The 2019 edition of the Vancouver International Wine Festival marked the 41st year of celebrating wines from around the world

The 2019 Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) was a roaring successfrom raising funds for the Bard On The Beach Shakespeare Festival to pouring wine into upward of 82,000 glasses.

Here’s a quick recap of what went down throughout the week...


1. Bacchanalia Gala

Bacchanalia GalaChristine McAvoyThis year’s Bacchanalia Gala Dinner and Auction raised approximately $229,500 for the Bard On The Beach Shakespeare festival, VIWF's charitable partner. The live auction featured unique dining and travel experiences, with private food-pairing dinners and more, and the silent auction was full of rare wines and huge magnum bottles. On top of all of that, guests were treated to an exquisite nine-course dinner and wine pairing with wines from all over the world.


2. Seminars

seminarsChristine McAvoyBetween the trade days and public wine seminars, knowledge was handed out by some of the best in the industry. Much of the focus was on the theme wine region of California, with lessons around the different regions, like Napa and Sonoma, or specific varieties of wine like Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.


3. 16th Annual Awards Lunch

16th Annual Awards LunchChristine McAvoyThe annual Wine Awards were handed out again during this year’s lunch, with Matthew Landry as the Sommelier of the Year, and DJ Kearney being given the Spirited Industry Professional Award. The Wine Program Excellence Awards were also presented, and the platinum winners included: L’Abattoir, AnnaLena, Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar, Chambar, CinCin Ristorante + Bar, Hawksworth Restaurant, and Nightingale. Congratulations to all of the winners!


4. International Festival Tastings

International Festival TastingsOver three days, the big hall at the Convention Centre saw around 25,000 wine lovers come through to sample wine and stock their cellars. California covered the ceiling in mini hot air balloons, and showcased 53 wineries from across the state.The theme for next year was announced on the Saturday night, and in 2020 we will be sipping the wines of France!


5. Vintners Brunch

Vintners BrunchChristine McAvoyAnother sold-out Vintners Brunch had 15 restaurants competing with paired wines for both the Judges' Choice and People’s Choice, with Bauhaus Restaurant taking the Judges’ Choice award and Ocean Mama Seafood snagging the People’s Choice awards. The winning dish from Bauhaus was: Pork Hock, BBQ, Black Garlic and Celery with Louis M. Martini Winery Monte Rosso Gnarly Vine Zinfandel 2014. Ocean Mama's winning dish was Organic Black Tiger Shrimp Daish and Bacon Risotto with Bacon Foam, paired with Verum Bodegas y Viñedos Malvasía 2016.


final imageChristine McAvoy