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VanWineFest Announces 2017 Trade Competition Winners


Spirited Industry Professional, Sommelier of the Year, Wine Program Excellence Awards

Vancouver, BC (February 17, 2017) – The Vancouver International Wine Festival announced the 2017 trade competition winners on Friday at Celebrating Excellence: 14th Annual Awards Lunch, featuring Wines of Canada, presented by ContainerWorld. The Celebrating Excellence program is part of Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco; the program honours those professionals who contribute to this region’s exceptional wine and food culture. Guests enjoyed a meal prepared by Vancouver Convention Centre executive chef Mark Massicotte, exquisitely matched with a selection of 40 wines from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.


The annual Spirited Industry Professional Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The 12th annual award goes to industry icon Harry McWatters.

Harry is a 49-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. He founded Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, BC’s first estate winery in 1980 and See Ya Later Ranch Estate winery in 1995. After selling both operations to Vincor Canada in 2000, he remained President of Sumac Ridge and See Ya Later Ranch and was a Vice President of Vincor Canada until he “retired” in 2008. Since then he has established the Vintage Consulting Group, launched TIME Estate Winery and the McWatters Collection and co-developed ENCORE Vineyards Ltd. Harry is the founding chair of the BC Wine Institute, VQA Canada, the BC Wine Information Society, and the BC Hospitality Foundation. In 2003 Harry received the prestigious Order of British Columbia for his services to the BC wine industry.


The Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes working sommeliers who consistently demonstrate an outstanding passion for marrying wine with food and a dedication to exceptional service. This year’s winner, Shane Taylor, wine director at CinCin Ristorante + Bar, was selected through a hands-on competition organized by the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. Shane will represent British Columbia in the “Best Sommelier in Canada” competition. As Sommelier of the Year, Shane receives two Delta Air Lines vouchers valued at $2,000 USD from the festival.

A native of PEI, Shane is a graduate of the Atlantic Tourism and Hospitality Institute, holds the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits, and recently qualified as Advanced Sommelier from the London-based Court of Master Sommeliers. He worked at the Relais Gourmand White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, the Michelin-starred Glenapp Castle and Chapter One in the UK, before moving to Canada in 2005 to join Araxi and the Toptable team.


Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The key judges were Tom Doughty, Jay Jones, DJ Kearney, Iain Philip, and Treve Ring. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine Program Excellence Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.



  • Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
  • Burdock & Co.
  • Chambar
  • CinCin Ristorante + Bar
  • Hawksworth Restaurant
  • Vij’s


  • L’Abattoir
  • Gotham Steakhouse & Bar
  • Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
  • Latab – Best New Entry
  • Mission
  • Nightingale
  • Savio Volpe
  • Zest Japanese Cuisine


  • Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
  • AnnaLena
  • Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
  • Le Crocodile
  • Fable Kitchen
  • Forage
  • La Pentola
  • Provence Marinaside/The Wine Bar
  • West Restaurant


  • Homer St. Café and Bar
  • My Shanti
  • PiDGiN
  • Pourhouse Restaurant
  • Royal Dinette
  • The Stable House Bistro
  • Tableau Bar Bistro
  • Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort
  • Wildebeest

Honourable Mention

  • Cibo Trattoria / Uva Wine Bar
  • LIFT Bar Grill View



  • Alta Bistro


  • Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar


  • Basalt Wine + Salumeria


  • Silver
  • Café Brio (Victoria)


  • OLO Restaurant (Victoria)

Honourable Mention

  • 10 Acres Kitchen (Victoria)
  • Pacific Prime Restaurant & Lounge, The Beach Club Resort (Parksville)
  • Unsworth Restaurant (Mill Bay)



  • Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)



  • Cilantro (Calgary)
  • Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro (Calgary)


  • Buffalo Mountain Lodge (Banff)
  • Deer Lodge (Lake Louise)
  • The Lake House (Calgary)
  • Vin Room West (Calgary)


  • Vin Room Mission (Calgary)


The 14-event Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco, is the wine business component of the Vancouver International Wine Festival. The media partner is BC Business. For the last four years, Trade Days has been voted the “#1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Industry Event in Canada” by New York’s BizBash. 2017 events included Wines of Canada seminars and masterclasses presented by Canadian Vintners Association, British Columbia Wine Institute and the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario; seminars sponsored by the Golden Mile Bench Association and Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits; Principals Welcome Lunch, presented by JF Hillebrand; Celebrating Excellence: 14th Annual Awards Lunch featuring Wines of Canada, presented by ContainerWorld; and two Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld. Other Trade Days sponsors and partners include Vancouver Magazine, Vancouver Sun, WH Puddifoot Ltd.; information technology company ITS Consulting Inc.; as well as the participating event wineries. Trade Days extends special thanks to the IVSA, Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and the BC Hospitality Foundation.


Canada’s premier wine show marks its 39th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 11 to 19, 2017. The festival features The Wine World Celebrates Canada as the theme. The festival will showcase 180 wineries from 16 countries (including 76 wineries from Canada) pouring a projected 1,700 wines at 54 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction opens the festival on Saturday, February 11 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco, takes place Wednesday, February 15 to Friday, February 17. The festival has been named the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Industry Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash for four years running.
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 inception in 1979, the festival has raised $8.7 million for the performing arts. Major sponsors are Delta Air Lines and the Vancouver Sun; major industry partners are the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, Canadian Vintners Association and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association. The festival is made possible through the gracious support of our participating countries’ consulates and embassies. www.vanwinefest.ca


Wines of Canada is a collaborative initiative of the Canadian Vintners Association and regional wine associations – British Columbia Wine Institute, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, Vignerons indépendants du Québec and the Winery Association of Nova Scotia – to bring the country’s best wines to the world. Partial funding for this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the AgriMarketing program through Growing Forward 2. www.canadianvintners.com


Celebrating its 27th season in 2016, 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. Bard on the Beach offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and popular special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2016, attendance exceeded 100,000 and more than 1.4 million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. This year’s festival dates are June 1 to September 23, 2017 and the lineup includes Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, plus a special limited-run presentation of Shylock. Bard also offers a range of education programs, including Young Shakespeareans Workshops for 8 to 18-year-olds at its Vanier Park site during the summer, and Riotous Youth for 19 to 24-year-olds. During the school term, Bard also offers workshops for educators and youth in schools and community centres throughout BC’s Lower Mainland, as well as at its new administrative home, the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Avenue). Full details and education program information are at bardonthebeach.org.