THERE IS GOING TO SEE A CONCERT... at a stadium or club or venue or bar or park or amphitheater. Then there is going to see a concert at a winery, in Napa Valley, on a soft summer evening, and the only thing you have above you is starlight, if the weather is nice, and the breezes to remind you that the whole affair is al fresco. The concerts of wine country, those music-oriented shows that roll out when finer weather arrives, aren't quite like concerts anywhere else, as lovely as those gigs might be. The setting is vineyard-close, oftentimes, and winery-close, too. The wines served are made there, and the food for sale is often of the swanky-meets-chillaxed variety (not too fussy, not too everyday). Robert Mondavi Winery, along with other winemakers throughout Napa Valley and beyond, is known as one of the go-to spots to get your summer-night-gig-fun on, fun that increases when a band or singer is playing you're especially stoked to see. So get stoked: Tickets just went on sale for 2015, and the trio of performers has been announced.
THIS SUMMER'S SHOWS INCLUDE... Lyle Lovett and His Large Band on Saturday, July 18, Melissa Etheridge on Saturday, July 25, and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 1. There are two more to-be-announced shows, in early July, but you can nab tickets now for the announced performers. If you don't want to go with the food vendors at the winery -- Vintage Sweet Shoppe, Ben & Jerry's, and Off the Grid are mentioned as three -- you may arrive with your own grub (just make sure any libations are non-alcoholic).
BE SURE TO EYE... the new art installation at the winery, which was unveiled in March. The 3,000-pound sculpture by artist Len Urso pays homage to the Oakville winery's founder and his "unique spirit and strength of character." Look for it at the front of the property.