The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has emerged as a superior model organism. Selection of distinct laboratory strains of S. cerevisiae with unique phenotypic properties, such as superior mating or sporulation efficiencies, has facilitated advancements in research. W303 is one such laboratory strain that is closely related to the first completely sequenced yeast strain, S288C. In this work, we provide a high-quality, annotated genome sequence for W303 for utilization in comparative analyses and genome-wide studies. Approximately 9500 variations exist between S288C and W303, affecting the protein sequences of ~700 genes. A listing of the polymorphisms and divergent genes is provided for researchers interested in identifying the genetic basis for phenotypic differences between W303 and S288C. Several divergent functional gene families were identified, including flocculation and sporulation genes, likely representing selection for desirable laboratory phenotypes. Interestingly, remnants of ancestor wine strains were found on several chromosomes. Finally, as a test of the utility of the high-quality reference genome, variant mapping revealed more accurate identification of accumulated mutations in passaged mismatch repair-defective strains. Copyright © 2017 Matheson et al.