Inaugural Cornucopia Wine Summit sets the stage!


The first ever Cornucopia Wine Summit is set to take place in the renowned mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia as part of the resort’s 20th annual  food and drink festival – Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial.

Over the course of two days, the Cornucopia Wine Summit will showcase the BC Wine Industry in a variety of panels, discussions and debates. Topics will range from case studies of industry successes to the challenges facing today’s producers to forums for exchanging ideas with the goal of shaping a successful future. Highlights of the Summit include: Cornucopia’s 20th Anniversary Party showcasing Whistler culinary offerings; discussion forums including Rebels & Icons and, The Future of BC Wine; culminating with the Cellar Door Grand Tasting and much, much more.

Leading the discussions, debates and panels will be 13 of the wine industry’s leading influencers, educators, advocates and winemakers from around the world. Festival organizers are thrilled to announce the participation of the following acclaimed international oenophiles taking part in the inaugural Summit.

• Multi-award winning wine writer Jamie Goode for WineAnorak, and a London-based wine judge. The SundayExpress UK wine columnist and lecturer will present the Keynote Address and share his unparalleled perspective on wine from both British Columbia and around the world. Goode has visited Canada’s wine regions on several occasions and most recently was a judge at both the 2016 National Wine Awards of Canada as well as the 2nd Annual Judgement of BC Wine Tasting. Goode has received numerous writing awards and just recently launched his new book: I Taste Red: Understanding the Flavour of Wine published by Quarto/University of California press.

• Madeline Puckette, chief wine communicator at will provide insight into marketing online for the wine industry.  As the author of the New York Times bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine; Puckette’s background in visual design, music and restaurants has helped shape her communication of all things wine through infographics, and social media. Puckette’s awards and accolades include: Court Of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier (Level 2); 40 Under 40 – Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2015/16; Wine Blogger of the Year – International Wine and Spirits, 2013/14; and Top Wine Writer – Quora, 2012.

• Winemaker Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines in Washington State is considered a true artisan and pioneer in the wine world. Charles Smith Wines is the largest winemaker-owned winery, and the third largest winery overall, in Washington State. The brand expanded in 2015 with the opening of Charles Smith Jet City, the largest urban winery on the West Coast. As a self-taught winemaker, Smith has received 85 scores of 95 points and above and more than 350 scores of 90 points and above from leading wine publications such as Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits.  As the recipient of numerous awards, Smith is the only person to have won “Winemaker of the Year” by both Food & Wine and Wine Enthusiast magazines.

Goode, Puckette and Smith will be joined by familiar local British Columbia faces of wine including Michaela Morris (wine writer & Summit Host)Sid Cross (International Wine & Food Society)Cynthia Enns (Laughing Stock Vineyards), Andrew Windsor (Tinhorn Creek Winery)David Paterson (Tantalus Wines), Ian Tostenson (BC Restaurant & Food Association)Karen Graham (Winedrops)Mark Hicken (Winedrops)Mike Klassen (BC Wine Appellation Task Group) and passionate Whistler local Jack Crompton.

For full schedule and to purchase tickets please visit: or


VIWF_Website_MainImage_2014.03.12_021Canada turns 150 next year and the Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) has invited the wine world to the party. And the wine world has responded: the 2017 festival will feature more than 100 international wineries and about 75 Canadian wineries at Canada’s premier wine show. The Canadian lineup includes wineries from British Columbia, Ontario and, for the first time, Nova Scotia. The 39th annual VIWF takes place February 11 to 19 and features a projected 1,600 wines from 16 countries; the theme is The Wine World Celebrates Canada. The winery lineup will be announced in the fall.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing the largest selection of Canadian wineries ever assembled at an international wine festival,” said executive director Harry Hertscheg. “With over 175 attending wine stars and winery principals, along with national and international media and buyers, VIWF 2017 will be an unprecedented opportunity for Canada to understand its place in the wine world, both as a long-time importer and an emerging exporter of premium wines.”

Canada’s sesquicentennial is the perfect time to celebrate Canada’s growing importance in the wine world, not just as a producer of world-class wines, but as a key market for international wineries. The 12th VINEXPO study, World Wine and Spirits Market with an Outlook to 2018, noted that Canada is the world’s seventh largest wine market, valued at US$6.1 billion, and should grow by 10.4 percent by 2018. In 2014, Canada became the world’s sixth largest wine importer at 32.7 million cases. Import consumption is expected to increase by 4.1 percent to reach 16.4 litres per adult in 2018, said VINEXPO. And Canadians purchase high-value wines: Canada is the world’s fourth largest wine importer in sales value (Global Trade Atlas, 2013). British Columbia’s wine market tops $1 billion.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival reflects and helps drive these trends. Festivalgoers spend $2,291 annually on wine, which is nine times the BC average according to StatsCan. The average price of wines purchased at the onsite BC Liquor Store is $30.

In addition to the tasting room that features all participating wineries pouring well over 800 wines to consumers and trade, VIWF offers some 50 special events including a gala auction, winery dinners, grazing lunches, wine parties, tutored tastings and trade-specific events, including an industry symposium (see Festival Overview PDF). Event themes include cool-climate wines, sparkling wine, iconic wines from iconic places, and a focus on Riesling and Pinot Noir varietals. Advance tickets to the tasting room go on sale November 1 at reduced rates; all public events go on sale January 10.

A key part of VIWF is the 10-event Trade Days Conference on February 15, 16 and 17 for wine and fine dining professionals. For the past three years, Trade Days has been named “#1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Industry Event in Canada” by New York’s BizBash Top 100 Events. Trade Days passes go on sale December 1; all trade events go on sale January 17.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is Canada’s premier wine show and widely considered to be one of the top wine festivals in the world. Founded in 1979, it’s also one of the oldest and, at 25,000 admissions, one of the biggest.

“It’s amazing. It’s the best-run festival in the world. I hold this festival up as a paragon of what could happen around the world,” said Brian Lynn, proprietor of Australia’s Majella Wines, during the 2016 festival.

Howard Soon, master winemaker at Sandhill in the B.C. Okanagan, said, “It’s great to be at Vancouver International Wine Festival. We’re invited to attend, and are arrayed against all the best wines in the world on an equal playing field. People can compare our wines to those from around the world, and that’s a special privilege to me. [This festival] is respectful of the wine. That’s what I see here.”