2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival

The Wine World is Here
February 24-March 4, 2018

The 40th Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s top wine show, takes place February 24-March 4. Over the course of eight days, the festival pours 1,450+ wines from 173 wineries and 16 countries at 51 events. There’s a concurrent three-day Trade Days Conference with 12 seminars, masterclasses and tastings exclusively available to wine and hospitality professionals, from February 28-March 2.

Please note that tickets are going fast so don’t delay if you’d like to attend. Note that you can get a free $79 to $99 ticket to an International Festival Tasting of your choice when you book a downtown hotel by February 15, or while supplies last, through StayVancouverHotels.com. New this year: to buy a second ticket to your selected event while booking your free ticket, you can choose that option.

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 173 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.

“Each year we welcome top principals to our festival, and in 2018 we are particularly excited by the number of owners, winemakers and top executives coming from featured countries Spain and Portugal,” says Harry Hertscheg, VIWF executive director. “Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to meet the people directly responsible for the wines they taste at seminars, dinners, lunches and of course in the Tasting Room.” Some of the key vine stars from Spain, Portugal and the rest of the world are listed below.

The festival shines the spotlight on a different country or region annually, and this year it’s on Iberian Peninsula neighbours, Portugal and Spain, with 20 wineries from Portugal and 38 from Spain. The keynote speaker is wine educator and historian Paul Wagner of California, an expert on Iberian Peninsula wines. Wagner will moderate Storied Iberia in 9 Wines (trade only; plenary) and Voyage of Discovery (public), and will speak at the Principals Welcome Lunch, presented by JF Hillebrand (trade) and Festival Toast (public: Gold Pass and invitation only).

Vine stars from Spain

Vine stars from featured country Spain include Gloria Collell, head winemaker, Segura Viudas; Joan Cusine, proprietor, Parés Baltà / Gratavinum; Miguel Gil, principal and family member, Bodegas Ateca / Bodegas Tridente / Bodegas Rosario Vera; Fernando Gimenez Alvear, chief executive officer, Bodegas Alvear; Javier Murua, owner, Muriel Wines; Álvaro Palacios, winemaker, Álvaro Palacios / Palacios Remondo / Descendientes de J. Palacios; and Miguel Torres Maczassek, general manager, Torres.

Vine stars from Portugal

The vine stars from featured country Portugal include David Guimaraens, head winemaker, Taylor Fladgate; Luís Mira, owner/president, Herdade das Servas; Miguel Roquette, owner, Quinto do Crasto; Rupert Symington, joint managing director, Symington Family Estates; and Cristiano van Zeller, proprietor, Quinta Vale D. Maria

Vine stars from rest of the world

Wineries from 13 other countries are represented at VanWineFest, and the stars are shining just as brightly over the rest of the wine world. The Tasting Room is the place to meet all 173 vine stars, but you’ll also find these great personalities at special events during the week.

Matias Barros, North American sales and marketing director, Undurraga, Chile;  Nikki Callaway, winemaker, Quails’ Gate Winery, British Columbia; Delphine de la Fouchardière, directrice export, Domaines Albert Bichot, France; Alexander Griffiths, export manager, Bodega Garzón, Uruguay; Nicole Hitchcock, winemaker, J Vineyards & Winery, USA;  Joseph Lange, owner/family member / international sales director, LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, USA; Antonio Morescalchi, founder, Altos las Hormigas, Argentina; and Jim Robertson, global brand ambassador, Stoneleigh, New Zealand.

Tickets going fast

Many events are sold out or are on the going-fast list. Please check these links to see what’s available.

Available events

All events

Festival at a Glance – an interactive calendar that links to all public and trade events

Free ticket with hotel booking.

Note that Trade Days Conference tickets go on sale January 17.

Free International Festival Tasting ticket with hotel booking

Buy tickets now

The heart of the festival

The Tasting Room is where the wine world gathers. All 173 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 (trade only event). This is your opportunity to meet the men and women behind the wine and ask them questions about the wine you’re sampling.

BC Liquor Stores onsite wine shop

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 fast delivery post-festival.

Don’t Wine and Drive

Festivalgoers who book a downtown hotel by February 15 via stayvancouverhotels.com get a free ticket to their choice of four International Festival Tastings, a value of $79 to $99. Quantities are limited, so act now.

Trade Days Conference

In addition to 39 consumer events, the festival features a three-day, 12-event Trade Days Conference, February 28-March 2 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 five 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 750+ wines offered at the consumer International Festival Tastings, plus an additional ~160 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 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 51 events, including winery dinners, Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, lunches, wine minglers, educational seminars, and of course the Tasting Room.

Buy Tickets Now

Public events are on sale now. They’re going fast so buy now! Trade tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 17 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: 202-162 West 1st Ave., Vancouver
Box office hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Friday