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The Ahwahnee Announces 32nd Annual Vintners' Holidays Lineup Featuring California's Finest Wineries

The Ahwahnee, a AAA Four-Diamond hotel nestled in the heart of scenic Yosemite Valley, today announces 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 November 11 to December 6, 2013 where attendees and vintners celebrate fall harvests with enlightening wine tastings and seminars, a small private reception to meet the vintners in person, and a five-course gala dinner where each course is prepared by Executive Chef Percy Whatley and The Ahwahnee Culinary Team to complement the often rare or limited-release wines shared by 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. 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 2013 season are boutique producers, such as Hartford Family Winery, as well as widely 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. Each Vintners’ Holidays session offers an exciting wine adventure. From the legendary Margarit Mondavi of Mondavi Winery to Andy Beckstoffer, who single-handedly changed the wine business and was inducted to the Vintners Hall of Fame.

The 2013 Vintners’ Holidays schedule includes the following winemakers and moderators:

Session 1: November 11-12 (Monday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Ellen Landis, Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine & Owner, Landis Shores Inn
Bob Linquist, Qupe
Robert Foley, Robert Foley Vineyards
Frank Ostini & Gray Hartley, Hitching Post Wines
K.R. Rombauer, Rombauer Vineyards

Session 2: November 13-14 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier & President, Full Circle Wine Solutions, Inc.
Tom Rinaldi, Provenance Vineyards
Ed Sbragia, Sbragia Family Vineyards
Rob McNeill, Don & Sons
George Bursick, Villa Toscano

Session 3: November 17-19 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Dan Berger, Wine Journalist & Judge
Steve Urberg*, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
Robb Talbott, Talbott Vineyards
Dan Goldfield, Dutton-Goldfield
Ben Cane, Twomey Cellars

Session 4: November 20-21 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Dan Berger, Wine Journalist & Judge
Stu Smith, Smith-Madrone
Scott Rich*, Moraga Estate
Chris Benziger, Benziger Family Winery
Daniel Baron, Silver Oak Cellars

Session 5: December 1-3 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Peter Marks, Master of Wine & Vice President of Education, Constellation Academy of Wine
Margrit Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Winery
Jeff Stewart*, Hartford Family Winery
Janet Myer, Franciscan Estate Winery
Jason Hass, Tablas Creek

Session 6: December 4-5 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Peter Marks, Master of Wine & Vice President of Education, Constellation Academy of Wine
Melissa Stackhouse*, J Vineyard & Winery 
Tim Carl of Huge Bear Winery & Andy Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Vineyards
Ed Kurtzman*, August West Wines
Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Winery

*Indicates new winery or winemaker this year.

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 $199 per person, including gratuity and excluding tax.

For more information on Yosemite’s Vintners’ Holidays at The Ahwahnee or to make reservations, call 801-559-4949 or visit