Flower & Food Winemaker Series
Embark on an amazing culinary adventure at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa. Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery, located inside the resort, is hosting a one-of-a-kind winemaker’s dinner tailored to sophisticated epicureans and oenophiles alike. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa’s Director of Culinary Experience Shane Bruns and Executive Chef Debra Vance, in partnership with Biltmore Estates, will create an exquisite culinary experience expertly paired with wines from Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
Reservations are required. Please call 865-428-9696 to reserve your table today!
NOTE: The Winemaker’s Dinner doesn’t require an overnight stay. Dinner reservations are required.
Biltmore Estates Winemaker's reception will take place on The Terrace at Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery. The wine pairing dinner will take place inside of Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
- 6 p.m. - Welcome reception with hors d'oeuvres and select Biltmore wines
- 7 p.m. - 5-Course Winemaker's Dinner hosted by Biltmore Winery and Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa Culinary Team
- 5:30 – 9 p.m. – Light Entertainment
Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore Winemaker
As a child, Sharon Fenchak spent many Sunday afternoons visiting her grandparents, all of whom lived within driving distance of her home in Pennsylvania. Her grandmothers, in particular, were closely connected to the land and enjoyed feeding family and friends from the bounty of their gardens.
Their influence fueled Sharon’s growing interest in agriculture and food science, a focus she maintained even as a Communications Specialist in the United States Army. While stationed in Vicenza, Italy, Sharon discovered an appreciation for the wines of the region—particularly the bubbly prosecco for which the area is noted.
After returning to the states, Sharon earned a bachelor’s degree in food science from Penn State University, followed by a master’s degree in the same field from the University of Georgia at Athens. With a deepening interest in the science of winemaking, she sought work as an assistant winemaker at Habersham Winery in Baldwin, Georgia, under the wing of winemaker Andrew Beatty. With skills gained from that experience, Sharon became winemaker at Chestnut Mountain Winery in Braselton, Georgia, where she oversaw the wine development process.
In 1999, Sharon joined Biltmore’s winery production team as assistant winemaker to veteran French winemaker Bernard Delille. Despite their different backgrounds, Sharon and Bernard shared a philosophy of creating high-quality wines that reflect true varietal character while still being food-friendly and approachable. In addition to making wines, her role featured research and development for new grape-growing technology and grape-production testing methods for the estate.
Sharon was promoted to winemaker in 2003 and continued handcrafting high-quality wines worthy of the finest Biltmore traditions of taste and style. On Bernard’s retirement in 2018, Sharon became Biltmore’s head winemaker and vice president of winery production, which includes oversight of the estate’s vineyards and partnerships with west coast growers.
For the future, Sharon hopes to continue building the tradition of the Biltmore brand among wine enthusiasts locally, nationally, and globally.
Learn more about Biltmore Winery.
Chef Shane Bruns, Director of Culinary Experiences at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
From Colorado, Bruns worked his way up at various four & five star kitchens in Aspen, CO. First as a Chef apprentice for an award-winning (Compagnon de la Toque Blanche order of 33 Master Chefs), Belgian Chef, Michel Poumay at Chez Grandmere, then as Chef de Cuisine at Sardy House, Colorado’s only AAA 4 Diamond Bed and Breakfast. A seasoned professional before he even set foot inside a classroom at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California. While studying there, he worked at Meribel Restaurant as the Executive Pastry Chef. Upon graduation Bruns relocated to tropical Port Douglas, Australia and opened Salsa Restaurant & Bar.
After his stint down under, Bruns returned to Aspen, Colorado Silvertree Properties & Convention Center as the Executive Chef/ Director of Food & Beverage. After 6 years he joined AAA 4-diamond Loews Giorgio Hotel, as Executive Chef/ Director of Food & Beverage.
Shane joined Benchmark Hospitality at Hotel Contessa as Regional Director of Food & Beverage. Shane participated in The Aspen Food & Wine Classic as a Sous Chef to Julia Child and other Celebrity Chefs. Shane had received accolades from Wine Spectator on unique wine programs. He Volunteered as Lead Chef for March of Dimes in San Antonio and Houston Texas.
Spring of 2012 Shane joined Omni Hotels and Resorts at Omni Houston Galleria Hotel as the Director of Food and Beverage after 3 years at the urban resort, Shane was promoted to Director of Food & Beverage where he managed two of Omni’s premier properties in San Antonio Texas, the Historic Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel and the Forbes 4 star rated Mokara Hotel & Spa, Omni’s only luxury hotel. In Fall of 2017 Shane joined the Dollywood Family as Director of Food & Beverage Experiences for the DreamMore Resort & Spa.
Debra Vance, Executive Chef at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
After fifteen years as a hair stylist, Debra Vance decided to call it quits and pursue her passion.
Inspired by her brother, Larry Finn, a noted Chef, Debra left Las Vegas for Lake Tahoe in 2003 and began her culinary career at Northstar at Tahoe working for Vail Resorts.
Debra’s first position was Garde Manger and she quickly worked her way through the ranks to become Kitchen Manager and ultimately Executive Chef.
At the lodge Debra hosted many large-scale high-end events ranging from concerts and weddings to food and wine festivals.
After a decade working for Vail Resorts, Debra decided it was time for her to move on. Debra had been reading and talking with hosts of people over the years about the burgeoning food culture in Portland, Oregon.
Her love for fine food and foraging finally won out and she made the move.
She secured the Executive Sous Chef position at the highly acclaimed Imperial Restaurant working under restaurateur and James Beard award winner Vitale Paley.
Over her nearly four years at the Imperial Debra worked very closely with Chef Vitale and they created a successful dinner series, Da Net, focusing on Vitale’s family heritage and Russian fare with a flare.
As well during this time the Imperial received the Restaurant of the Year award from both the Willamette Weekly and the Oregonian newspapers.
Soon after Debra married, a family emergency called them to central Florida.
Debra continued her pursuits to sate her passion and worked for a large-scale caterer and a high-end country club but, after three years in the Orlando area she still missed the farm to table approach, the relationships with purveyors and farmers.
Debra set out to find a home. A place that offers mountain views, fresh and local foodstuffs, a position that meets her creativity and love of southern fare.
Debra is thrilled to call Tennessee her home and to be a part of Dollywood’s amazing hospitality.