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For Immediate Release


California winemakers showcase the 2012 fall harvest paired with a five-course gala dinner and beautiful scenery in Yosemite National Park
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.—June 19, 2012—The Ahwahnee, a recently refurbished National Historic Landmark and a full-service, AAA Four-Diamond hotel located in scenic Yosemite Valley, Calif., today announces the lineup for the 31st Annual Vintners’ Holidays event series in November, welcoming more than 30 of California’s best winemakers.  Celebrating the excellence of California’s winemaking community in the breathtaking natural setting of Yosemite National Park, Vintners’ Holidays will be held over a series of eight sessions from November 4 to December 6, 2012.  From terroir to table, participants in each session will have personal access to meet the vintners, learn about the latest trends in viticulture, taste the wines and enjoy a five-course finale candlelit dinner in The Ahwahnee’s grand Dining Room.
“Fall is always a wonderful time of year to visit The Ahwahnee and Yosemite National Park as the foliage changes color and the fireplaces are roaring in the hotel,” said Brett Archer, general manager of The Ahwahnee. “Vintners’ Holidays is a fun and interactive event and with the hotel’s recent design renovations, guests will be able to experience a new level of comfort.  New this year is the formation of an all-female Vintners’ session as well as some great new wineries who will be joining us for the first time.”

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.  Held every year in the fall, Vintners’ Holidays allows the vintners to relax after their busy harvest season and share the fruits of their labor with Yosemite visitors.  Many vintners have participated multiple years, and returning for the 2012 season are boutique producers such as Karly Winery to such widely-recognizable names as Silver Oak Cellars and Ravenswood Winery.  New wineries joining the festivities this year are Hatcher Winery, Ancien Wines and Lasseter Family Vineyards
This year welcomes:
Session 1: November 4-6 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator:  Peter Marks, M.W. and vice president of education, Icon Estates
Steve Reeder, Simi Winery
Clay Brock, Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards
Ross Halleck, Halleck Vineyards
Michael Martini, Louis M. Martini Vineyards
Session 2: November 7-8 (Wednesday-Thursday) 
Goddesses of the Grape: Female Vintners

Moderator: Peter Marks, M.W. and vice president of education, Icon Estates
Carissa Chappellet, Chappellet Vineyards
Beth Nickel, Far Niente Winery
Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards
Delia Viader, Viader Winery
Session 3: November 11-13 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Evan Goldstein, M.S., and president, Full Circle Wine Solutions, Inc.
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery
Tom Rinaldi, Provenance Vineyards
George Bursick, Villa Toscano Winery
Ed Sbragia, Sbragia Family Vineyards
Session 4: November 14-15 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Michael Stepanovich, wine journalist and judge
Robb Talbott, Talbott Vineyards
Robert Foley, Robert Foley Vineyards
Nancy Lasseter, Lasseter Family Vineyards*
Tim Carl, Huge Bear Wines
Session 5: November 25-27 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Gilles de Chambure, M.S.; director of wine education, Meadowood
Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores Winery
K.R. Rombauer, Rombauer Vinyards
Richard Sanford, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards
Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Winery
Session 6: November 28-29 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Gilles de Chambure, M.S.; director of wine education, Meadowood
Kristin Belair, Honig Vineyard & Winery
Matt Hatcher, Hatcher Winery*
Daniel Baron, Twomey Cellars
David Duncan, Silver Oak Cellars
Session 7: December 2-4 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Dan Berger, wine journalist and judge
John Williams, Frogs Leap Winery
Dan Goldfield, Dutton-Goldfield Winery
Frank Ostini & Gray Hartley, Hitching Post Winery
Buck Cobb, Karly Wines
Session 8: December 5-6 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Dan Berger, wine journalist and judge
Bob Lindquist, Qupe Wines
Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Vineyard
Ken Bernards, Ancien Wines*
Chris Howell, Cain Cellars
*Indicates new winery this year.
Vintners’ Holidays offers everyone from the novice to the connoisseur an opportunity to participate in enjoying viticulture, as the wineries share their latest vintages and oftentimes rare and limited-release samples exclusively with guests.  Each session includes a “Meet the Vintners” reception, educational tasting seminars and concludes with a five-course gourmet dinner by Executive Chef Percy Whatley in The Ahwahnee Dining Room.  Whatley prides himself in providing the best in local and organic California ingredients with his seasonal American menu.  Working with each vintner, he expertly crafts each course to complement the presenting wines in a fun role-reversal on the more traditional wine pairing, creating beautiful and delicious dishes for each guest to enjoy.  The sessions are hosted and moderated by leading experts in wine, sharing their own knowledge with guests and engaging the vintners in discussions about the industry. 
Special 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 special packages represent a significant value and guest savings off the regular rack rate 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 a reduced price of $199 per person, including gratuity and excluding tax.
                                     Two-night Packages from:        Three-night Packages from:
THE AHWAHNEE   $448 per person      $573 per person
YOSEMITE LODGE AT THE FALLS   $333 per person      $400 per person
Free event-specific shuttle bus transportation is provided between Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and The Ahwahnee for the Vintners' Holidays Gala Dinner. Complimentary after hours shuttle service is also available. If scheduled shuttle service has ended for the day, please inquire at the hotel's front desk to request service back to your hotel.
For more information on Yosemite Vintners’ Holidays at The Ahwahnee or to make reservations, call 801-559-4884 or visit online at
The Ahwahnee, AAA Four-Diamond hotel featuring rustic architecture with Native American, Middle Eastern and Art and Crafts design elements, is located in scenic Yosemite National Park, which is home to stunning natural beauty, year-round activities and historic charm. The Ahwahnee, a member of Historic Hotels of America, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and in 1987 it was listed as a National Historic Landmark. The Ahwahnee was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s “Reader’s Choice Awards” in 2010 as one of the top 100 resorts in the United States.  For more information, visit  
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is an industry leader, providing Stewardship and Hospitality in Special PlacesSMwith hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations at historic and scenic properties in North America and Australia. The company operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida; in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, including The Ahwahnee and other Yosemite lodges; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio; Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; and in Niagara Falls State Park. The company also owns and operates Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa in British Columbia; the Park Gate Lodges at Yellowstone, which are the West Yellowstone Holiday Inn, Gray Wolf Inn and Suites and Yellowstone Park Hotel, all located at the park’s west gate in West Yellowstone, Mont.; and five luxury resorts in Australia: Lizard Island Resort, Heron Island Resort, Wilson Island Resort, Kings Canyon Resort and El Questro Homestead and Wilderness Park. To learn more about Delaware North Companies’ hospitality management expertise, visit
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Photos available upon request. Credit for all:  Chris Andre.
Media Contacts:

Lisa Cesaro

Tami von Isakovics


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