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.
Photo courtesy of The Ahwahnee.
Sunday Oct 31, 2010 – Thursday Dec 2, 2010 various times prices vary by package, $744–$1,245 Info The Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park 801-559-4903