Vancouver International Wine Festival Highlights

The 2020 edition of the Vancouver International Wine Festival marked the 42nd year of celebrating wines from around the world

The 2020 edition of the Vancouver Wine Fest marked the 42nd year of celebrating wines from around the world

This year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival has come to and end. Endless wine was poured from countries all over the world, funds were raised for Bard On The Beach, and next year’s theme was announced.

Here are some of the highlights…


1. Bacchanalia Gala Dinner and Auction

Raising approximately $256,000 for the Bard On The Beach Shakespeare Festival and their programs working with youth, the Bacchanalia Gala was a huge success. After a champagne toast, guests were treated to a spectacular meal at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver paired with a range of nine different wines. The silent auction provided attendees with a chance to bid on rare and unique wines, and the live action saw a bidding war for one-of-a-kind dinners and experiences.


2. Ça C’est Cool

The annual kickoff for the theme region took place at The Loft at Earls in Yaletown, celebrating many of the wines of France that festival attendees could preview ahead of the tasting room. Rosé and bubbly were some of the biggest hits of the evening, as guests sipped, mingled, and sampled canapés.


3. Seminars and Keynote Speaker

The seminars started on Wednesday and included a Climate Symposium to discuss the changes to the world of wine with global warming, as well as a lunch with wine writer Andrew Jefford, who was the keynote spaker. Seminar themes this year included B.C. Wines and The Wines of Canada, as well as French Terroir Talk, The Global Cru, Wine 101 and more.


4. International Tasting Room

The tasting room was buzzing every afternoon and evening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Immediate favourites were the booths from Champagne, as most people rushed to start their tasting with some bubbly. Another highlight was the French regional table that was located under an Eiffel Tower display with an adjacent café-like area for guests to sip some wine and people-watch. The #RoseAllDay booth was a hit, with a rotating cast of pink from a vast number of wineries being poured by guest sommeliers from Vancouver and abroad.


5. Wine Excellence Awards

The annual awards lunch celebrated the outstanding wine programs from restaurants on the West Coast, as well as the Sommelier Of The Year (Peter Van de Reep of Campagnolo), and this year’s SIP (Service Industry Professional) recipient, Dana Lee Harris, of the BC Hospitality Association. You can find the full list of this year’s winners by clicking here.


6. Vintner’s Brunch

The festival came to a close on Sunday with the incredibly popular Vintner’s Brunch. This year, 14 restaurants and wineries came together to create pairings that were voted on by a panel of local judges, and by the attendees. In the end, the judges chose Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver paired with Culmina Family Estate Winery (pictured), and the people went with LOT185 Cafe + Wine Bar at Vancouver Convention Centre paired with Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery (which also came in second with the judges).


7. Next Year

The theme region for the 2021 edition of the Vancouver International Wine Festival was announced on the Saturday and it will be… South America! Mark your calendar for February 20 to 28, 2021, where you can sip wines from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and hopefully even Brazil.