Dishwashers weep, wine lovers rejoice


The 39th Vancouver International Wine Festival is in full swing all around town, and by the time it wraps up Sunday night, dishwashers will have dealt with 82,000 wine glasses. And countless plates, cups and cutlery.

And 25,000 wine lovers will have sniffed, swirled and sipped from a selection of 1,700 wines by 180 wineries from 16 countries at 54 events. In total, festivalgoers will have sampled from or stocked their cellars with some 43,000 bottles of wine.

VanWineFest is headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is the site of the Tasting Room, the hub of the festival, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is home to four International Festival Tastings and two Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld. Most of the 14 events in the Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco, also take place at VCC. Dinners and other events are hosted by top restaurants and hotels throughout the city.

Three of the International Festival Tastings (Thursday and Friday evenings, and Saturday matinee) each have a few tickets left, but all are on the going-fast list. Tickets range from $79 to $95, but if you wait until day-of to buy, add $10 (a limited number of tickets will be released one hour prior to each tasting).

The fabulous Saturday theme region lunch, Celebrating Canada’s 150th, $109 all-in, invites you to “taste across Canada” with a 17-item coast to coast menu and 76 charming Canadian vine stars pouring 152 wines. With lunch! And you can Discover Ontario’s Cool at a Thursday afternoon seminar – lifelong learning, wine-style. See all available public events here.

Both Trade Tastings are still available, but only to those who work in the wine and hospitality industry; trade registration is required. Check availability of all Trade Days events here.

VanWineFest by the numbers

  • 39th annual (founded 1979)
    ·  8 days (Bacchanalia Gala Feb 11; festival Feb 13-19)
    ·  24,783 admissions in 2016 (99% of all available tickets were sold)
    ·  16 countries
    ·  180 wineries
    ·  54 events, including tastings, seminars, winery dinners, minglers, lunches, brunch and more
    ·  28 venues
    ·  ~ 50 participating restaurants, hotels, caterers
    ·  1,700+ wines, including
    o   780+ at International Festival Tastings
    o   170+ additional wines at Trade Tastings
    o   750+ at special events (dinners, seminars, etc.)
    ·  2017 theme: The Wine World Celebrates Canada, with 76 wineries from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, serving 300 wines (included in the above total wine count)
    ·  43,000 bottles sampled and/or purchased
    ·  82,000 wine glasses used
    ·  450 volunteers
    ·  Beneficiary: Since inception in 1979, VanWineFest has raised $8.7 million for the performing arts. Since 2013, proceeds have gone to Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival; the fest contributed $235,000 to Bard in 2015.

Phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
In person: Onsite at VCC West, Thursday, February 16, and Friday, February 179 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday, February 18, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
All ticket prices include wine, food (if a food event), gratuities, taxes and service charge.

*Release from the Vancouver International Wine Festival

Published by uncorkbc

Join me as I explore the best of BC Wine, one bottle at a time!

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