The Vancouver International Wine Festival returned for 2022, for its 43rd year. “It is Canada’s premier food and wine event, and it functions on three mandates. One, to provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for the public and trade. Two, to be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners. And three, to raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society.” (As taken from their press release.)
“ The 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. In 2022, 100 wineries from 14 countries will be attending the festival to pour and discuss their wines at 27 events over seven days.”
From May 16-22nd wine lovers and wine enthusiasts of all levels attended wine fuelled seminars, dinners, and tastings. And the one that was not to be missed was the International Festival Tasting that happened across 3 days, at 4 different time slots at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Ticket holders roamed around the expansive convention centre hall, table to table visiting each winery in attendance. Wherein each poured 4-5 wines for the public to sample. You were able to have them all, or start with the whites and return for the reds. Individual, disposable spit cups were available, as well as spittoons, stationed around the room. Although, many guests (such as myself) simply used the event as a fun way to have many wines at one sitting, so swallowed all their sips. There is no way any one individual could visit all the booths, let alone try all that each is pouring. So might as well enjoy yourself and simply focus on having all that you can.
On top of being able to taste the wine, event goers had the opportunity to speak to the wine producers themselves. Asking probing questions on their production, and learning what sets them apart from other vineyards.
Our strategy was to visit all the international wineries first, as they were far and few in between, stationed amongst all the rows of local Canadian wineries. There, we would try one white and one red. Focusing on the priciest bottles, most of which we would normally not buy, let alone try.
One of which was a $199.99 bottle of 2019 Sena by Arboleda, from Chile.
With the priciest of which being the $299.99 bottle of Bin 143 Cabernet Sauvignon by Penfolds from South Australia and Napa Valley.
We would also visit our favourite British Columbia wineries, being very familiar with the ones in our own backyard. They are as follows, in photos.
The room also featured food suppliers and industry exhibitors, including media and suppliers. There was tea and coffee stalls. And even gelato, that we wished we visited earlier; considering how they ran out of the most popular flavours early on.
There were also samples of fruit jams, dark and nut chocolates, liquorice, and even penne in pasta sauce. There were noticeably a lot more food items than in previous years. A happy sight as with all this drinking, eating is necessary for base.
And for those very familiar with the wine festival, Arc Iberico Imports had also returned to serve festival goers slices of their trademark iberico ham, right off the bone. This, along with a small assortments of their other cured meats.
Guest were able to gather all their samples and perch up by tables lining the Vancouver Convention centre windows. There, they were serenaded with live music and took in the breathtaking water view.
And after all the tasting, guests were then able to visit the on-site BC Liquor Store pop up, where all the wines served at the International Festival Tastings were available for purchase. This assortment included bottles not available anywhere else. All of which had the option to be delivered at no charge, to any BC Liquor Store, for pick up at a later date.
In short, this year’s event was a triumphant return. And here are some photos to get you excited over next year’s festival, resuming April 24-30th, 2023
“VanWineFest is pleased to announce dates for the 2023 festival. After moving the festival to May in 2022, going back to February would have meant another compressed timeline for organizers and participants. With late April dates, there will be more time to plan and build a bigger and better festival. In 2023, the festival will be back in the East building of the Vancouver Convention Centre, partying like it’s 2009.”