October Winemaker Series
Embark on an amazing culinary adventure at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa. Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa will host a one-of-a-kind winemaker dinner tailored to sophisticated epicureans and oenophiles alike. Director of Culinary Experience at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa, Shane Bruns and his team, in partnership with the Biltmore Estate will create an exquisite culinary experience, expertly paired with wines from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
The Winemaker’s Dinner doesn’t require an overnight stay. In order to make reservations for the Welcome Reception and 5-Course Winemaker’s Dinner on Sat., Oct. 24, 2020 please call 865-428-9696.
Biltmore Estates Winemaker’s Dinner Will Take Place On The Terrace at Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020
- 6 p.m. - Welcome Reception with hors D’oeuvres and Biltmore Wine Tasting
- 7 p.m. - 5-Course Winemaker’s Dinner hosted by Biltmore Winery
- 5:30 – 9 p.m. – LIVE 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 Georgia. 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 Food & Beverage Experiences at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
In September of 2017, award-winning chef and food service expert Shane Bruns joined Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa as Director of Food and Beverage Experiences. Shane also helps oversee culinary experiences across all Dollywood properties, creating compelling food offerings and providing menu ideation for festivals and operating locations.
Originally from Colorado, Bruns began his career in cuisine at various four and five star kitchens in Aspen - first as a Chef apprentice for award-winning 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 beginning at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Bruns simultaneously worked at Meribel Restaurant as Executive Pastry Chef. Upon graduation, he relocated to tropical Port Douglas, Australia and opened Salsa Restaurant & Bar.
After his stint down under, Bruns returned to Aspen’s Silvertree Properties & Convention Center as Executive Chef/ Director of Food & Beverage. After six 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 has participated in The Aspen Food & Wine Classic, the Grand Chef Tasting. Volunteering as Lead Chef for March of Dimes, and has created multiple wine lists that have received Wine Spectator Awards.
In Spring 2012, Shane joined Omni Hotels and Resorts at Omni Houston Galleria Hotel as Director of Food and Beverage; after three years, he was promoted to Director of Food & Beverage, managing two of Omni’s premier properties in San Antonio.
Debra Vance, Executive Chef at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
In 2019, Chef Debra Vance joined Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa as Executive Chef.
Before entering the culinary profession, she spent fifteen years as a hairstylist before deciding to change course and pursue her passion.
Inspired by her brother and noted Chef, Larry Finn, Vance left Las Vegas for Lake Tahoe in 2003 to begin 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. These events included concerts, weddings, and food and wine festivals.
After a decade working for Vail Resorts, Debra decided to move to Portland, OR, after reading and talking with hosts of people over the years about the city’s burgeoning food culture.
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. Together they created the successful dinner series, Da Net, which focused on Vitale’s family heritage and Russian fare with a flare.
During this time, the Imperial received the Restaurant of the Year award from both the Willamette Weekly and The Oregonian newspaper.
Shortly after Debra married, a family emergency called her family to central Florida.
Debra continued her pursuits to satisfy 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 and the relationships with purveyors and farmers.
Debra set out to find a home that offered mountain views, fresh and local foodstuffs, and a position that meets her creativity and love of southern fare.
Debra is thrilled to call Tennessee home and to be a part of Dollywood’s amazing hospitality.