The Ahwahnee, a AAA Four-Diamond hotel nestled in the heart of scenic Yosemite Valley, has announced the lineup for the 32nd Annual Vintners' Holidays event series showcasing more than 20 of California's best wineries.
Vintners' Holidays runs over a series of six sessions from Nov. 11 to Dec. 6, where attendees and vintners celebrate fall harvests with wine tasting, seminars, a private reception to meet the vintners, and a five-course gala dinner where each course is prepared by Ahwahnee Executive Chef Percy Whatley and his team to complement the often rare or limited-release wines from the participating wineries.
"Vintners' Holidays is always a wonderful start to the holiday season at The Ahwahnee," said program director Kathy Langley. "This year's stellar lineup of vintners includes returning favorites as well as some great new participants, and an exciting combination of wine varietals that is sure to delight our guests, no matter their level of wine appreciation or knowledge."
Since its inception as a small gathering of vintners and hotel guests in the winter of 1982, Vintners' Holidays has become a premier and much-sought-after destination for wine aficionados and winemakers alike. Many vintners have participated multiple years, and returning for the 2013 season are boutique producers, such as Hartford Family Winery, as well as recognized names such as Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards and Benziger Family Winery.
New wineries joining the festivities this year are Moraga Estate, Smith-Madrone and Franciscan Estate Winery. Guest speakers include the legendary Margarit Mondavi of Mondavi Winery and Andy Beckstoffer, who single-handedly changed the wine business and was recently inducted to the Vintners Hall of Fame.
The 2013 Vintners' Holidays schedule includes the following winemakers :
Session 1: Nov. 11-12: Bob Linquist, Qupe, Robert Foley, Robert Foley Vineyards, Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley, Hitching Post Wines, and K.R. Rombauer, Rombauer Vineyards.
Session 2: Nov. 13-14: Tom Rinaldi, Provenance Vineyards, Ed Sbragia, Sbragia Family Vineyards, Rob McNeill, Don & Sons, George Bursick, Villa Toscano.
Session 3: Nov. 17-19: Steve Urberg, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Robb Talbott, Talbott Vineyards, Dan Goldfield, Dutton-Goldfield, Ben Cane, Twomey Cellars.
Session 4: Nov. 20-21: Stu Smith, Smith-Madrone, Scott Rich, Moraga Estate, Chris Benziger, Benziger Family Winery, Daniel Baron, Silver Oak Cellars.
Session 5: Dec. 1-3: Margrit Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Winery, Jeff Stewart, Hartford Family Winery, Janet Myer, Franciscan Estate Winery, Jason Hass, Tablas Creek.
Session 6: Dec. 4-5: Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyard & Winery, Tim Carl, Huge Bear Winery, Andy Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer Vineyards, Ed Kurtzman, August West Wines, Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Winery.
Two- and three-night packages for Vintners' Holidays are available at either The Ahwahnee or Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, and include lodging, two tickets to the Gala Vintners' Dinner, admission to the "Meet the Vintners" reception and four wine tasting seminars. These packages represent a significant savings off regular rates for accommodations and services. The following rates are based on double occupancy, subject to change, and do not include room taxes. Individual tickets for the Gala Dinner may be purchased at $199 per person, including gratuity and excluding tax.
Ahwahnee two night package, $898 per couple, three night package, $1,148.
Yosemite Lodge two night package, $664 per couple, three night package, $797.
Details: (801) 559-4949, yosemitepark.com/vintners.