunday, September 2nd from 12-4p is the popular Crocker Starr Carnivus Maximus MMXVIII.
Considered the Top Harvest Party in Napa as a thank you to all of the loyal Casali Members and loyalists.
When summer is on the way out with the colors of fall burgeoning upon the valley and the aromas of harvest are perfuming the air, what better time for a celebration of wine, harvest, and merriment. One of the queens of the crop orchestrated by winemaker and co-owner Pam Starr is Crocker Starr’s Annual Carnivus Maximus soiree held every year on the Sunday before Labor Day at the winery’s St. Helena location.
Over 400 Crocker Starr Casali Members, friends and family descended on a very warm Sunday afternoon this past September to make merry under the Big Top with an abundance of food, flowing wine, music, dancing, and frolicking. Games, photo booths, prizes galore, a grand raffle and more are all part of the experience. This renowned afternoon extravaganza has been coined as “the greatest wine celebration of the year”.
Adding to the flow of the afternoon, owners Charlie Crocker and Pam Starr continuously popped the corks on Crocker Starr library wines, large format bottles from the cellar and pre-release vintages. And, of course, t here was also no shortage of fantastic food at the spread of flavors presented on the colorful and festive buffet tables under the party tent.
2010 was the inaugural first Carnivus event where Charlie, Pam, friends, and family celebrated in a small intimate setting with a 10-year vertical tasting in the historic 1918 Farmhouse. The Carnivus Celebration was conceived and its roots began with the roasting of the traditional “blessed” pig while sharing great Crocker Starr wine and stories under the Stonehouse Arbor.
The tradition continued in 2011 and in 2012, the first party like a #rockStarr had begun. They upped their game and expanded their annual party by bringing in a selection of local purveyors to prepare the ultimate spread with Zuzu’s famous Paella, Hog Island Oysters and of course the pig roasted to perfection by Smoke, who have all been a part of the party since. Also featured this at this year’s celebration were Fatted Calf Charcuterie, Napa Valley Crust wood-fired pizzas and keeping the guests cool – Paradise Shaved Ice.
Live music and dancing and fun and games like “guess the cork”, giant Jenga and ring toss to win your very own grapevine were also added to the festivities of Carnivus Maximus. Guests also collected stamps on their passport to enter into a drawing to win one of the 3 Big prizes – Grand, Grander, and Grandest. Every year the Crocker Starr Labor Day weekend celebration gets bigger and better and is always a quick sell-out event! There are always new surprises in store each year for their returning guests, family, and friends.
The event’s success is attributed to the amazing orchestration by the Crocker Starr team and their Napa Valley event planner, Sasha Souza Events who has been designing the event for the past 3 years. Plans are already in the making for next year’s festivities.
“NapaFoodGal” Dynie is the Food and Flavor Editor for Napa Valley Life Magazine with over 18 years as a contributor. Editorial features focus on food, wine and travel and all things amazing. Dynie has been a food, wine and travel writer for over 25 years and has written for a variety of regional lifestyle, publications including being the founding Publisher/Editor of Napa Valley’s GuestWest Magazine for over 6 years and Associate Publisher for the Wine Country Region of TravelHost Magazine. She is also the Co-proprietor of Tadpole Vineyards in Napa Valley. Active member of International Food Wine, Travel Writers and Bay Area Travel Writers, Professional Travel Bloggers Association, North American Travel Journalists Association. Follow Dynie on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @NapaFoodGal.