2017 Vancouver International Wine Festival
The Wine World is Here
February 11 – 19, 2017
The 39th Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s top wine show, takes place February 11 to 19. Over the course of eight days, the festival pours 1,700+ wines from 180 wineries from 16 countries at 54 events. The focus is on Canada this year and VIWF proudly features the largest gathering of Canadian wineries ever at an international festival. Please note that tickets are going fast so don’t delay if you’d like to attend. And to take advantage of the hotel deal (and get a free $79 to $95 ticket to an International Festival Tasting of your choice) book by February 2.
Widely considered one of the best wine fairs in the world, the “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 180 vine stars are in their booths in the Tasting Room, which is home to four International Festival Tastings and two Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld. They’re also at outstanding dinners, lunches, brunch, minglers, seminars, and grazing events – everywhere their wines are served. You’ll know them by their royal blue lanyard. Be sure to chat them up.
Among the Canadian vine stars you’ll find Darryl Brooker, chief winemaker at Mission Hill Family Estate (British Columbia), who recently played host to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Jean-Benoit Deslauriers, head winemaker of Benjamin Bridge (Nova Scotia); and Keith Tyers, the winemaker at Closson Chase (Ontario).The international contingent includes Daniel Castaño, third generation family member of Familia Castaño (Spain); Selim Ellialti, owner of Suvla (Turkey); and Sam Smail, head winemaker of Whitehaven (New Zealand).
WineAlign Critics at VanWineFest
WineAlign’s professional critics will be out in force, tasting and connecting with the wine world, leading seminars and hosting events. You’ll find WineAlign’s principal critic John Szabo MS, Canada’s first Master Sommelier, at the consumer event Trans Canada Tasting, and at three Trade Days events: the theme country plenary Canada Coast to Coast, Ontario’s Star Whites seminar, and Poised for Pinot.
The BC Critics Team is on hand too. DJ Kearney co-moderates BC Pioneers & New Kids and she’s onstage at Celebrating Excellence: 14th Annual Awards Lunch, as emcee for the Wine Program Excellence Awards.
Rhys Pender MW is a busy guy during the Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco. Trade attendees will find him moderating or on the panels at From Ground Up, BC: Diversity & Purity, There’s No Place Like BC, and the theme plenary Canada Coast to Coast.
Anthony Gismondi moderates two consumer seminars Celebrating California Cabs and Tales of Next World Wines. On the Trade Days side, you’ll find Anthony on the panel at the plenary Canada Coast to Coast and From Ground Up.
Many events have already sold out or are on the going fast list. Please check the links below to see what’s available.
With glowing hearts: Canada takes centre stage
Every year, VanWineFest puts the focus on one feature country, and this year it’s Canada in honour of our country’s 150th birthday. Nearly one-third of the 76 Canadian wineries are participating for the first time. “VanWineFest 2017 offers an unprecedented showcase of Canadian wineries, principals and wines alongside their international counterparts in the Tasting Room,” says VIWF executive director Harry Hertscheg. “Attendees will discover untold connections amongst Canada and the wine world throughout the festival, amidst the backdrop of Vancouver’s vibrant wine and food scene. With some 300 wines from Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, it’s the largest gathering of Canadian wineries ever at an international wine show. Happy birthday to us!” Learn more about Canada and its wines here and see the full list of participating Canadian wineries here.
The heart of the festival
The Tasting Room is where the wine world gathers. All 180 participating wineries are gathered in one room, with vine stars 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 on site. Don’t wait until the end of the session to buy, as some wines are scarce and sell out fast; put them in the free bottle check (and repeat as necessary). You can check them out at the end of the session. For BC residents, whether you buy one bottle or 100, BCLS offers free delivery to your nearest store. And should you find a wine you like a lot, if it has a BUY THE CASE sign, you may order a case directly at the winery booth for delivery post-festival.
Free ticket with hotel booking
Don’t Wine and Drive
Festivalgoers who book a downtown hotel by February 2 via beVancouver.com get a free ticket to their choice of four International Festival Tastings, a value of $79 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 40 consumer events, the festival features a three-day, 14-event Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco February 15 to 17 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 four consecutive years, the wine festival 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 780+ wines offered at the consumer International Festival Tastings, plus an additional 170 wines for trade only.
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 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 Tasting Room.
Online: VanWineFest.ca (24/7)
By phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121
In person: Box office: 202-162 West 1st Ave., Vancouver
Box office hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Friday