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Sun Worship in Napa

Napa's Festival del Sole brings out San Fransisco's social set.

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Maria Manetti Farrow in Blumarine.

Photo By Thomas Gibbons

San Francisco’s well-to-do flocked to Napa Valley last week for the Festival del Sole, a series of concerts and wine tastings sponsored by Chopard.

Social doyenne Maria Manetti Farrow kicked off the festivities with a cocktail party at her Villa Mille Rose estate Tuesday night. Waiters passed around chilled Bellinis made with white peaches from Farrow’s own orchard.

“These are the best Bellinis ever,” judged Cherise Moueix, owner of top winery Dominus.

Saudi Princess Deena Abdulaziz and her husband, Prince Sultan, who are summering in San Francisco with their three children, were happy to escape the Riyadh heat. “We adore the fog,” said Deena. “Believe me, for someone who lives in the desert, San Francisco summer fog is a great luxury.”

The following day, French Laundry chef Thomas Keller sat for a luxe lunch at Auberge du Soleil hosted by Farrow, while his sous chef, Devin Knell, whipped up lobster tail and truffled agnolotti for Sako Fisher, violinist Joshua Bell, Denise Hale and cellist Nina Kotova.

Elsewhere around town during the week, President Bush dined at the Swansons’ estate (they’re big Republican donors and Clarke Swanson is on the board of the Hoover Institution) and tended to more serious business with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tagging along. King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan, meanwhile, dined at Press in St. Helena with their family — and a huddle of bodyguards.
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