164 wineries 15 Countries at 202 Van Wine Fest

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The Vancouver International Wine Festival is pleased to announce the winery line-up for the 42nd annual festival, which takes place February 22-March 1, 2020. The eight-day wine and food extravaganza will showcase 164 wineries from 15 countries, including 43 wineries from France, this festival’s featured country. Joining France will be 121 wineries from around the world, pouring 1,500+ wines at 57 events with a global spotlight on rosé. Each participating winery will be represented by a winery principal – our vine stars – who come to Vancouver every year to share and discuss their wines with festivalgoers.

View the winery list here. 

“VIWF 2020 will welcome 164 different producers from 15 countries, 43 of them from the theme country of France,” says David Hopgood, chair of the Winery Selection Committee. “Sparkling wine is well represented with over 75 examples, including many Champagne and Crémant wines from France. Rosé will also be in abundance with about 75 in the Tasting Room, many from Provence. The French section will feature wines from all over the country – Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Southwest, Loire, Rhône, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, and even a Crémant from Jura.

“Italy is well represented with 24 producers, Germany has four, as does Croatia. Romania returns with two wineries, while the Iberian Peninsula is represented by 15 wineries. The New World also will have a strong presence with 70 wineries participating, plus two Sake makers from Japan. In total, there will be well over 650 wines in the Tasting Room to discover, making for a very exciting festival.”

The festival is headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre; in addition, more than 25 other restaurants and venues around the city will host winery dinners, lunches, seminars and wine minglers. The sumptuous Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, benefiting Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, kicks off the festival on Saturday, February 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; tickets and tables are on sale now. The heart of the festival is the Tasting Room, where all 164 wineries will gather for four International Festival Tastings and two Trade Tastings. Discounted advance tickets for the International Festival Tastings go on sale Wednesday, November 6 at 9:30 a.m. Festivalgoers can get a free ticket if they book a downtown hotel via StayVancouverHotels.com from November 6 to February 13, while supplies last.

Vive la France! 
The spotlight shines on France this year with 43 wineries representing the diverse and storied terroirs of France. All French wineries will be featured in a special section of the Tasting Room, with 172 wines poured at the International Festival Tastings plus an additional 41 wines set aside for the Trade Tastings. Festival week will feature 18 French events, including vine star seminars, vintage tastings, nine winery dinners, a wine party to kick off the week, and a spectacular Saturday lunch, Bon Appétit, featuring all 43 wineries.

“Every French citizen is passionate about wine; I am no exception coming from Alsace, so it is with great pleasure for me to see France honoured in this year’s VIWF,” says Philippe Sutter, Consul General of France in Vancouver. “It is also our heritage that is being celebrated. But heritage should not simply be showcased. It should be savoured. France has more than 10,000 tourist-oriented wine cellars that welcome visitors and I am so pleased that some of its best, selected from our 17 different wine-growing regions, will be here for you to discover. I invite everyone to come and join us during this event, in full conviviality and respect for our planet and its resources, two important aspects of French culture. Santé to the red, white, and…rosé!”

Save the Dates
Discounted advance tickets go on sale Wednesday, November 6 at 9:30 a.m.
All public events go on sale Wednesday, January 8 at 9:30 a.m.
All trade events go on sale Wednesday, January 22 at 9:30 a.m.

For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to VanWineFest.ca

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Top 20 wines at Cornucopia!

Expert panel reveals Top 20 wines for the 23rd annual Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial

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A panel of 11 esteemed industry experts has announced the Top 20 winning wines for the 2019 Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial – taking place November 7-17, 2019.

With an impressive number of submissions, the day-long judging is not a simple task. DJ Kearney, head judge, gathered the diverse panel of professionals – who hail from Whistler and Vancouver – on September 25 in Whistler Village’s The Cellar by Araxi for the closed blind-tasting.

Kearney commends the quality of admissions for this year’s competition. “Thanks to all the judges, volunteers, and wineries that participated. Cornucopia participants keep raising the bar on the selection of wines put forward for this competition. Holding the judging in Whistler makes so much sense, and our venue, The  Cellar by Araxi, was brilliant! Congratulations to all the winners; it is gratifying to see such deserving top three wines: two elegant, authentic B.C. standouts, and a compelling red from Mt. Etna, Sicily.”

Every winery participating in Cornucopia was given the opportunity to enter their choice of wines into the Top 20 competition.

The Top 20 wines for 2019 are:

Top Bubble: Okanagan Crush Pad Haywire Vintage Bub 2013

Top White: Fort Berens Estate Winery Chardonnay 2018

Top Red: Tenuta Di Fessina Etna Rosso DOC ‘Erse’ 2015

Best of the Rest, in alphabetical order:
• Antinori Guado Al Tasso il Bruciato Bolgheri 2016
• Barossa Valley Estate GSM 2016
• C.C. Jentsch Cellars Syrah 2016
• Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot Extra Brut Tradition NV
• Covert Farms Family Estate Winery Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
• Echo Bay Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2016
• Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi 2017
• Harper’s Trail Estate Winery Chardonnay Sparkling 2016
• Harper’s Trail Estate Winery Silver Mane Block Riesling 2018
• Hope Family Wines Treana Red 2015
• Howling Bluff Estate Winery Three Mile Creek Pinot Noir 2017
• Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2016
• Piaggia Pietranera Carmignano IGT Toscana 2016
• Quails’ Gate Winery Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2017
• Skaha Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2018
• Stag’s Hollow Winery Renaissance Merlot 2016
• Urlar Select Parcels Pinot Noir 2014