Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It's Vancouver International Wine Festival time again - tickets on sale starting Tuesday January 12 at 9:30 a.m. for the best wine event of the year, featuring Italy in 2016!

Wine Barbarian Bill Tieleman on left with legendary Joel Peterson of Ravenswood at VIWF 2015

It's Vancouver International Wine Festival time again - and tickets for the February 20 to 28, 2016 edition go on sale for all events on Tuesday January 12 at 9:30 a.m.

This year the VIWF is featuring Italy as the focus country - and that means every event will likely sell out - especially the fabulous wine dinners and special seminars.

Tickets for the International Festival Tastings are already on sale - and early bird tickets are sold out - for the big evening tastings on Thursday February 26, Friday February 27 and Saturday February 28.  So don't delay - these extremely popular events are in high demand every year and Saturday will be sold out soon based on previous Festivals.

Friday and Saturday evening tickets are $95 while Thursday is $89 - a slight discount for the weeknight - and one I always attend because it's a bit less crowded.

A welcome recent addition is the Saturday matinee - an afternoon edition of the International Festival tasting from 2:30 to 5 pm for a bargain price of $75.

What events to attend?  As many as possible in the short time available is my best advice. 

Take a look at the full VIWF brochure online to see all the events and much more information. 

But some are clearly exceptional and not to be missed - like Italy and Beyond dinner at Cioppino's with wines from Biondi Santi, Pio Cesari and more matched by acclaimed chef/owner Pino Posteraro's culinary masterpieces or the La Vita Ruffino dinner at CinCin - featuring great Italian foods and wines.

Sell-out seminars will surely include Tuscan Trailblazers on Wednesday Feb 25 with two of the most famous wines of the Antinori family - Tignanello and Guado al Tasso - in a vertical tasting of the two SuperTuscan classics - wow! 

Tignanello - one of Antinori's killer SuperTuscan wines

Also sure to be fully subscribed is 1,000 Years of Tuscany with Barone Francesco Ricasoli of the famous wine family in attendance, featuring Chianti Classico wines and Amaronely: Only Amarone on Thursday Feb. 26 for $85 featuring fabulous Amarone wines from Valpolicelli.

Please be assured that Italy is not the only country with wines at the Festival - in fact, there are over 1450 wines from 14 countries and 155 wineries participating over the eight-day event - France, Spain, Australia, Canada, the U.S., Portugal, Germany, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Greece, Japan and even Croatia are represented in addition to Italy!

There are so many other events to choose from and you simply can't go wrong with any of them - unless you procrastinate on buying your tickets - so remember that they go on sale Tuesday January 12 at 9:30 a.m. and many will sell out that very day!

Rock star wine maker Charles Smith of Walla Walla poses at 2015 VIWF
The VIWF is also a unique opportunity to meet winemakers, owners or principal staff of every winery at the event - it's a requirement - and that means you can meet legendary figures in the wine world, as I did with "Godfather of Zinfandel" Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery last Festival or Charles Smith of Walla Walla's great K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines - one of the wine world's rock stars.

Be sure to follow #VIWF on Twitter for updates from the Festival and wine writers and collectors - lots of good tips there.  

And watch this space closer to the Festival and during it for my recommended wines to taste!

Cheers and see you at the VIWF! 


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