Norwegian Cruise Line Announces The Return Of Meet The Winemakers Series

For the seventh year in a row, Norwegian Cruise Line brings back the fan favorite, Meet the Winemaker series, a program featuring renowned winemakers and culinary experts showcasing their expertise with guests on board the brand’s newest ships. 

“Our Meet the Winemaker series is back and better than ever,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Every year we aim to elevate this exclusive experience and I believe we’ve done just that as we enter the program’s seventh year with an impressive guest lineup. These unique sailings offer a rare opportunity to get one-on-one exposure to esteemed winemakers and their collection of wines, all while visiting multiple destinations and enjoying an unforgettable vacation aboard our innovative fleet.”


  • The Meet the Winemaker series gives guests a first look at what winemakers and chefs do on a day-to-day basis.
  • Guests will join in on seminars, activities, wine tastings, wine-paired dinners, interactive culinary demonstrations, and meet-and-greets on board.
  • Guests can also purchase wines on board that are otherwise only available by visiting the wineries directly. 


Emma Walker:

  • Master Blender at Johnnie Walker, the highest rank in whisky craftsmanship.
  • She has spent over a decade perfecting whisky production, maturation, and blending processes.
  • She leads the Johnnie Walker Whisky Specialist team based in Menstrie, Scotland.
  • Emma will join on September 17, 2023, sailing on NCL’s award-winning new ship, Norwegian Prima, in Northern Europe for NCL’s first-ever Johnnie Walker cruise.
  • On this cruise, guests can learn the history of the brand and savor the wide range of aged whiskeys.

Ashley Breneman:

  • Chef Ashley is the Executive Chef at Certified Angus Beef, one of the best beef brands in the country, and is featured across the NCL fleet in its specialty restaurant, Cagney’s. 
  • Ashley began her career studying at Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute and has worked for numerous celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay.
  • She will join returning winemaker Antonio Hidalgo on July 9, 2023, sailing aboard Norwegian Encore to Alaska.

Miguel Torres:

  • Miguel is a fourth-generation winemaker.
  • He pioneered planting Cabernet Sauvignon in Spain, creating ‘Mas la Plana’ in 1970.
  • He will come aboard Norwegian Encore’s April 9, 2023, Eastern Caribbean voyage. 

Celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, world-class winemaker and member of the historic fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, Napa Valley icon Michael Mondavi of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate, and “The Drinks Business” Master Winemaker of the Year 2023 recipient Gérard Bertrand will be hosting the series.

2023 Meet the Winemakers lineup:

  • April 2, 2023 – Norwegian BlissMexican Riviera: Featuring award-winning celebrity chef and TV personality Aaron Sanchez
  • April 9, 2023 – Norwegian EncoreEastern Caribbean: Featuring fourth-generation winemaker Miguel Torres
  • April 22, 2023* – Norwegian BlissAlaska: Featuring world-class winemaker Salvatore Ferragamo of The Il Borro estate in Tuscany, Italy, producing world-class wines
  • June 10, 2023* – Norwegian BlissAlaska: Featuring Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite Wine Dinner Hosted by Special Guest: Diane Flamand
  • July 9, 2023* – Norwegian EncoreAlaska: Featuring Antonio Hidalgo of the globally recognized family-owned Spanish Sherry house, Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, and Certified Angus Beef® Executive Chef Ashley Breneman 
  • September 17, 2023 – Norwegian PrimaNorthern Europe: Meet the Master Blender, Emma Walker of  Johnnie Walker
  • October 22, 2023 – Norwegian EscapeBermuda: Featuring Michael Mondavi of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate
  • October 28, 2023 – Norwegian Joy, Western Caribbean: Featuring Gérard Bertrand, “The Drinks Business” Master Winemaker of the Year 2023 recipient
  • October 29, 2023 – Norwegian EscapeBermuda: Featuring Randy Ullom from the Kendall-Jackson family

For more information on Meet the Winemakers, click here!


Julie Bouchner is the Digital Editorial Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, baking, and playing with her Siberian Husky named Ellie.