Not too soon to plan for 39th Vancouver Wine Festival

Canada turns 150 next year and the VIWF has invited the wine world to the party

The 39th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) takes place February 11 to 19, 2017 and features a projected 1,600 wines from 16 countries. The theme is ‘The Wine World Celebrates Canada’.

Canada turns 150 next year and the VIWF has invited the wine world to the party. And the wine world has responded: the 2017 festival will feature more than 100 international wineries and about 75 Canadian wineries at Canada’s premier wine show.

With BC Day coming up and the VIWF looming lusciously in the future… Could there be a better time to explore some fine British Columbia wines?

New on the scene and outrageously affordable, Scrapbook White (687681) $7.25 is an Okanagan blend from Silverthorne Wine Merchants with some bright lemon and melon notes.  The matching Scrapbook Red (645002) $7.25 is a medium bodied Okanagan red – all plum and blackberry and just as competitively priced.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing the largest selection of Canadian wineries ever assembled at an international wine festival,” said VIWF executive director Harry Hertscheg. There will be numerous wineries from British Columbia, Ontario and, for the first time, Nova Scotia.

Although the line-up of participating wineries won’t be finalized until September, there’s no excuse for waiting that long. Be sure to try some fine British Columbia wines to celebrate BC Day.

Devilishly good wines are the specialty of Diabolica Wines.  Diabolica White (820647) $12.05 is a premium blend of aromatic Viognier and Riesling with Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris filling out the palate.  Diabolica Red (71142) $12.05 combines Merlot, Petit Verdot, Shiraz and Cabernet for a mouthful of cherry and pomegranate flavours that slide into blueberries, boysenberries and plums.

At the heart of the festival are the International Festival Tastings at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where 700-750+ wines are available for sampling, with an additional 150-160 wines available at trade tastings.

Ramp up your BC wine experience with a couple of wines from Syncromesh Wines – a small, family run operation focused on producing terroir-driven, world class Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. They practice sustainable techniques, using no-chemical farming, natural low cropping, extensive and hands-off employment of indigenous yeasts.

A blend of grapes from the Naramata Bench and Okanagan Falls, Syncromesh Riesling (850115) $17.05 has aromas of lemon zest, ripe apricot and apple skin with crab apple, candied lemon and green mango flavours seducing the taste buds in a honeyed off-dry style.

Syncromesh Turtle Rock Farms Tertre Rouge (239103) $36.35 is unfined and unfiltered. A blend of 50 per cent Cabernet Franc and 50 per cent Merlot. This is a single vineyard wine from Turtle Rock Farms. Powerful dark cherry, strawberry, dusky plum and blackberry aromas with white pepper and sagebrush. There’s an earthy authenticity to this marvellous unapologetically unfiltered red.

Plan now to take advantage of the line-up of public events at next year’s VIWF, International Festival Tastings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Saturday afternoon.  The list goes on and on… wine seminars and minglers highlighting trends, wineries and wine styles and the ever-popular Vintners Brunch on Sunday, which includes a chefs’ food and wine pairing competition.

Taste wines from the Okanagan Valley’s highest vineyards – Don Triggs’ Culmina Family Estate Winery! This elegant operation is the result of a lifetime of experience in the wine industry for Don, Elaine and Sara Triggs. Having worked in the industry for a combined 40+ years, Don and Elaine began in 2006 with a simple goal: to make the highest quality wines possible from their own family estate.

Hypothesis is Culmina’s Bordeaux styled blend.   Culmina’s Saignée (447946) is a bright rosé from select varietal micro blocks on the Triggs’ family estate. Subtle mint, herb, cantaloupe, and mineral aromas coalesce with nuanced, savoury strawberry fruit to form a classically-styled rosé.

A blend of 57 per cent Merlot, 24 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 19 per cent Cabernet Franc aged 16 months in French oak, Culmina Hypothesis 2012 (462606) $44.90 was clearly modelled on high-class red Bordeaux. Lots of plum and black currant, sage, soy and molasses flavours add up to a standout specialty red.

There’s no need to wait until February to indulge in the find BC wines that will be poured at the 39th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival.  Start your wine adventure this BC Day weekend!

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com