Less than six weeks until the 41st Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival

Planning to attend VanWineFest 2019? Less than six weeks until the 41st Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival – Feb. 23 through March 3 at numerous venues in Vancouver.

“Each year we welcome top principals to our festival, and in 2019 we have an incredible line-up of owners, winemakers, and other top executives from our featured region, California, as well as from wineries from around the world,” says Harry Hertscheg, VIWF executive director.

“Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to meet the people directly responsible for the wines they are tasting at seminars, dinners, lunches and, of course, in the Tasting Room,” Hertsheg added.

Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to rub shoulders or butt heads with some of the fol;ks who are responsible for making your favourite wines.

Kendall-Jackson Winemaster Randy Ullom was hired by Jess Jackson in 1992 as winemaker for some of Jackson Family Wines smaller and international vineyards and appointed winemaster for Kendall-Jackson in 1997. Meet Randy at these events: Next World Chardonnay; Growing Forward in California; What’s Cool in Sonoma? or at K-J’s International Festival Tasting table.

Entirely a Sonoma grown wine, Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $27.95 is a more affordable alternative to Napa Vally Cabernets. Blending 90 per Cabernet Sauvignon, 4 per cent Cabernet Franc, 2.5 per cent Malbec, 2.5 per cent Petit Verdot and 1 per cent Merlot, it flaunts rich black berry fruit, cedar and dark chocolate notes.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine events in the world, offering something for every level of wine drinker, collector and trade professional. Don’t miss it!

Fifth generation California winemaker and winegrower Karl Wente grew up working at Wente Vineyards and expanded his experience at the Peter Michael Winery in Sonoma and Brown Brothers winery in Australia. In 2013, Karl was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s ‘40 Under 40.’ Meet Karl at: California Crush; Unexpected California; Growing Forward in California; 16th Annual Awards Lunch; The Shape of Wine; Vintners Brunch or at Wente’s International Festival Tasting table.

​Balance is crucial in Wente ‘Morning Fog’ Chardonnay $19.99 and central to Karl’s winemaking philosophy. Half of ‘Morning Fog’ is fermented in French oak while the other half is fermented in stainless steel tanks. Buttery green apple and apricot flavours meld effortlessly into clove and vanilla in this alternately crisp and full-bodied Chardonnay.

Most of the principals in attendance, particularly the winemakers themselves, are already legends in the industry. How often do you the chance to meet wine legends?

After studying winemaking at the University of California at Davis, Gina Gallo became an apprentice winemaker at E. & J. Gallo Winery, guided by her grandfather Julio. Today, as the winemaker behind the Gallo Signature Series, she hand-crafts very limited batches of wine. Meet Gina at: Explore California!; Growing Forward in California; Pinot’s Siren Call of Seduction; Festival Toast; What’s Cool in Sonoma?; 16th Annual Awards Lunch; Next Gen California or at Gallo’s International Festival Tasting table.

Gallo Signature Series Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $52.99 is a masterful blend of 95 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon topped up with 3 per cent Petit Verdot and 2 per cent Petit Sirah. Just moving into its peak, this classic Napa Cabernet oozes dark blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours with dried figs and molasses sliding into dark chocolate, coffee and earthy liquorice.

If you’re planning to attend VanWineFest and coming from out of town and book at one of 38 downtown downtown hotels through stayvancouverhotels.com you can get a free International Festival Tasting ticket to one of the four afternoon or evening tastings. Depending on your preference, the value of these IFT admissions is between $84 and $109. To qualify for this, hotels must be booked through by February 14 though their stayvancouverhotels.com website.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com or visit dougsloanwinewise.com online

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