Dishwashers weep, wine lovers rejoice

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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.

HOW TO PURCHASE TICKETS
Online
: VanWineFest.ca
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

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O CANADA! OUR HOME AND NATIVE WINES

Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday by welcoming 76 wineries from across the nation to the Vancouver International Wine Festival, happening next week from February 11-17 in Vancouver.

There are still tickets left to some great events including:

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Oculus Retrospective | Tuesday, February 14 from 4-5:30pm, $125 /ticket

The attributes of a great wine are consistency, complexity, finesse and longevity. Mission Hill Family Estate has been making premium wine for over three decades. With a wealth of quality grapes at our fingertips, select fruit from estate-owned vineyards in Oliver and Osoyoos are nurtured and aged in the Oculus Cellar. Discover the greatness of Oculus through this eight-vintage vertical.

all-about-syrahBC Pioneers & New Kids | Friday, February 17 from 5:15-6:45pm, $50 /ticket

Take an evolutionary look at the British Columbia wine industry over the past 25 years and see how industry pioneers and the new kids on the block are putting their stamp on making wine in BC. Meet six vine stars who are shaping our province’s wine culture.

winefest2Celebrating Canada’s 150th | Saturday,  February 18 from 12-2pm, $109 /ticket

There’s no better place than this lunch to celebrate our theme country Canada, wave the flag and feel great about our nation and our wine and food culture. Graze through a coast-to-coast menu, listen to great music from Lesismore and chat up the 76 charming vine stars, each of whom pours two wines from their portfolio. Taste a wine for every year of Confederation (plus a couple to spare)!

february272016-mcavoy-0358The International Tasting Room | various dates available!

The International Festival Tastings are the best way to taste test Canadian wines against the rest of the world. As soon as you enter the room, you’ll be taken on a visual and viticultural journey across Canada, as you browse 76 wineries from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Then carry on to the rest of the world, where you’ll find 104 wineries from an additional 15 countries! Saturday evening is sold out, but tickets are still available for Thursday and Friday evening and the Saturday matinee.

For all other available events, please visit the Vancouver International Wine Festival and be sure to purchase your tickets before they sell out!