The Ahwahnee Kicks Off the 29th Annual Vintners' Holidays Series


Photo courtesy of The Ahwahnee.

Now through December 2nd, The Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite National Park is welcoming 32 of California’s best winemakers for its 29th annual ~VINTNERS’ HOLIDAYS~ event series. Participants in each of the eight sessions have personal access to meet the winemakers, learn about the latest trends in viticulture, taste the wines, and enjoy a five-course finale dinner by executive chef Percy Whatley.

Returning for 2010 are some of California’s top producers, from the boutique to the well-known, such as Tres Sabores, Mumm Napa, and Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley. New wineries joining the festivities this year are Ancient Peaks Winery, Carol Shelton Wines, Franciscan, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Hidden Ridge Vineyard, Hovey Wine, and Selene Wines.

Each session is hosted and moderated by a leading expert in wine, and includes a “Meet the Winemakers” reception, educational tasting seminars (including the latest vintages and oftentimes exclusive rare and limited-release samples), and concludes with a gourmet dinner in The Ahwahnee’s grand Dining Room. Executive chef Percy Whatley, who recently won “best meat dish” at the Bocuse d’Or USA, works with each vintner to craft five courses that complement the presenting wines, using organic California ingredients.

The 2010 schedule is as follows:

Session I: October 31st-November 2nd (Sun-Tue)
Moderator: Gilles de Chambure, M.S.; director of wine education, Meadowood
Chris Benziger, Benziger Family Winery
Ken & Akiko Freeman, Freeman Vineyard & Winery*
John Conover, Plumpjack Winery/Cade Winery
Timothy Milos, Hidden Ridge Vineyard*

Session II: November 3rd-4th (Wed-Thu)
Moderator: Gilles de Chambure, M.S.; director of wine education, Meadowood
Hugh Davies, Schramsberg Vineyards
Kent Rosenblum, Rosenblum Cellars
Jon Ruel, Trefethen Family Vineyards
Christopher Howell, Cain Vineyard & Winery

Session III: November 7th-9th (Sun-Tue)
Moderator: Peter Marks, M.W. and vice president of education, Icon Estates
Janet Myers, Franciscan*
Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores
Clay Brock, Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards
Steve Pride, Pride Mountain Vineyards

Session IV: November 10th-11th (Wed-Thu)
Moderator: Peter Marks, M.W. and vice president of education, Icon Estates
Steven MacRostie, MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
Lawrence “Buck” Cobb, Karly Winery
Chuck Hovey, Hovey Wine*
Genevieve Janssens and Margrit Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley

Session V: November 14th-16th (Sun-Tue)
Moderator: Dan Berger, syndicated wine journalist and judge
Dan Goldfield, Dutton-Goldfield Winery
Daniel Baron, Silver Oak Cellars
Michael Sinor, Ancient Peaks Winery
Ben Cane, Twomey Cellars

Session VI: November 17th-18th (Wed-Thu)
Moderator: Dan Berger, syndicated wine journalist and judge
Jason Haas, Tablas Creek Vineyard
John Williams, Frog’s Leap Winery
K.R. Rombauer III, Rombauer Vineyards
Carol Shelton, Carol Shelton Wines*

Session VII: November 28th-30th (Sun-Tue)
Moderator: Evan Goldstein, M.S., and president, Full Circle Wine Solutions, Inc.
Rob McNeill, Mumm Napa
Tom Rinaldi, Provenance Vineyards and Andy Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer Vineyards
George Bursick, J Vineyards & Winery
Ed Sbragia, Sbragia Family Vineyards

Session VIII: December 1st-2nd (Wed-Thu)
Moderator: Michael Stepanovich, wine journalist and judge
Susie Selby, Selby Winery
Brett de Leuze, ZD Wines
Mia Klein, Selene Wines*
Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Winery

*Indicates new winery this year.

Event Info

Sunday Oct 31, 2010 – Thursday Dec 2, 2010
various times
prices vary by package, $744–$1,245
The Ahwahnee
Yosemite National Park