Local press coverage of the 6th Annual Death by Chocolate Festival at Copia can be found here
Copia bills itself as the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts and on February 23rd they should have added chocolate into that title somewhere - at least for the day. California and Ziad Kurjie of the US operations of Patchi Chocolates (who are headquartered in Lebanon).
I had the pleasure and the privilege to deliver the keynote tasting session as well as moderate the keynote panel on sustainability.
Several Chocolate Life members were there including Tracey Downey of Downey Chocolates in Laguna Niguel,
The most interesting chocolates I tasted all weekend were:
Downey Chocolates' Caramel with fig and walnuts (most decadent);
Michael Mischer's Root Beer barrel (most likely to transport you to childhood); and
Jade Chocolates' dark bar with sesame, chili, and lapsang souchong tea (most sophisticated).
Up and coming chocolatiers include Raffine and Ginger Elizabeth and chocolate makers Tcho and Askinosie.
Copia is a great venue and if you ever find yourself in the Napa Valley taking in the wine you should plan to visit. And, just across the parking lot is the new Oxbow Market, modeled on the Ferry Plaza market in San Francisco. Check out the wine and cheese merchant as well as the Fatted Calf (great butcher and charcuterie). My only beef (pun intended) is that there's no soul to the Market. Everything seems artfully arranged and just so-so. Maybe that will change as it ages, I certainly hope so.
I've already posted a couple of photos from my trip (including a stop in Central Point, OR) and there are more to come.