Each of the 180 wineries from the 16 participating countries will send a high-level representative (owner, winemaker, senior executive) to the festival to present their wines at the February 11 to 19 event at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues in Metro Vancouver.
VANCOUVER — Vine stars from around the world will travel to Vancouver for the 39th Vancouver International Wine Festival, February 11 to 19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues in Metro Vancouver.
Each of the 180 wineries from the 16 participating countries will send a high-level representative (owner, winemaker, senior executive) to the festival to present their wines. They’ll participate in educational seminars, team up with Vancouver’s best restaurants for exclusive dinners and sample a selection of their wines in the Tasting Room. This year the theme country is Canada, which is bringing vine stars from across the country to Vancouver this February. For details on the 54 festival events, check out the interactive Festival at a Glance, updated regularly with sales status.
“We are thrilled to welcome top winemakers, owners and senior winery representatives to our festival each year,” says Harry Hertscheg, VIWF executive director. “Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to meet the people directly responsible for the wines they are tasting, and principals from across Canada and around the wine world can connect to share ideas, projects and opportunities.” Winery principals are identified by a royal blue lanyard at events.
All 76 participating wineries from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia will have a principal in attendance in the Wines of Canada section of the Tasting Room and at the cross-country culinary journey on Saturday, February 18, Celebrate Canada’s 150th.
CANADA'S VINE STARS
Glenn Fawcett, President, Black Hills Estate Winery, British Columbia
Glenn is responsible for running the business and sales and marketing end of Black Hills. As an entrepreneur, he was involved in running high-end wine tours of the Okanagan before joining Black Hills. Prior to that, he was president and owner of Bust Loose Holidays, one of Canada’s most successful tour companies for university and college students. Meet Glenn at BC’s Original Icon; The Benchmarks
Pedro Parra, Terroir Expert, Haywire, British Columbia
Pedro Parra is a wine terroir expert, who received his training in France. His clients are located in Chile, Argentina, Italy, Sonoma, Oregon, Armenia, Uruguay, Burgundy and in British Columbia, for Okanagan Crush Pad. He helped create Clos des Fous, a winery that explores the very extreme terroirs of Chile and more recently launched his own portfolio of wines under the Parra Y Familia label. Meet Pedro at BC: Diversity & Purity; BC Pioneers & New Kids; Heartbreak & Backache
Darryl Brooker, Vice President Winemaking, Mission Hill Family Estate, British Columbia
Darryl Brooker has more than 18 years of experience making premium wines in Canada, New Zealand, and in his native Australia. As Chief Winemaker at Mission Hill Family Estate, Darryl focuses his efforts on making fine wines that reflect the terroir and unique estate vineyard sites in the Okanagan Valley. Meet Darryl at Oculus Retrospective; Redefining the Okanagan; Canada Coast to Coast; Okanagan Estate Collection
Randy Picton, Winemaker, Nk'Mip Cellars, British Columbia
In 2002, Randy Picton was named Nk’Mip’s first winemaker. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Picton completed the Winery Assistant Program at Okanagan College. He interned at CedarCreek Estate Winery, joining the winery after graduation and rising quickly up the ranks. Picton, a non-native, is training youths from the Osoyoos Indian Band to assume winemaking duties for Nk’Mip Cellars. Meet Randy at The Wine Economy in Canada (reception); Wines of Canada Party
Ann Sperling, Owner / Winemaker, Sperling Vineyards, British Columbia
Considered a leading force in the Canadian movement towards organic and biodynamic fine winemaking, Ann has over two decades of experience in winegrowing, winemaking and consulting for successful winery startups. Raised on a family vineyard in Kelowna, BC, Ann’s talents were recognized in the early nineties when her 1992 Merlot took the Gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in the UK and Platinum at the Okanagan Wine Festival. In 2004, Ann was awarded with Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. Meet Ann at I Heart Bubbly Party; The Wine Economy in Canada (reception); Wines of Canada Party; Heartbreak & Backache; BC Pioneers & New Kids; 25 Under $25
Ezra Cipes, CEO, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, British Columbia
As a second-generation operator, Ezra Cipes feels blessed that his personal dharma led to such a beautiful industry. Recently Ezra has taken a leadership role in the BC wine industry as a director of the CVA and BCWI, and the chair of the BC Wine Appellation Task Group that tabled its recommendations in November, 2015. Meet Ezra at Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction; Canada on the World Stage; BC: Diversity & Purity; Wines of Canada Party; Canada Coast to Coast; Sparkling Wines of Canada; 14th Annual Awards Lunch; Vintners Brunch
David Paterson, GM / Winemaker, Tantalus, British Columbia
David Paterson fills the shoes of Tantalus Vineyard’s GM/winemaker. He received his winemaking degree from Lincoln University, New Zealand, and following time spent working in the local NZ industry, he travelled the wine world gaining experience at premium wineries in Oregon, France and Australia. He landed at Tantalus in 2009 and with seven successful vintages under his belt he took on the role of GM as well in 2016. Meet David at There’s No Place Like BC; BC: Diversity & Purity; Canada Coast to Coast; Heartbreak & Backache; 25 Under $25
Tim Turyk, President, Unsworth Vineyards, British Columbia
After 40+ years in BC’s fishing industry, Tim was looking for a new project. Having grown up in Victoria and Shawnigan Lake watching the rapidly evolving wine and food culture of the Cowichan Valley, he purchased a small vineyard and winery in the fall of 2009 and released Unsworth’s first vintage two years later. Meet Tim at BC: Diversity & Purity; Wines of Canada Party
Paul Bosc, President And CEO, Château Des Charmes, Ontario
Paul is a fifth-generation French winegrower who graduated from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France with degrees in Viticulture and Oenology. His wines have been awarded medals at numerous national and international wine competitions. He has been the recipient of many honours, including The Order of Ontario, The Order of Canada, and the LCBO Special Recognition Award. Meet Paul at Ontario’s Star Whites; Canada Coast to Coast; Discover Ontario’s Cool; Trans Canada Tasting
Keith Tyers, Winemaker, Closson Chase, Ontario
Keith Tyers, a graduate of the International Sommelier Guild program (Humber College), began work at Closson Chase in 2003 as a vineyard hand. 2004 he was promoted to Assistant Winemaker working under Deborah Paskus until 2009. After a two-year hiatus as a wine consultant, he returned to Closson Chase as retail manager. In 2015, he was promoted to winemaker. Meet Keith at Poised for Pinot; Wines of Canada Party; Canada Coast to Coast; 14th Annual Awards Lunch; Trans Canada Tasting
Allison Christ, Winemaker, Colio Estate Wines, Ontario
Allison Christ began fostering her winemaking skills with an Honours BSc. in Chemistry/Mathematics from the University of Windsor, followed by harvest experience in small and large winery settings, and serving as president of the Windsor Essex Chapter of the Ontario Wine Society. Allison brings her passion to all facets of cellar and winery operations with a focus on harvest, fermentation, blending and bottling. She works in partnership with the vineyard manager to ensure that quality parameters are met throughout the growing season and at harvest. Meet Allison at I Heart Bubbly Party; Wines of Canada Party; Discover Ontario’s Cool
Thomas Bachelder, Winemaker, Domaine Queylus, Ontario
Canada’s 2009 Winemaker of the Year, Thomas left his position as winemaker with Le Clos Jordanne to become a consultant, as well as winemaker and manager of Domaine Queylus. Wine lovers will recognize Thomas’ elegant European signature style. As the régisseur manager, Thomas is responsible for all the Domaine’s wine decisions. Meet Thomas at Poised for Pinot; Ontario’s Star Whites; Discover Ontario’s Cool; 14th Annual Awards Lunch
Harald Thiel, Vigneron / Proprietor, Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery, Ontario
In 2003, Harald and his brother sold their audio-visual business, permitting him to pursue his dream of owning an artisanal winery. Harald sits on a number of public, private and volunteer sector boards and is the former chairperson of Tourism Toronto and the International Communications Industry Association. (ICIA). Prior to starting Hidden Bench, Harald was one of the founders of the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo in Toronto and is also a founding partner in the Upper Canada Cheese Company in Jordan, Ontario. Meet Harald at Ontario’s Star Whites; Poised for Pinot; Canada Coast to Coast; Discover Ontario’s Cool; Heartbreak & Backache; Trans Canada Tasting
Bruce Nicholson, Winemaker, Inniskillin Niagara Estate, Ontario
Bruce Nicholson became Inniskillin Niagara Estate’s winemaker on January 1, 2007, after an outstanding career in the Okanagan, where he was Senior Winemaker for Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate. Born and raised in the Niagara Peninsula, Nicholson studied Sciences at Ontario’s Ryerson University and University of Windsor, and apprenticed in winemaking in Niagara before heading out to Western Canada. Meet Bruce at Ontario’s Star Whites; Poised for Pinot; The Wine Economy in Canada (reception); Wines of Canada Party; Canada Coast to Coast; Discover Ontario’s Cool; 14th Annual Awards Lunch
Marco Piccoli, Winemaker, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate, Ontario
Marco worked in Italy, Germany and Argentina, gaining valuable experience in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. He earned a Master’s Degree in Grape Growing and Winemaking from the University of Udine and the University of Applied Science in Wiesbaden-Geisenheim. Marco interned at the Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery and in 2005 became a winemaker at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate. Meet Marco at I Heart Bubbly Party; The Wine Economy in Canada (reception); Wines of Canada Party; Discover Ontario’s Cool; Sparkling Wines of Canada; 14th Annual Awards Lunch
Jean-Benoit Deslauriers, Head Winemaker, Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia
Jean-Benoit joined Benjamin Bridge in 2008 after working at biodynamic and organic wineries in California and Chile. He handcrafts all of Benjamin Bridge’s classic method sparklings and still wines, with a focused style on grower wines and small lots from its certified organic vineyards, elevating the wine programs to new heights with national and international recognition. Meet Jean-Benoit at Canada Coast to Coast; Tales of Next World Wines; Sparkling Wines of Canada; Trans Canada Tasting
Carl Sparkes, Owner, Devonian Coast Wineries, Nova Scotia
Carl and Donna Sparkes founded Devonian Coast Wineries in 2011, purchased two established wineries, Jost and Gaspereau Vineyards, and soon began planning for a third. Devonian Coast Wineries unites their love of wine and of Atlantic Canada while bringing fresh ideas and commitment to elevating Nova Scotia’s expanding wine industry. Meet Carl at Trans Canada Tasting
Bruce Ewert, Owner / Winemaker, L’Acadie Vineyards, Nova Scotia
Bruce Ewert is an award-winning BC-born sparkling winemaker with 30 years’ experience in British Columbia, Ontario, California, Australia and now Nova Scotia. He and NS-born Pauline Scott established L’Acadie Vineyards in 2004, a certified organic vineyard and winery in Gaspereau Valley, specializing in traditional method sparkling wines. L’Acadie Vineyards has earned many accolades including top scoring Canadian sparkling wine at the 2010 Canadian Wine Awards, Best Sparkling at the Atlantic Canadian Wine awards and two medals at Effervescents du Monde in France. Meet Bruce at I Heart Bubbly Party; Wines of Canada Party; Sparkling Wines of Canada; 14th Annual Awards Lunch
REST OF THE WORLD VINE STARS
Fifteen other countries are represented at VanWineFest, and the stars are shining just as brightly over the rest of the wine world. The Tasting Room is the place to meet all 180 vine stars, but you’ll also find these great personalities at special events during the week.
Pato Reich, Director, Bodega Renacer, Argentina
Patricio Reich Jr. has a degree in commercial engineering from the Adolfo Ibanez University in Chile and a Master’s Degree in Finance from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. From 2003 until 2006, Patricio worked in the treasurer department of Santander Bank, where he developed custom-made financial solutions for corporate clients. Currently he is in charge of Marketing and Sales for Bodega Renacer. Meet Pato at 25 Under $25
Justin Fairweather, Export Sales Director & Managing Director, Alpha Box & Dice, Australia
After years travelling the world studying winemaking across Australia, Italy, France and Moldova, AB&D’s founding winemaker Justin Lane returned to McLaren Vale with a unique and enterprising premise – creating an “Alphabet of Wine”. Forming Alpha Box & Dice as a laboratory for viticultural exploration in 2008, the team set upon constructing a different wine style to represent every letter of the alphabet. Meet Justin at PICA Kitchen Party; 25 Under $25; Alpha Box & Dice @ Chambar.
Margaux Bruckert, Export Manager, Wolfberger Cave Vinicole, France
Passionate about wines and qualified in International Business, Margaux gained a first working experience in a Champagne House. She decided to move home to Alsace, where she had the opportunity to join the Export team of Wolfberger. She is now promoting the wines and crémants of this winery in Europe, Japan and Canada. Meet Margaux at Canada on the World Stage
Nik Weis, Owner / Winemaker, Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof, Germany
Nik is the third generation of the winery founded in 1947. Nik has worked in Champagne, California, and Canada’s Niagara Peninsula. As president of the Young Winemakers Association, he has been in the forefront to preserve and restore the traditions of German winemaking and has established St. Urbans-Hof as a clear leader in innovation and quality. Meet Nik at Canada on the World Stage; Heartbreak & Backache.
Sam Smail, Head Winemaker, Whitehaven, New Zealand
Sam has been with the Whitehaven since 2000. He graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1995 with a degree in Chemistry; a little travel, a little business, and the wish to use his science qualifications prompted him to complete a post-graduate degree at the University of Adelaide. He then headed for the Napa Valley, then Italy, before his winemaking career path led to Marlborough and Whitehaven. Meet Sam at Cool Climate, Cool View; Vintners Brunch
Daniel Castaño, Export Director / Family Member, Familia Castaño, Spain
Daniel Castaño is the third and youngest son of Ramon Castaño Santa, founder of Bodegas Castaño and 3rd generation of family winemakers in Southern Spain. He has worked at Castaño from an early age, starting first in the vineyard, then working in the winery (vinification), administration, and finally sales. Daniel studied business in Alicante and trained on a 4-week viticulture course in Adelaide, Barossa Valley. Meet Daniel at Tales of Next World Wines; 25 Under $25
Selim Ellialti, Owner / President, Suvla Wines, Turkey
Selim Ellialti graduated from Bogazici University in Istanbul and worked as a business executive in IT and other fields. In 2004, Selim joined Microsoft Turkey and became General Manager for Middle East and Africa in 2010. He left Microsoft in September 2011 to focus on his private wine (SUVLA) and natural agricultural products (KILYE) business, which he had founded in 2003. Meet Selim at PICA Kitchen Party; Vintners Brunch; Wine & Dine Great Terroirs.
Alec Griffiths, Export Director, Bodega Garzón, Uruguay
Alec Griffiths was born in Uruguay. The early part of his career in the wine industry saw Alec working for some of the largest wine brands from Chile and Argentina. As a native Uruguayan, he never dreamed he would return home to join the team for a state-of-the-art winery such as Bodega Garzón. Meet Alex at Canada on the World Stage; Tales of Next World Wines; PICA Kitchen Party; 25 Under $25.
Ondine Chattan, Winemaker, Geyser Peak, California
A native of Marin County, Ondine obtained an undergraduate degree in Viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master’s Degree in Enology from Fresno State University. After college, her love of Zinfandel and Rhône varietals led her to positions at Cline Cellars in Sonoma Valley and Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino, before she settled down to her “winemaking home” in the Alexander Valley. Meet Ondine at California Cruisin’; Celebrating California Cabs
Joseph Spellman, Master Sommelier, Justin Vineyards & Winery, California
Joseph Spellman, MS, has worked as a sommelier in many Chicago’s top restaurant cellars; in wine retail, wholesale, and importing companies; and as a wine educator, writer, and consultant. Joseph earned the Master Sommelier Diploma in 1996. He was named the Best Sommelier in the World in French Wines & Spirits in 1997 and in 1998 named the Bon Appetit Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year. Meet Joseph at California Cruisin’
Shirley Brooks, VP of Sales & Marketing, Elk Cove Vineyards, Oregon
Shirley has been working at Elk Cove since March 2000. She travels the globe as brand ambassador for Elk Cove in markets new and old. Shirley is an active supporter of the Oregon wine industry and has served as a board member for both Oregon Pinot Camp and the Oregon Wine Board Export Committee. In her free time, you’ll find her outdoors enjoying one of Oregon’s great hiking trails or rivers. Meet Shirley at Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction; PICA Kitchen Party
HOW TO PURCHASE TICKETS
Phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
In person: 202-162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
*Note the new address – the festival moved offices to the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village.
All ticket prices include wine, food (if a food event), gratuities, taxes and service charge.
Stay in Touch:
For more information, go to VanWineFest.ca and sign up for VanWineFest E-News.
Facebook & Instagram: /VanWineFest
Twitter: follow @VanWineFest for news on tickets and sold-out events. Join the conversation at #VIWF.