The Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine event, will be returning for its 37th year with wine tasting, performing arts and delicious food to create a super fun event from Friday, February 20 to Sunday, March 1.
The festival will showcase 170 wineries from 14 countries, pouring more than 1750 wines and hosting 53 events throughout the city. This year, the focus of the festival is Australia, with Syrah at the heart of all festivities. The event promises to be educational and entertaining for all visitors.
We encourage all attending public, trade and media to stop by the following wineries to experience what BC wine has to offer your taste buds.
Journalists and bloggers: Interview opportunities are available with visiting winery principals listed below and Alan Sacks of the BC Hospitality Foundation.
BC Hospitality Foundation
Of special note:
- Visit the BCHF booth to get your digital caricatures done courtesy of Cruelty Free Cartoons, available throughout the trade tasting days: Thursday 1:30-5pm, Friday 1:30-5pm.
- In 2014, with the support of a number of dedicated volunteers and partners, the BCHF raised more than $85,000 to support current and future industry members.
Who will you meet:
Alan Sacks has worked or been involved in the Hospitality Industry for over 30 years. Educated in the UK he has an Honours Degree in Hospitality Administration. His Canadian Hotel career with Delta Hotels and Resorts included positions as General Manager of three properties and Corporate Director of Food and Beverage. Alan formed his own business in 1991 and has worked exclusively within the hospitality industry providing a variety of services focused on procurement and project management. He joined the BCHF team in October 2009 and now serves as executive director.
Formed in 2006, the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation is the industry's charity of choice, providing support to individuals within the hospitality community in their times of financial need as they cope with any extraordinary health or medical conditions. The BCHF raises funds through various fundraising events in order to support the industry’s next generation by providing scholarships to selected students enrolled in hospitality, culinary and wine programs in partner post-secondary institutions in BC.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC
Of special note:
- Summerhill Pyramid Winery will pour Cipes Brut, awarded Best Sparkling Wine in Canada at the All Canadian Wine Championship.
- The winery is known for organically and biodynamically growing grapes from the pristine Okanagan Valley.
Wines to taste:
Who you might meet:
Ezra Cipes is proud to carry on the family legacy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery as CEO. Like his father Stephen, Ezra has a multitude of passions and talents. At Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ezra Cipes is responsible for day to day operations, marketing, and leadership. He is a talented musician, and has completed courses in vineyard management and in permaculture design.
Eric von Krosigk is winemaker and viticulturist at Summerhill, and as the winery’s first winemaker, has been associated with Summerhill since its inception. Leading the winery’s organic growers, von Krosigk works with some of the Okanagan’s best grapes to produce world-class wines. Despite the fact he wins numerous awards each year, Eric remains one of the most approachable and humble BC vintners. Also notable is that Eric is president of the Okanagan Wine Festival board.
About Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located in the Lakeshore district in Kelowna, BC, is Canada’s largest biodynamic and organic winery, producing more organic wine than the rest of the Canadian wine industry combined. In addition, Summerhill is Canada’s most visited winery and foremost producer of sparkling wine. Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that earned the winery the Canadian Wine “Producer of the Year” trophy at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England in December 2009 as well as a trophy for “Best International Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine” from this same competition in 2010. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to Summerhill’s organic Sunset Bistro, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including an onsite permaculture-style vegetable garden. The mission of the entire Summerhill team is to produce exceptionally good tasting wines organically, support local organic food growers in the bistro and provide unforgettable experiences for all its guests.
Haywire Winery, Summerland BC
Of special note:
- Okanagan Crush Pad is the first winery in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks during fermentation, and carry the raised in Concrete designation.
- The Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2012 was recently featured in Wines in Niagara and was awarded 92 points by wine expert Rick VanSickle.
- Haywire is co-owned by Christine Coletta, who is leader in BC's wine industry.
Wines you will find at the Haywire table:
- Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2012
- Haywire Syrah 2012
- Haywire Sauvignon Blanc 2013
- Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2012
- Haywire Free Form 2013
Who you might meet:
Alison Scholefield is arguably the youngest winery principal you will find in the room and she has been in the wine industry since birth. Now as the winery ambassador and sales team liaison for Haywire, it's her job to communicate with customers, the public and wine club members. You can ask her about where to find the wines, and anything that's happening at the winery. Also find out why she has Haywire’s Sparkling wine the Bub named after her.
Julian Scholefield is the operations manager at the winery, and also president of the Summerland area Bottleneck Drive winery association. Julian oversees the coordination in the cellar of Haywire, Bartier Scholefield, client Bartier Brothers as well as several other client wines, including bottling, deliveries, on-site activities, as well as liaising with the vineyard teams, including the team that is planting the new Garnet Valley Vineyard.
Matt Dumayne is the winemaker for Haywire. Originally from New Zealand, and with 25 vintages under his belt crafting award-winning wine in Central Otago, California, Australia, and Oregon, Matt brings unparalleled insight and passion to the winemaking program. You can speak to Matt about the ways that he is approaching the Haywire portfolio, as well as some of the special projects he's working on which *sneak peek* include an orange wine…
You can also meet their enthusiastic sales representatives including Mike West, Amy Hollenbach, Rebeka Eriksson and Whitney Law.
Haywire is an old Canadian term that refers to wire once used for baling hay, which tended to tangle in a chaotic way. It is also an apt description of Christine and Steve’s transition from the city to owning a vineyard and winery. The learning curve was steep, but as the first wines hit the market (in 2010) it became apparent that the journey was the reward. Since planting the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard, Christine and Steve have gone on to open Canada’s first purpose-built custom crush facility (Okanagan Crush Pad Winery in 2011) and are now getting ready to plant the first 20 acres of vines at their 312-acre Garnet Valley Ranch. Haywire is committed to crafting wines that tell the story of the New Okanagan.
TIME Estate Winery, Oliver, BC
Of special note:
- All TIME Estate wines are grown and made on Canada's most-awarded, Sundial Vineyard in Oliver, BC.
- Harry McWatters, owner, will launch the inaugural TIME Estate Syrah at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Only 100 cases of the Syrah have been produced.
Wines you will find at the TIME Estate Winery table:
- TIME Estate Winery Syrah
- TIME Estate Winery Meritage (Red)
- TIME Estate Winery Meritage (White)
- TIME Estate Winery Sundial (White)
- McWatters Meritage (red)
Who you might meet:
Harry McWatters is the owner and winemaker of TIME Estate Winery and is a leader in the thriving British Columbia wine industry in which he has been involved for over 40 years. He was the founder of British Columbia's first estate winery and has been the driving force in the development of British Columbia's wine industry. In 1980 he led a group of wineries and local businesses to establish the Okanagan Wine Festival Society and acted as the founding president. Harry was also instrumental in founding VQA Canada, a trade association that spearheaded the development of national wine standards for Canadian vintners and served as the first Chairman.
About TIME ESTATE Winery:
A progressive new building is currently under construction for TIME, which will feature an extensive hospitality centre (including a commercial kitchen) and luxury guest suites, all with stunning Valley and lake Osoyoos views. When completed, the winery will focus almost entirely on Bordeaux-style premium wines created from the estate parcels. Harry's vision to create the very best wines in the Okanagan is about to be realized. Its about time.
For more information
If you are unable to attend the Vancouver Wine Festival but would like to learn more about our clients, please contact Sujidner Juneja at email@example.com or 604-367-6745