Smithsonian Highlights Napa Valley Wines in Changing Times

National Museum of American History Hosts Seventh Winemakers’ Dinner
April 18, 2023

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will offer its seventh Winemakers’ Dinner under the theme of “Napa Wines in Changing Times.” Co-hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners, this intimate signature event will feature prominent Napa Valley winemakers as they share their wisdom and their wines, along with stories of creativity, resilience, and optimism during challenging times. The wines will be complemented by a four-course menu designed around their flavor profiles.

The Winemakers’ Dinner is a ticketed event benefiting the Smithsonian Food and Wine History Project and will take place Wednesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m.

Winemakers in California’s renowned Napa Valley know that the challenges of nature and shifting markets can affect any season. Recently, they have experienced devastating wildfires, drought, deluges and other impacts of environmental change. Adopting sustainable practices in the vineyard and winery have become critical to the long-term viability of the land, landscape and industry.

The featured speakers at the dinner are Andy Erickson, Favia; Dawnine Dyer, Dyer Vineyard; Doug Shafer, Shafer Vineyards; Elizabeth Vianna, Chimney Rock; and Martin M. Reyes, Reyes Wine Group. The wines showcased in order of pouring will be the 2021 Elevage Blanc, 2019 Dyer Vineyard Cabernet Franc, 2016 Favia Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2018 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon.

“When people think of the climate crisis, wine and potential effects on winemaking may not immediately come to mind,” said Anthea M. Hartig, the museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan Director. “The stories our winemakers will share will enlighten and inspire as they talk about the innovative ways they are adapting their industry toward becoming more sustainable and equitable. All this, while continuing to produce extraordinary wine during this historically significant period in American viticultural history.”

Proceeds from the Winemakers’ Dinner will support ongoing research, collecting, exhibition and programs of the Smithsonian Food and Wine History Project established at the museum in 1996. For more information, visit the Wine History website, and to purchase individual tickets at $1,000 or a table sponsorship starting at $5,000, visit the ticket page.

The lead sponsor for this year’s Winemakers’ Dinner is the Winiarski Family Foundation, with additional funding provided by Clark Construction, Don Kollmorgen and Louise Woerner.

The museum launched the Smithsonian Food and Wine History Project in 1996 when Warren and Barbara Winiarski of Napa Valley, California, provided support for an oral history and documentation project on winemaking in the 20th century. Since then, the project has grown into a multi-year effort to include the documentation of American food and beverage history as well. The museum’s interdisciplinary team continues to conduct research around the country and to continue to build the museum’s archival and artifact collections. Through objects, documents, photographs and digital audio and video files, the project uses food and wine history as a lens for understanding American history and to trace the long and diverse history of wine in the U.S.

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, is open daily except Dec. 25, between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. The doors of the museum are always open online and the virtual museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibitions, PK–12 educational materials and programs. The public can follow the museum on social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For more information, go to For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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