VanWineFest 2019 – California Dreaming

The 41st Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival will run from Feb. 23 through March 3, 2019 across numerous venues in Vancouver.

More than 50 of the 160 wineries attending will be from California – next year’s regional focus.

Sebastianis have been a force in the California wine industry since Samuele Sebastiani made his first 500 gallons of wine in 1904. Proving that dependable quality wine can be affordable, Smoking Loon Viognier $14.50 is a perennial favourite in Wine Enthusiast’s ‘Best Buy’ category. Honeyed peach and apricot aromas and flavours ride a base of crisp apple and ripe pear.

California wines have a long history of participation in the Vancouver Wine Festival, in fact the first few years featured California wines exclusively. The wines of Robert Mondavi were featured in 1979, with Chateau St. Jean taking up the corkscrew in 1980.

Ravage Dark Red Blend $17.50 features a mounted knight in armour swinging a sword over his head on its label. ‘Dark, Rich and Defiant’ it is a sturdy blend of 52 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 34 per cent Merlot and 11 per cent Petite Syrah – all blue and black berry fruit with dark chocolate, rich mocha, and vanilla notes.

Although the 41st Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival will run from February 23 through March 3, 2019, International Festival Tasting room in the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre – the heart of the Festival – will be open February 28 to March 2. More than 750 wines will be poured there!

Originally specialists in site-specific Zinfandel, way back in 1976, Ravenswood’s Vintners Blend line offers ‘Unapologetic. Unfussy. Unwimpy’ medium bodied wines, across the classic range of California varieties. There’s nothing wimpy about Ravenswood Vintners Blend Chardonnay $18.00. Aromas of apple and pear, vanilla lead a fruity medley that veers through peach to tropical papaya and pineapple. Intriguing clove and caramel notes fill out the finish of this full bodied white.

Not just a wine swilling extravaganza, the VIWF has raised $9.2 million for the performing arts in Vancouver since 1979. Since September 2012, the festival has raised more than $1.2 million for Bard on the Beach Theatre Society.

Based in St. Helena, Layer Cake Wines enhances their California selection with wines from Australia, Italy, Spain and Argentina. Their California Sauvignon Blanc, however, is definitely not sourced from New Zealand.

Fermented in stainless steel, entirely unoaked, Layer Cake Sauvignon Blanc $21.99 blends grapes from the Alexander Valley with grapes from Lake County and Lodi. The result is a rich white built on a base of chalky lemon rind, fresh sliced peach and funky, floral ultra-ripe mango lingering into the last sip.

Acclaimed film director Francis Ford Coppola purchased Inglenook Vineyard and Winery in Rutherford, California in 1975 with the profits from his film The Godfather. Borrowing the historical term ‘Claret’ from the British wine trade, Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Black Label Claret 2016 $29.99 is a blend of 75 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 21 per cent Petit Verdot and 4 per cent Petit Sirah . A fully fruited red that marries black cherry and cassis with toasty oak, anise and cacao, this is Coppola’s best selling wine.

Something of a legend in the California wine scene, Bob Blue is not only Director of Winemaking at Fetzer Vineyards but also widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the organic wine arena and Bonterra Vineyard’s founding winemaker, with deep roots in Mendocino.

1000 Stories ‘Bourbon Barrel Aged’ Zinfandel $30.00 is made from Zinfandel grown in Mendocino and Paso Robles. Blue starts the wines aging in French and American oak barrels before transferring it into bourbon barrels. Petite Sirah and Syrah add rich spicy, smoky notes to the jammy cherry and berry flavours. Bourbon barrels underline the vanilla and caramel notes that run through the wine from first sniff to final sip.

Interested in tasting a variety of fine California wines? Mark your calendar, now, and plan to attend the 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival February 23 through March 3, 2019.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Campbell River adopts Housing Needs Report but not the recommendations

‘A report is only as good as the data upon which it is based’

UPDATE: North Island Green Party nomination still to be determined

Moen says all issues should be viewed through environmental lens

Single-lane alternating traffic in place along Hwy. 19A project

Traffic changes in effect until end of the year: City

Woman injured during rollover on Hwy. 28

Incident took place Saturday evening near Strathcona Lodge

Demonstrators voice displeasure over mask-use in Campbell River

Sunday afternoon event has held by Hugs Over Masks Nation

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Most Read