Canada’s premier wine festival runs from February 20 to March 1 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues across the city. The spotlight is on Savour Australia as the 2015 theme country, with a global focus on Syrah (aka Shiraz). The festival will feature 170 wineries from 14 countries, attracting 25,000 participants to 53 events over eight days.
For full program details, visit VanWineFest.ca and click on the interactive Festival at a Glance to learn more about each event or download the brochure. Net proceeds support VanWineFest’s charitable partner, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.
This year’s theme country offers a dynamic look at the history, evolution and revolution of Australia through 55 award-winning wineries in the Acura Tasting Room. Attendees will sip and savour their way through regional zones, Shiraz intensives and an interactive tasting station themed around cool-climate, modern Australia, the Chardonnay revolution and the Epicurean Way. Winery dinners, wine seminars with iconic flights, the Savour Australia “Lounge Party”, a gourmet Restaurant Australia grazing lunch, and trade events will take festival-goers on an epicurean journey across Australia.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, January 6 at 9:30 a.m. for all public events at the 37th annual Vancouver international Wine Festival, presented by The Vancouver Sun. Forty-three events are available for wine lovers, including dinners with international vine stars at top Vancouver restaurants, wine seminars, minglers, lunches, the ever-popular Vintners Brunch, and four International Festival Tastings, where the wine world will gather.
DON’T MISS THESE THEME COUNTRY EVENTS:
Engage your senses at the Savour Australia Lounge Party. Indulge in sultry Shiraz and sophisticated white wines; delight in artisanal late-night bites provided by Dirty Apron; chill to the DJ’s beats and bask in the moody lounge setting.
Deep dive into Australia’s soil and rock beds. Savour their influence on the wines to discover Australian regionality through the lens of its geological landscape. Explore effects of intense Terra Rossa soils, ancient sand deposits and prehistoric beds of slate and limestone.
You’re invited to Restaurant Australia, where you’ll experience how Australia is serving up the best food and wine experiences in remarkable locations every day. Meander through market stalls, relax and lounge, sip and savour your way through this unique culinary adventure.
Embody the adventurous spirit of Australia through the wines of ‘Mod Oz’. You will come to ‘expect the unexpected’ after exploring Australia’s winemaking evolution and revolution. Discover alternative and Mediterranean varietals; contemporary examples of traditional varieties; and unusual and innovative winemaking techniques emerging in Australia today.
All About Syrah
Found throughout the wine world, from the Rhône Valley to the Barossa Valley to the Okanagan Valley, Syrah (aka Shiraz) is popular as a varietal, in a blend, or even co-fermented with some Viognier. Festival sommelier Terry Threlfall will take you through the many facets of Syrah and Shiraz, with representation from wine regions around the world.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL TASTINGS
The Acura International Festival Tasting Room offers a unique opportunity to taste rare bottles and discover new treasures, as well as the chance to meet vine stars from around the globe. Every winery in the room will have a senior winery executive behind the table, identified by a royal blue lanyard, there to answer your questions about their wines. Nowhere else in the world will you find such an amazing gathering of talented women and men pouring wine and answering questions. Take this opportunity to learn about your favourite wine from the experts. Both the Saturday matinee and Thursday evening tastings will have a guaranteed 30% lower attendance, leaving more room to move and more opportunities to chat with international vine stars.
BACCHANALIA GALA DINNER + AUCTION
Kicking off the festival this year on the Friday night before festival week is the highly anticipated Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction on February 20 – 36 years to the day of the very first festival – at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. A sparkling wine reception is followed by an elegant dinner of five courses paired with nine wines. During the reception guests are invited to place their bids on tantalizing silent auction items: unforgettable culinary experiences, one-of-a-kind excursions and highly prized collector’s items. Single tickets to the Gala are $395 or a table for eight is $3160. Raffle tickets to win a trip for two to Australia valued at nearly $12,000 are also available. For further information about the Gala, call 604-637-3098 or email email@example.com
DON’T WINE + DRIVE!
Sip, save and stay safe! Festival partner beVancouver.com has a terrific deal for wine lovers. Book a room at one of 35 participating downtown hotels, and you’ll get ONE FREE TICKET to your choice of four International Festival Tastings. Quantities are limited and last year’s program was very popular, so book early. Bookings must be made by February 10 for a stay by March 5.
Tickets may be purchased online at VanWineFest.ca, in person at 305-456 West Broadway, or by phoning the box office at 604-873-3311 or toll-free at 1-877-321-3121. Tickets for 10 events in the Trade Days Conference, the wine business portion of the festival, go on sale to those in the food and beverage and hospitality industries on January 27.