VANCOUVER, BC (October 1, 2019)—The Vancouver International Wine Festival is pleased to announce the winery lineup for the 42nd annual festival, which takes place February 22-March 1, 2020. The eight-day wine and food extravaganza will showcase 164 wineries from 15 countries, including 43 wineries from France, this festival’s featured country. Joining France will be 121 wineries from around the world, pouring 1,500+ wines at 57 events with a global spotlight on rosé. Each participating winery will be represented by a winery principal – our vine stars – who come to Vancouver every year to share and discuss their wines with festival goers.
“VIWF 2020 will welcome 164 different producers from 15 countries, 43 of them from the theme country of France,” says David Hopgood, chair of the Winery Selection Committee. “Sparkling wine is well represented with over 75 examples, including many Champagne and Crémant wines from France. Rosé will also be in abundance with about 75 in the Tasting Room, many from Provence. The French section will feature wines from all over the country – Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Southwest, Loire, Rhône, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, and even a Crémant from Jura.
“Italy is well represented with 24 producers, Germany has four, as does Croatia. Romania returns with two wineries, while the Iberian Peninsula is represented by 15 wineries. The New World also will have a strong presence with 70 wineries participating, plus two Sake makers from Japan. In total, there will be well over 650 wines in the Tasting Room to discover, making for a very exciting festival.”
The festival is headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre; in addition, more than 25 other restaurants and venues around the city will host winery dinners, lunches, seminars and wine minglers. The sumptuous Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, benefiting Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, kicks off the festival on Saturday, February 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; tickets and tables are on sale now. The heart of the festival is the Tasting Room, where all 164 wineries will gather for four International Festival Tastings and two Trade Tastings. Discounted advance tickets for the International Festival Tastings go on sale Wednesday, November 6 at 9:30 a.m. Festival goers can get a free ticket if they book a downtown hotel via StayVancouverHotels.com from November 6 to February 13, while supplies last.
Vive la France!
The spotlight shines on France this year with 43 wineries representing the diverse and storied terroirs of France. All French wineries will be featured in a special section of the Tasting Room, with 172 wines poured at the International Festival Tastings plus an additional 41 wines set aside for the Trade Tastings. Festival week will feature 18 French events, including vine star seminars, vintage tastings, nine winery dinners, a wine party to kick off the week, and a spectacular Saturday lunch, Bon Appétit, featuring all 43 wineries.
“Every French citizen is passionate about wine; I am no exception coming from Alsace, so it is with great pleasure for me to see France honoured in this year’s VIWF,” says Philippe Sutter, Consul General of France in Vancouver. “It is also our heritage that is being celebrated. But heritage should not simply be showcased. It should be savoured. France has more than 10,000 tourist-oriented wine cellars that welcome visitors and I am so pleased that some of its best, selected from our 17 different wine-growing regions, will be here for you to discover. I invite everyone to come and join us during this event, in full conviviality and respect for our planet and its resources, two important aspects of French culture. Santé to the red, white, and…rosé!”
“Le vin est au cœur de notre culture et une passion pour beaucoup de Français. En tant qu’Alsacien, je partage bien sûr ce fort intérêt. C’est donc avec un grand plaisir que j’ai appris que la France sera à l’honneur de cette édition 2020 du VIWF,” dit Philippe Sutter, Consul General de France en Vancouver. “C’est également notre patrimoine qui est célébré à cette occasion. Mais ce patrimoine doit être dégusté et partagé! Il y a plus de 10 000 caves ouvertes au public en France et je suis vraiment très heureux que de nombreuses, au cœur de nos 17 régions viticoles, feront découvrir leurs meilleurs crus. Je vous invite à vous joindre à nous pour profiter de cet évènement, dans la plus grande convivialité, et dans le respect de notre planète et de ses ressources, deux aspects très importants de notre culture française. Alors, santé aux vins français!”
This year, the festival is pleased to welcome acclaimed wine writer Andrew Jefford as the keynote speaker. Jefford’s talk at the Trade Days Conference’s Keynote Speaker Lunch on Wednesday, February 26 will be “French Lessons in a Warming World.” On Thursday, February 27, he will co-moderate, along with 2019 keynote speaker Jon Bonné, the trade opening plenary, Vin Tour de France. Andrew will also moderate the public wine seminar, Cru de France.
Andrew Jefford writes and broadcasts about different places around the world, and the foods, drinks and scents connected with them. Andrew and his family live near Montpellier in France.
Trade Days Conference
The Trade Days Conference, which runs February 26-28, features 13 events, including two Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld, masterclasses and seminars, and three trade lunches: Keynote Speaker Lunch; Principal’s Welcome Lunch, presented by JF Hillebrand; and Celebrating Excellence: 17th Annual Awards Lunch Featuring France, presented by ContainerWorld.
Save the Dates
Discounted advance tickets go on sale Wednesday, November 6 at 9:30 a.m.
All public events go on sale Wednesday, January 8 at 9:30 a.m.
All trade events go on sale Wednesday, January 22 at 9:30 a.m.
Bordeaux Wine River Cruise
The celebration of France, as theme country, will extend beyond festival week with a curated seven-night wine river cruise to Bordeaux from April 9-16, 2020. The cruise is offered in partnership with Expedia CruiseShipsCentres and Ama Waterways and includes exclusive wine dinners, tastings and seminars led by Paul Wagner, the festival’s 2018 keynote speaker and seminar leader in 2019 and 2020.
ABOUT VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL
Canada’s premier wine show will mark its 42nd edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 22 to March 1, 2020. The festival features France and will showcase 164 wineries from 15 countries (including 43 wineries from France) pouring ~1,500 wines at 57 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction opens the festival on Saturday, February 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The Trade Days Conference runs Wednesday, February 26 to Friday, February 28. The festival has been named the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash for seven years running and was recently named the Best International Wine Festival – North America by LUX Life Magazine. 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 nearly $9.5 million for the performing arts. Major sponsors are Delta Air Lines and The Vancouver Sun; major industry partners are the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, BC Liquor Stores, and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association. The festival is co-hosted with our participating countries’ consulates and embassies.
ABOUT BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
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. The festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and popular special events in two performance tents every June through September. The 2019 festival drew 103,000 attendees and almost 2 million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. Next year’s festival dates are June 12 to September 26, 2020, and the 31st Season line-up will include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Paradise Lost by Erin Shields. Bard also offers a range of education programs, including Young Shakespeareans workshops for 8-18 year-olds at its Vanier Park site during the summer, and the Riotous Youth program 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 administrative home, the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Avenue). Full details and education program information are at bardonthebeach.org.