Robert's Report

Vancouver Wine Festival 2017



Here are a few thoughts on my visit to the Vancouver International Wine Festivals. The festival is considered to be one of the best in World. This year the featured wineries were from Canada. Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia were represented for a total of 76 wineries. There were over 100 wineries from other countries featuring 1700 wines.

My first event was the trade/media wine tasting; upon entering the ballroom at the Vancouver Convention Center my thoughts immediately reflected on "So many people and most of them are at the Canadian wineries ". I was even more surprised to see the crowds lined up at the Nova Scotia tables. According to a number of winery owners they too were surprised by the numbers.

Despite having 7 hours to visit the wineries it was not enough time. One does not hop from table simply tasting wines. One hopes to meet and chat with the owners or winemakers. Lucky I had some very good conversations. The list included Hanspeter W Stutz and his son winemaker Jürg Stutz of Grand Prè Wines, Bruce Ewert L'Acadie, Peter Luckett from Luckett Vineyards, Donna Sparkes co-founder Devonian Coast Wineries, John Skinner and Lauren Skinner from Painted Rock,  Bert Sperling Sperling Vineyards, Bill and Marina Knutson, SpierHead Winery, Stephen Cipes and winemaker Eric von Krosigk from Summerhill Pyramid Winery and many others.

Along the way one also has to taste the numerous breads,cheeses and chocolate offered at the event. One also has the opportunity to meet follow bloggers and writers.

This year I attended only two seminars.. Discover Ontario's Cool hosted by Chris Waters editor of Vines Magazine and BC Winery Pioneers and New Kids. At the BC wine event world renowned wine terrior Consultant said " BC whites are better than all Italian Whites" He went on to say he works with BC wineries because he recognized what a great terrior we have for producing outstanding world class wines.

I have to say that I was quite impressed by Nova Scotia wines. I knew Nova Scotia was receiving world wide praise for their Sparkling wines; but they exceeded exceptions. Even more surprising was their Whites, most impressive. Among those that stood out Benjamin Bridge's Tidal Bay 2015, Devonian Coast's Gaspereau Riesling 2015 and Gaspereau Muscat and Jost Tidal Bay 2015, Domaine De Grand Pre Tidal Bay 2015 and 2015 Riesling. Also the wines from L'Acadie and Luckett Vineyards.

Among the winemakers I was able to chat with was Colio Estate (Lake Erie North Shore) Allison Christ. Her Lily VQA Sparking wine was very good. I also liked the Bricklayers Cache Meritage 2012. Allison was on the Discover Ontario's Cool panel .

When chatting with other colleagues one of the most mention Ontario wineries was Closson Chase from Prince Edward County. I made sure to stop by and taste a few wines with winemaker Keith Tyers. They offered three Chardonnays all of them were quite good.

If I had any disappointments at the festival it was my inability to reach more Ontario wineries, simply not enough time. I managed to visit Truis Winery( NOTL) their 2015 Riesling is quite good. I also tasted the Meritage 2012 and Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot from Pelee Island Winery.

It would also have been nice to visit a few more BC wineries. Especially the newer ones that I have not visited. I did manage to chat with Bob Johnstone owner of Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery in Creston BC ' His wines are a must try!! I also stopped by Culmina to say hello to Sara Triggs and taste their amazing Hypothesis 2013 my wifes favourite.

The up and coming Kamloops region of BC was represented by Harper's Trail Estate winery. I enjoyed tasting their wines with owner Vickii Collet.

Despite Canada's reputation for Icewines,I only tasted one Pillitteri Estate Reserve Vidal Icewine 2013. Amazing !!!

For more wines tasted at the festival Please see Robert's Selections and check our New page for more featured articles

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