As autumn gives way to winter, slip away to the Grand Grape Celebration, presented at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel (formerly The Yosemite Majestic) in the incomparable Yosemite Valley. For generations, Yosemite National Park has been a magnet for hikers, campers, bird watchers, and other lovers of nature. But every fall, there’s another type person you can add to that list: wine lover.
With sessions lasting from two to three days over the course of several weeks, leading vintners celebrate the fall harvest by pouring their prized vintages for attendees of this sublime savoring experience. The Grand Grape Celebration’s exclusive seminars—don’t-miss experiences for serious oenophiles—feature relaxed tasting sessions and discussions with the featured winemaker. Topics discussed include not just their wines but also their industry insights, winemaking trends, and tips for how to better appreciate all types of varietals and blends. (Sign up in advance for these on their website). There’s also an intimate evening wine-and-cheese reception to mingle with winemakers and pick up more tips (and sample more wines, of course).
Each session culminates in a multi-course gala dinner in the grand dining room of The Ahwahnee, with courses carefully paired with often rare or limited-release vintages shared by the participating wineries.
Since the Grand Grape Celebration’s events never start earlier than 1 p.m., there’s plenty of time beforehand to hike, visit Half Dome, or ride the free shuttle around the park. Tickets are available in a range of options, from dinner-only to lodging-inclusive packages
Insider tip: This event typically sells out—sign up early.