Each fall and winter, Yosemite National Park presents three unique food & wine events at the park’s historic lodge, The Ahwahnee hotel. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular scenery, endless activities and all things food & wine. The centerpiece of each event is a gourmet dinner in the spectacular Ahwahnee Dining Room.
For and by wine-lovers, Vintners’ Holidays showcases acclaimed wines and winemakers. The event boasts representatives from wineries like Silver Oak, Robert Mondavi and many more. Mingle with esteemed winemakers at a “Meet the Vintners” reception held at The Ahwahnee. Sample vintages during four wine-tasting sessions, and listen in as vintners discuss all aspects of the art of winemaking. Then, on the final evening of each session, enjoy a spectacular five-course gala dinner. Each course compliments wines provided by one or more of the featured vintners.
Event Dates: Eight sessions available between November 3 – December 6, 2019. Find Yosemite lodging.
Vintners’ Holidays Gala Dinner
Experience the magic of Yosemite’s holiday tradition with the Bracebridge Dinner. It’s a unique and exciting way to check out one of Yosemite’s most historic lodges, the Ahwahnee Hotel. Celebrated every year since 1927, Bracebridge transforms The Ahwahnee Dining Room into an old English manor hall. The evening begins well in advance of dinner in the Great Lounge. Enjoy an elegant champagne bar, music, and caroling along with a professional portrait sitting for your party. Guests are then invited to the main hall, where music, dancing, laughter and all manner of antics accompany a delightful seven-course menu.
Event Dates: December 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21, 2019
Bracebridge Dinner at The Ahwahnee. Photo: Lani Spicer | Andrea Fulton Productions
Get to know some of the biggest names in the culinary world at Chefs’ Holidays. Each session includes an intimate “Meet the Chefs” reception at The Ahwahnee. Learn tips and tricks from the chefs during cooking demonstrations. Then top the event off with an exquisite five-course gala dinner prepared by one (or sometimes more) of the featured chefs. Complimentary wine pairings highlight the flavor of each dish.
Event Dates: Six sessions available between January 12 – January 31, 2019
Chef Ariane Duarte talking with Chefs’ Holidays guests after a cooking demonstration.
Completed in 1927, The Ahwahnee is Yosemite’s grand historic lodge. Located at the east end of Yosemite Valley, The Ahwahnee was designed to complement and enhance Yosemite’s natural beauty. Gilbert Stanley-Underwood designed The Ahwahnee in the same “parkitecture” style found in many of his other National Park lodges. The hotel’s stenciling, woodwork, lighting fixtures, and china patterns highlight key design elements. Look for Native American, Middle Eastern and Art and Crafts influences.
The Ahwahnee was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 1987 it became recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Currently, its AAA Four-Diamond rating testifies to ongoing hospitality and comfortable amenities.
Within the building, The Ahwahnee’s grand public spaces are built to impress. Giant stone fireplaces, massive hand-stenciled beams, rich tapestries and elegant stained glass grace the spacious interior.
Even among such extraordinary rooms, The Ahwahnee Dining Room stands out. It features a 34-foot high ceiling capped with massive sugar pine trestles. Ceiling to floor windows framed with stained glass frame Yosemite’s scenic landscape. This is the space that hosts some of the most remarkable culinary events in the country.
The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room hosts the three signature events mentioned above in the fall but serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner year-round from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, the Dining Room is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. when it hosts brunch. For Sunday brunch, guests can order off-menu or opt for the Ahwahnee Brunch which offers a wide variety of lunch and breakfast options including fresh seafood, a hot carvery, artisan pastries and bread, classic Ahwahnee deserts and a selection of items for children.
It is strongly suggested that dining reservations are booked in advance as The Ahwahnee Dining Room is a destination dining spot. For available times, please call 209-372-1489.
Proper attire is kindly requested for dinner. For dinner, gentlemen are required to wear long pants and a shirt with a collar, and women should wear a dress, skirt, or long pants with a blouse. Please refrain from wearing shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, flip-flops, and baseball caps. Children over the age of four are asked to dress for the occasion as well. Breakfast, brunch, and lunch are always casual.
Don’t let the possibility of winter driving conditions keep you from enjoying Yosemite National Park in one of its most beautiful seasons. Many locals consider winter their favorite Yosemite season, and if you make the journey, you’ll see why.
The Ahwahnee hotel is magnificent in any season. However consider these top 7 reasons to prefer the quieter months of fall and winter for your stay.
Whether it’s your first time on ice skates or you’re working on perfecting that triple axel, Yosemite offers some unique opportunities for outdoor ice skating.