2016 Vancouver International Wine Festival
The Wine World is Here
February 20 – 28, 2016
The 38th Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s top wine show, takes place February 20 to 28. Over the course of eight days, the festival pours 1,450+ wines from 155 wineries from 14 countries at 54 events and 30 venues. The focus is on Italy this year.
Widely considered one of the best wine fairs in the world, the rock stars (or “vine stars”) of the world’s vineyards – a proprietor or family member, winemaker or other senior executive – come to the festival annually. You’re quite likely to find that the person pouring your wine has his or her name on the bottle. All 155 vine stars are in their booths in the Acura Tasting Room, and at outstanding dinners, lunches, grazing events and everywhere their wines are served. Identify them by the royal blue lanyard holding their name badge. Among the Italian vine stars you’ll find Sergio Zingarelli, proprietor, Rocca delle Macìe; Barone Francesco Ricasoli, president (and 32nd Baron of Brolio), Barone Ricasoli; Francesco Zonin, executive vice-president, Zonin; Pio Boffa, owner (and great-grandson of the founder), Pio Cesare. Check out more of the vine stars coming to Vancouver this year.
WineAlign critics at VanWineFest
WineAlign’s BC Critic team will be on hand tasting and reconnecting, leading seminars or co-hosting events. In addition to manning the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) education booth in the tasting room, DJ Kearney will take you on a wine and food pairing journey at Signature Pairings, featuring wines from around the world matched with small bites prepared by some of Vancouver’s top chefs. Anthony Gismondi brings together a collection of legendary personalities crafting Italy’s most iconic wines at the Legends of Italy seminar. Master of Wine Rhys Pender will be co-hosting Iconic Grapes Around the Globe and the trade event Excitement in a Glass. Several events have already sold out or are going fast, so check out the Festival at a Glance for the latest look at what’s still available.
ITALIA! takes centre stage
Each year the festival designates one of the participating countries or regions as the theme, and this year the spotlight shines on Italy. The sophisticated ITALIA! theme country section in the Acura Tasting Room showcases 60 Italian wineries and some 240 wines from nine distinct regions, including Veneto, Tuscany and Piedmont. Another 48 wines will be served at Italian tasting stations, including two stations presenting wines from the key viticulture regions of Chianti Classico and Valpolicella. Nearly one third of the Italian wineries are participating for the first time.
This marks the largest assembly of Italian wineries in VanWineFest history. “This gathering of Italian producers will allow Vancouver wine lovers to explore nine of Italy’s storied regions, discovering an extraordinary range of grapes – more than 50 varieties in the tasting room alone,” says VIWF winery selection chair David Hopgood. “No other country in the world could come close to offering such a diverse array of rare and exciting grape varieties.” In addition to its own sophisticated section in the Acura Tasting Room, Italian wine and food will be featured in 30 special events
The heart of the festival
The Acura Tasting Room is where the wine world gathers. All 155 participating wineries are gathered in one room, with vine stars in attendance pouring selections from their cellars at four International Festival Tastings and two trade-only Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld. This is your opportunity to meet the men and women behind the wine and ask them questions about the wine you’re sampling. When you discover wines you like, you can buy them at the BC Liquor Store wine shop onsite. And should you find a wine you like a lot, if it has a BUY THE CASE sign, you may order a case directly from the booth. For BC residents, whether you buy one bottle or 100, BCLS offers free delivery to your nearest store within two weeks of the festival.
Free ticket with hotel booking
Don’t Wine and Drive
Festival goers who book a downtown hotel by February 9 via beVancouver.com can get a free ticket to their choice of four International Festival Tastings, a value of $75 to $95. Quantities are limited and the weekend tastings are expected to sell out soon, so act now.
Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco
In addition to the 44 consumer events, the festival features a three-day, 10-event Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco on February 24 to 26 that will shed light on the trends, tastes and topics that affect the business of wine. With wine experts and principals from around the world pouring their products and sharing their trade secrets in person, this is the preeminent opportunity in Canada to meet the men and women behind the wines. For the last three consecutive years, Trade Days has been voted the “#1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Industry Event in Canada” by New York’s BizBash Top 100 Events. The Trade Days lineup includes two Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld. These trade-only tastings will feature all 700+ wines offered at the consumer International Festival Tastings, plus an additional 146 wines for trade only.
The conference features Dr. Ian D’Agata, an international expert on Italian wines, as keynote speaker. Dr. D’Agata is a wine writer based in Rome, whose Native Wine Grapes of Italy won the 2015 Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year prize. Dr. D’Agata is contributing editor of Decanter magazine, staff wine writer at Vinous and has twice been named Italy’s “best wine journalist” by the Comitato Grandi Cru. He is the Scientific Advisor of Vinitaly International and Scientific Director of the Vinitaly International Academy. Canadian-born and multilingual (English, French, Italian), Dr. D’Agata’s interests stretch beyond wine: he is a pediatric physician practicing in Rome. He is the keynote speaker at Italy’s Indigenous Whites, Italy’s Autochthonous Reds, and Italy’s Great Wines.
Note that Trade Days events are available only to those in the wine, restaurant and hospitality industries who buy, sell, serve or market wine in their business. Registration is required. Ticket limits may apply to some events.
Tickets on sale now
Tickets to all public events at Canada’s premier wine show are now on sale. VanWineFest is an eight-day celebration of wine and food that features 54 events, including winery dinners, Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, lunches, wine minglers, educational seminars, and of course the Acura Tasting Room.
Tickets for public events are on sale now.
Trade Days tickets go on sale Tuesday, January 26 at 9:30 a.m.
Online: VanWineFest.ca (24/7)
By phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121
In person: Box office: 305-456 West Broadway, Vancouver
Box office hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Friday
Email Queries: [email protected]