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Vancouver International Wine Festival 2013
by Jim Martin
The 35th Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival pours into Vancouver on February 25th and runs until March 3th, 2013. This is North America’s premier wine event featuring 176 wineries from 15 countries pouring 1,850 wines at 55 events to a projected audience of 25,000. Every year, there is a regional theme and this year the spotlight is on California with a global varietal focus on Chardonnay.
Originally conceived as a fund raising venture for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company in 1979, the first year featured only one winery and winemaker, Robert Mondavi and saw approximately 1,000 people attend a two day event at Hycroft House, a Shaughnessy mansion owned by Vancouver’s University Women’s Club.
However, last year the Vancouver Playhouse announced that the Company would come to an end after 49 years. In September, The Bard on the Beach Theatre Society was announced as the charity.
Today the festival draws some of the biggest names in the international wine industry from around the world and is recognized as North America’s, if not the world’s premier wine event.
Throughout the week, events happening all over Vancouver, from wine tastings, gourmet dinners, luncheons, the Gala Dinner and Auction, educational seminars and culinary competitions to the crown jewel of the Playhouse Festival, the International Festival Tasting room.
Definitely the highlight of the festival for the novice or serious wine taster, the International Wine Festival Tasting room (February 28, March 1 and 2) at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre is a massive tasting event where almost 800 wines will be poured and one will have the rare opportunity to meet the owners, winemakers, and senior representatives from wineries from around the world. You never know if you will run into the Baroness Rothschild or one of the members of the Gallo family and it is a chance to taste some of rarest and greatest wines on the planet. If you attend only one event at the festival, make it this one.
Tips on surviving the festival page 2.
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