Food & Drink Awards 2019

Page 54 LUXlife 2019 Food & Drink Awards Widely considered to be the best wine event across North America, the Vancouver International Wine Festival brings together the world’s biggest industry names at one of the largest and oldest wine events in the world. With the 2020 festival featuring 163 wineries from 15 countries, and a spotlight on French wines throughout, discover what makes this festival the perfect place to be for lovers of the grape. Vancouver International Wine Festival: Best International Wine Festival - North America Running from February 22nd to March 1st in 2020, the Vancouver International Wine Festival is Canada’s premier wine show and, with more than forty years’ experience delivering exemplary services, has firmly established itself as the benchmark against which other festivals measure themselves. The festival was founded with three key mandates: to provide an informative, edu- cational and entertaining wine experience; to be premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry; and to raise funds for the performing arts. Ensuring that the festival hosts only the finest wineries that are serious about their business, VanWineFest is a curated festival. Every single winery that applies undergoes a rigorous assessment by the Winery Selection Committee, made up of carefully chosen wine experts to make sure that every winery meets the exceptional standards. Every winery that is selected to participate is then required to send a senior principal to be present at all events where their wines are poured, and in the International Festival Tasting Room, the central showcase for all participating wineries. Undoubtedly the beating heart of the festival, the Tasting Room presents an extraordinary opportunity for seasoned professionals and wine-tasting novices alike to meet with owners, winemakers and senior representa- tives from wineries across the world. With 163 wineries present in 2020, plus five Regional Tasting Stations, all representing 16 wine producing countries, there is no shortage of delicious drinks to tantalise every taste bud. Public attendees can choose from approxi- mately 750 wines at four International Festi- val Tastings, with industry professionals able to sample an additional 160 wines at two separate Trade Tasting sessions. With 57 events across the festival’s duration, there are seminars, vintage tastings, winery dinners, lunches, brunches, wine mingling sessions, and much more, where another 550 wines are served where attendees can sample wine to their hearts content. Designed for industry professionals, the Trade Days Conference runs from February 26th to 28th in 2020 and comprises 13 of the festival’s 57 events. Everyone associated with the festival has a keen understanding of wine, and importantly, how to serve it correctly. Chairman of the board, Mark Hicken, is well-versed in wine law and has enabled the festival to stay ahead of new developments in evolving liquor regulations, helping adapt administrative and organisational methods. All pourers at events must have a Serving It Right certification, or the regional equivalent.