The wine world has already began to arrive for the 37th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival, February 20 to March 1. Headlined by a 55-winery contingent from theme country, Australia, the festival features 170 wineries from 14 countries participating in 53 events across the city.
Each year, the festival offers an incredible opportunity for wine lovers to immerse themselves in the world of wine, discover new wines, wineries and wine-producing regions, and learn more about what’s happening globally through educational tastings and seminars. The spotlight is on Australia, with the festival offering the most comprehensive exploration of Australian wine undertaken in North America since 2007.
Tickets are going fast, but there are still several events available that will take wine lovers on an epicurean journey across Australia.
The Savour Australia Lounge Party (Tuesday, February 24, 8:30-10:30 p.m. at 130 West, $65) is a great way to get a first taste of what today’s Australian wines are all about. Each of the 20 participating wineries will be pouring two wines – one sultry Shiraz and one sophisticated white. Add a mouth-watering selection of small bites prepared by Dirty Apron Catering (including Kangaroo Sliders and Mini Truffle Meat Pies), swinging lounge tunes, and some of the most personable wine producers in the world for a tantalizing Aussie evening.
Geological Gems (Friday, February 27, 5:15-6:45 p.m. at Vancouver Convention Centre West, $55) digs deep into how geology affects Australian wines. Mark Davidson leads a panel of top vine stars on an exploration of the effects of intense Terra Rossa soils, ancient sand deposits and prehistoric beds of slate and limestone.
Mod Oz (Saturday, February 28, 5:15-6:45 p.m. at VCC West, $45) is the perfect seminar for those wanting to expand their wine horizons and experience the adventurous spirit of Australian wines. Discover alternative and Mediterranean varietals (Gruner Veltliner, Sangiovese, Touriga); contemporary examples of traditional varieties (Tasmanian Pinot Noir); and unusual and innovative winemaking techniques emerging in Australia today.
Looking to learn more about one of Australia’s iconic wine regions? McLaren Vale Scarce Earth (Saturday, February 28, 5:15-6:45 p.m. at VCC West, $55) examines single vineyard Shiraz from different geologies, soils, elevations and sustainable viticultural practices. Rhys Pender MW leads an exploration of the diversity of McLaren Vale, one of the most geologically complex wine regions in the world.
The Savour Australia section of the Acura International Festival Tasting Room is a great place to discover wines from 14 Australian regions. In addition to the 55 Australian wineries (35% of which are new to the festival), there will be a central tasting station, where festivalgoers can take a Shiraz journey through South Australia; linger at tasting stations themed around cool-climate wines, modern Australia, and the Chardonnay revolution; and try their hand at identifying aromas and faults in wine with the Australian Wine Research Institute. The Saturday evening International Festival Tasting is sold out, but there are still tickets remaining for the sessions on Thursday, February 26, 7-10 p.m., Friday, February 27, 7-10 p.m., and Saturday, February 28, 3-5 p.m.
The festival coincides with #ShirazWeek, February 21-March 1, which is a perfect pairing with the global focus on Syrah+Shiraz. The Acura Tasting Room will be one of the best places in the world to try the full range of Australian Shiraz (as well as examples from other countries) on Global Shiraz Day, Friday, February 27. #iloveshiraz.
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.
How to Purchase Tickets
By phone: 604-837-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121
In person: Box office: 305–456 West Broadway, Vancouver
Box office hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Stay in Touch:
Twitter: follow @VanWineFest for news on tickets and sold-out events. Join the conversation at #VIWF / #SavourAustralia.
ABOUT VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY THE VANCOUVER SUN
Canada’s premier wine show marks its 37th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 20 to March 1, 2015, featuring Australia as the theme country and Syrah+Shiraz as the global focus. The festival will showcase 170 wineries from 14 countries (including 55 wineries from Australia) pouring 1,750+ wines at 53 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The Acura Tasting Room features all 170 participating wineries, pouring 770+ wines over six sessions, February 26-28. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction opens the festival on Friday, February 20 at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. This year’s Gala raffle prize is a spectacular two-week trip to Savour Australia. The festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Since 1979, the festival has raised $8.3 million for the performing arts. Major partners are the BC Liquor Distribution Branch and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association. For more information go to VanWineFest.ca.
ABOUT BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
Celebrating its 26th season in 2015, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. It is presented on the waterfront in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. The Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and several special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2014, festival attendance exceeded 100,000 and more than a million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. The Festival’s 2015 dates are June 4 to September 26. The 2015 lineup features King Lear, The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost and the world premiere of C.C. Humphreys’ Shakespeare’s Rebel.