9 Epic Reasons to Visit San Diego in 2019 +1

It’s no secret that me, like other Canadians, loves to travel.  I have been to San Diego and SOCAL a few times and enjoy my time down there.  I received this list of 9 reasons to visit San Diego by their Tourism Bureau.  I’ve added another one at the end, being the wine lover that I am.  I hope you enjoy the 9 +1 reasons to go to San Diego.

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9 Epic Reasons to Visit San Diego in 2019

Visit San Diego

Visit San Diego

The nation’s 8th largest city, San Diego may be known for its great weather, beautiful beaches and laid-back residents, but this dynamic urban metropolis is hosting so many big sporting and cultural events in 2019 that visitors might forget all about its relaxed SoCal character and vibe.

From internationally competitive beach games and professional baseball to a top music festival and the world’s leading pop culture celebration, the following 9 events are certain to guarantee epic excitement for San Diego visitors in 2019.

  1. 250th Commemoration of San Diego
    During 2019, San Diego will commemorate its establishment as the first settlement of Alta California in 1769. The City of San Diego and Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce will mark the 250th commemoration with planned activities including monthly lectures, special events like a Founders’ Day Festival and other family-friendly activities held in Old Town San Diego. The first settlement of Alta California included Mission San Diego de Alcala and a neighboring presidio, originally built above the area now known as Old Town.
  2. San Diego Padres 50th Season 
    On March 28, the San Diego Padres step up to the plate for the Opening Game of their exciting 50th season against the San Francisco Giants, played in Petco Park in the heart of downtown. In addition to six months of baseball action, fans enjoy one of the nation’s top ballparks combining the best sight lines in baseball, magnificent architecture, a dazzling array of food and drink venues and breathtaking views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.
  3. Fallbrook Avocado Festival
    To San Diego residents, avocados are more than just a trendy topping on toast, and the annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival, held April 14, is a delectable example of the region’s love for the fashionable fruit. Since the 1960s, tens of thousands of avocado lovers have converged in Fallbrook, located in San Diego’s North County, to sample avocados, check-out the crazy cooking contest entries, buy funky avocado-themed gifts and enjoy bands, live entertainment and friendly beer gardens.
  4. Chicano Park Day
    Located underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge overpass in Barrio Logan and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017, Chicano Park is home to the world’s largest collection of Chicano murals. Held on April 20, Chicano Park Day is a free annual event celebrating the art and culture of San Diego’s Mexican/Chicano residents with traditional music, dance, a lowrider car show, vendor booths, kids’ arts workshops and more.
  5. San Diego Pride
    One of the West Coast’s largest Pride celebrations, San Diego Pride weekend, held July 13-15, features a colorful lineup of festivities including a headlining parade through Hillcrest and two-day festival in Balboa Park with exciting live musical performers like TLC and Kesha. San Diego Pride is the city’s largest civic event attracting more than 250,000 people annually. Additional events include the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Pride of Hillcrest Block Party, SheFest, annual Pride 5K Race and an exciting calendar of Pride parties and dances.
  6. 50th Anniversary of Comic-Con
    Others will come and go, but the original Comic-Con started and remains in San Diego. The largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, Comic-Con International attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture during July 18-21 to the San Diego Convention Center in downtown.
  7. KAABOO Del Mar
    Held Sept. 13-15 at the seaside Del Mar Fairgrounds, KAABOO Del Mar was created by music lovers for music lovers. KAABOO features seven stages and more than 100 musical acts, plus a dedicated comedy stage and food and beverages from local and celebrity chefs, craft breweries and local wineries. Past performers include the Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Billy Idol, Jewel, Blondie and Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a few.
  8. ANOC World Beach Games
    As the epicenter of beach, surf and extreme sports culture in Southern California, San Diego is proud to host the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games. Held Oct. 9-15 along scenic Mission Beach and Mission Bay, 2,000 top athletes and teams from around the world will compete in 17 sports disciplines ranging from beach soccer and beach volleyball to kiteboarding and waterskiing to bouldering and skateboarding.
  9. USA Ultimate National Championships
    Elevating frisbee playing to a whole different level of sport, the USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate frisbee competition in North America. Held Oct. 24-27 at the Surf Cup Sports Park in scenic Del Mar, 16 teams from across North America including Boston, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Austin and Vancouver B.C. compete to be crowned champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s.

+1 Take a short trip from San Diego to the Temecula Valley and sample their wines.   Try wines from Hart or Leoness and other
wineries.  I wrote an article about my visit to the Temecula Valley a few years ago.

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Taste the 2014 California Wine Release with BC Liquor Stores

If you like California wine, BC Liquor Stores will be releasing the 2014 vintage.  Info on the release and where you can taste the wines.  The BCLDB’s press release is below.

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California Wine Release – Pre-Tasting
BC Liquor Stores is proud to host a special preview tasting of the 2014 vintage of premium California Wines. Join Stephen Schiedel, BC Liquor Stores Category Manager for wines of North America, as he presents a selection of premium wines that encompasses names that are classic, from vineyards that are iconic and highly rated by wine experts.

Tickets are $40 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

The tasting will be on the following dates and times:

◦May 10th at the 39th & Cambie Signature BC Liquor Store (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
◦May 11th at the Park Royal Signature BC Liquor Store (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

Seats are limited so buy your tickets now!

Enjoy a taste of California sunshine as BC Liquor Stores releases the 2014 vintage of California premium wines! From the success of last year’s 2013 vintage release, BC Liquor Stores is proud to unveil the 2014 vintage on May 12, 2018 (Saturday) at 9:30 a.m.

This premium selection will be defined by many limited allocation products including large format sizes with bottle limits, which are highly-rated. To round out the cellar, there will be some wines whose price and availability will allow for case volume purchases.

A special treat – a handful of early 2015 small lot wines will also be available at this time only on release day. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to purchase these great wines.

WHERE TO BUY

Visit any of these three BC Liquor Store locations participating in the California 2014 Wine Release for the largest selection of wines:

◦160 39th & Cambie
◦Park Royal
◦Richmond Brighouse

A small selection of the wines will also be available at these BC Liquor Store locations:

Lower Mainland:

◦8th & Cambie, Vancouver
◦Alberni & Bute, Vancouver
◦Caulfield, West Vancouver
◦Dunbar, Vancouver
◦Langley
◦Westwood, Port Coquitlam
◦Peninsula Village, Surrey

Outside the Lower Mainland:

◦Fort Street, Victoria
◦Whistler Marketplace
◦Kamloops Columbia Place
◦Kelowna Orchard Park

To see our full list of 2014 California Wines, view our product list here. Please call a participating store to confirm availability prior to your visit as products may be in limited supply.

CARR VINEYARDS and WINERY Releases Marie’s Pinot 2013

Below is a press release I recently recieved to help support Breast Cancer research in the USA through sales of the Marie’s Pinot Noir, from Santa Barbara, California.  The wine can be purchased in the USA.  If you are a Canadian, and you want to purchase the wine, you could ship to a US postal office box, and then drive across the border to pick up your bottles of wine.

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Celebrate Mother’s Day &
Help support breast cancer research
 
Wine Available For Pre-Order Now Here: http://bit.ly/1Iab3LE
Marie's Pinot 2013

Marie’s Pinot 2013

April 29, 2015 – Santa Barbara, CA – Carr Vineyards & Winery has announced that they will be releasing a Marie Pinot 2013 this week! All proceeds from sales of the Pinot will help support breast cancer research. The wine, which will be released this Friday, May 1st, is available for pre-order now here:  http://bit.ly/1Iab3LE – just in time for Mother’s Day. The quantity of Marie’s Pinot Noir is limited to only 50 cases.

The idea to create this very special 2013 Pinot came from entertainment industry icon Budd Carr. Carr lost his mother to Breast Cancer when he was just 10 years old and has served on the Executive Committee of the City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group for over fifteen years. Budd’s son Ryan is the owner and winemaker of the Carr Winery and has been making award-winning wines in Santa Barbara California for the past 15 years and hand selected the finest Pinot Noir grapes from two of his Sta. Rita Hills vineyards to create a wine in memory of his grandmother he never met.
For more information, please visit  http://carrwinery.com.

About Carr Vineyards & Winery

Carr Vineyards & Winery is a small, handcrafted winery producing 4500 cases in downtown Santa Barbara. Owner & Winemaker, Ryan Carr established the winery, in 1999. All of the wines made by Carr are sourced from Santa Barbara County vineyards and are made in a traditional winemaking style to capture the essence of the grape varietal and region. The vast microclimates of Santa Barbara County allow the winery to produce several wines including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.

About Budd Carr

Budd Carr is one of the film industry’s top talents in the field of Film Music Supervision best known for his work with Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone. He has supervised over 80 films and worked with many renowned directors in addition to Stone including Michael Mann, James Cameron, Terry George, Norman Jewison, Mike Newell and Tate Taylor.
Budd began his professional career as a music agent with the national talent agencies, representing acts including The Cream, James Taylor, Carole King, Crosby-Stills-Nash and Young, and Eric Clapton. Launching his own management company in 1980 he handled the careers of multi-platinum acts Kansas, Captain & Tennille, Heatwave, Asia and Slaughter.

About Ryan Carr

Ryan Carr is the owner and winemaker and grower for Carr Vineyards & Winery. Growing up in Southern California, Ryan always had an interest in farming, but never expected he would end up in the wine industry. After graduating from the University of Arizona with an Art degree, Ryan moved to Santa Ynez Valley in California where he discovered the wine industry. With just a taste of some of the local wines he decided to pursue a career in viticulture. He began working in the fields pruning wines with one of the local vineyard management companies.
Once the harvest of 1998 arrived, Ryan had the opportunity to work at Central Coast Wine Services in Santa Maria where he got the chance to make wine with several different wineries. After learning the basics of making wine and working with so many great winemakers, Ryan decided he wanted to produce his first vintage. In 1999 Ryan made a Cabernet Sauvignon in his garage from grapes he helped to grow at a vineyard down the road. The vintage was whopping 10 cases and was given away to friends and family. To his surprise people loved the wine. After making such a great wine from grapes he had grown, Ryan felt that this was the only way it should be done. With this belief in mind, Ryan and his friend Andy Kahn (winemaker for the Kahn Winery) started a vineyard development company. With this partnership not only would Ryan be able to grow grapes, but he also became the assistant winemaker for the Kahn Winery. In trade for Ryan’s time in the winery he was given the opportunity to make his first commercial vintage. Over the years, Ryan honed his winemaking and grape growing skills. By 2004 the Carr Winery was making just over 1000 cases and had become nationally recognized.
By 2006 Ryan had helped build three wineries and planted over 200 acres of grapes in Santa Barbara County. Now he was finally working on a winery of his own. In the spring of 2007 Carr Winery opened its doors in Downtown Santa Barbara. The winery was one of only four full production wineries and tasting rooms in the downtown area. Since then the wines and the facility have received many accolades and awards and Ryan has continued to produce some of the finest wines in Santa Barbara County.

Wine Country Half Marathons in USA and Canada

If you are a long distance runner and live in either BC, Washington, Oregon, or California, there is a wine-related race for you.  Details below.  Enjoy!

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Destination Races

Destination Races (Image courtesy http://destinationraces.com/runbc/)

March 26, 2015 – Sonoma, Calif. – Destination Races, creator of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series, has partnered with game-changing brands across respected categories to expand its on-course and off-course consumer experience. Newton Running is back for the second year as the series Presenting Sponsor; Alaska Airlines has become the Presenting Sponsor of the Wine and Music Festival; Fitbit as the market leader in connected health and fitness, CamelBak hydration systems, GU Energy Labs athlete nutrition and SOLS’ custom 3D printed insoles are also new to the Series this year and will extend their partnerships to 2016 and 2017. Each sponsor will offer a unique and captivating experience to the Wine Country Half Marathon Series.

Destination Races has attracted a complementary and collaborative sponsor portfolio that will be instrumental to helping heighten the race weekend experience for all participants. The sponsor portfolio reflects the Destination Races brand mission: To deliver unforgettable race experiences celebrating why we run – capturing imaginations, encouraging camaraderie, inspiring courage and fueling passions.

Today’s race event landscape and half marathon calendars are booming, and consumers face a flood of race choices. As a result, sponsor brands are getting lost in the noise. According to Running USA, nearly two million people finished a half-marathon in the U.S. last year, an all-time high and a fourfold increase from 2000. Yet, there are few “destination” races that really capitalize on the local experience around the half marathon event while also creating several intimate opportunities for the racers to interact with the multiple supporting brands.

Sponsors are rethinking their strategies and seeking higher-quality events that offer more than just a start, finish and medal. Destination Races offers sponsors multiple intimate events, receptions and activities in which to interact with key active consumers. The seven wine country half marathons, spanning across prominent wine regions in North America, offer signature, hand-selected settings and tastefully planned schedules that can be experienced over an unforgettable three-day weekend. Destination Races offers the perfect race weekend for runners and food and wine enthusiasts alike, complete with scenic courses, post-race Wine and Music festivals, and exclusive access to renowned wineries, gourmet tastings and local personalities.

Each individual race within the series is set apart and unique to the local region. Destination Races works with the tourism boards and winery associations along with the wine makers themselves to offer the very best of the different wine regions. This also gives participants access to exclusive local hotels and B&Bs during the weekend, often at special rates.

“Destination Races offers a first-class, memorable lifestyle experience that is relatively unique to the endurance industry,” states Destination Races founder and President Matt Dockstader. “We feel it’s important to partner with brands that share our goals and have a passion not only for running, but also the high-touch, wine country experience. We are extremely excited to showcase all these fantastic brands and their creative activations in our series this year!”

Other noteworthy partners of Destination Races include Clif Bar, Kicking Horse Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Purity Organic Juices, Calistoga Olive Oil, RedFox Wireless Headphones, Krave Jerky, Hint Water, ElliptiGO, Zim’s Max-Freeze Muscle and Joint Pain Reliever, Enduropacks Nutrition System, Scharffen Berger Chocolates, Stance Socks, and Lagunitas Brewing

About Destination Races
Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California, is the pioneer producer of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. Founded in 2004, the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consists of seven races across prestigious wine regions in North America. Offering unforgettable experiences on and off the course, including the popular post-race wine and music festival, runners travel far and wide for these boutique destination races. The race series attracts elite runners as well as food and wine enthusiasts who share their common bond of running and celebration. The Wine Country Half Marathon Series has limited fields in each event to ensure the participants and their guests can enjoy all the race weekends have to offer, including exclusive winery tours, plus receptions and dinners featuring the local bounty at esteemed wineries and other unique venues.

Current races include – Santa Barbara, Northern Virginia, Napa-to-Sonoma, Oregon (Willamette Valley), Kelowna, B.C., Healdsburg, and Temecula Valley, California.

For more information on the event series and Destination Races, go to http://www.destinationraces.com, friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @winecountryhalf, and see exclusive race images on Instagram

Get Ready for the Arts Club Theatre Company’s California Wine Fair

Arts Club California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting

Arts Club California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting last year

This is always a fun event.  California brings us big ripe fruit flavours, both for red and white wines.  For those of you who keep thinking about heavy oak, that is a thing of the past.  Many California wine makers use oak more delicately, or have unoaked versions of their wine.  You may be thinking Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are the stars for California, but California Pinot Noir is quite nice too.  And if you want a fun, jammy red wine, try a Zinfandel.  Below is the info for the upcoming Art’s Club California Wine Fair.  Get your tickets before it sells out!

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Vancouver, B.C.—The Arts Club’s California Wine Fair returns this spring with two distinct events for wine devotees: the large-scale California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting and the intimate California Winemakers Dinner. These social and informative evenings are designed for guests to explore the abundant range of styles and varietals created across the Golden State by its prolific vintners. The fair is one of the company’s signature fundraisers, with proceeds benefitting the Arts Club’s community-based programs and youth education initiatives.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS + TICKETING INFORMATION:
 

  • Tuesday, April 22, 7–9:30 PM: California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting
    Vancouver Convention Centre East, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
    Tickets: $89
    To purchase: visit artsclub.com/events/california-wine-fair or call 604.687.1644 
  • Wednesday, April 23, 6–9 PM: California Winemakers Dinner
    West Restaurant, 2881 Granville Street, Vancouver
    Tickets: $195 (with a $85 tax receipt)
    To purchase: contact specialevents@artsclub.com or call 604.687.5315, ext. 279

This year’s tasting marks the 34th presentation in Vancouver of the cross-Canadian tour, organized by California Wines. Highly knowledgeable wine producers from 115 wineries will pour over 400 wines to demonstrate the depth of diversity in the region. Wine enthusiasts of all stripes can sample the best California wines, including labels not currently available in B.C., and connect with vintners for advice on selecting, serving, and storing wine. The evening also includes an extensive silent auction featuring luxury travel, entertainment and cultural packages, and exclusive wine lots.

West Restaurant will host the California Winemakers Dinner, which brings together the award-winning duo of Executive Chef Quang Dang and Restaurant/Wine Director Owen Knowlton. They will showcase pristine regional ingredients in an exquisite multi-course menu of contemporary cuisine. Premium wine pairings include vintages from Edna Valley Vineyard, Ghost Pines Vineyard, Louis M. Martini Winery, and MacMurray Ranch that represent the Central Coast, Napa Valley, and Sonoma wine regions. Wine producers will dine with guests and talk about the culture of winemaking and share insights on new trends and technological advances.

CONTACT

Zoe Quinn, Publicity Coordinator: 604.687.5315, ext. 334, or publicitycoordinator@artsclub.com

High-resolution images are available for download online: artsclub.com/media. The username is journalist and the password is photos4media.

ABOUT THE ARTS CLUB
The Arts Club Theatre Company, now celebrating its 50th season, is the largest not-for-profit organization of its kind in Western Canada. Led by Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd and Executive Director Howard R. Jang, it offers professional theatre at three venues—the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Revue Stage—as well as on tour throughout the province.

Website: artsclub.com
Blog: blog.artsclub.com
Facebook: facebook.com/theArtsClub
Twitter: @theArtsClub
Instagram: @theartsclub

California Wines

Having Fun California Cruisin’ at Vancouver International Wine Festival

When you hear the term “California Cruisin” what do you think?  If you are me, it would be the beach, surf boards, the Beach Boys, and in general having fun.  Having fun is what we did have at the California Cruisin’ event for the Vancouver International Wine Festival last night at Brix Restaurant & Bar in Yaletown.  This was a walk-about event, with wines being poured from at least 12 different California producers (mainly from Sonoma and Napa Valleys), and various nibbles being passed around, made by Brix.

On the white wine side, all were Chardonnay.  But don’t think big, fat, oaky Chardonnay.  These were all leaner, had a stone / tropical fruit, green pea flavour/aroma component, and a light touch of oak, if it was oaked.  Very refreshing.

The red wine side was a bit more varied with Cabernet Sauvignon, of course, but there were a few Pinot Noirs, and some Petite Sirah blends.  I’ve noticed in the past 2 years that more California Petite Sirah is being available here in BC.   If you haven’t tried Petite Sirah before you should give it a try.  It can be hard and tannic, needing aging, but the ones I tried last night were very inviting.  The grape can have flavours of black pepper, blackberries, blueberries, spice and licorice.  Two that I had at this event were the Michael David Winery Petite Petit, 2011, and the Concannon Vineyard Conservancy Crimson & Clover 2010.  They will likely be available for tasting at the Festival tasting room starting this Thursday evening.  Also a shout out to the “big” California winery, Robert Mondavi.  They were pouring a really nice Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2011, and a Napa Valley Pinot Noir, 2012.  And if you want a more serious red wine with some tannic structure try the Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.

Enjoy the food and wine pictures that I took during the event, and check out my twitter feed @mywinepal to watch my VINE video!

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2011

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2011

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012

LA Style Korean BBQ Beef Tacos

LA Style Korean BBQ Beef Tacos

Michael David Petite Petit 2011

Michael David Petite Petit 2011

Concannon Conservancy Crimson and Clover 2010

Concannon Conservancy Crimson and Clover 2010

Nine North Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Nine North Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Win 2 Tickets to Sonoma in the City Contest

Napa Valley in California is very famous.  Most people know about their big Cabernet Sauvignons. But it’s next door neighbour, Sonoma Valley may not be as familiar to you.  In my opinion it is not as flashy as Napa, but produces excellent quality wines.  On Feb 5 an evening tasting at the Terminal City Club will offer wine lovers the chance to taste wines from over 20 Sonoma County wineries. The event will benefit the BC Hospitality Foundation’s fundraising efforts. Give Sonoma a try!  Details about purchasing tickets are below, but you also have a chance to win 2 tickets from MyWinePal.  In order to get an entry you can:

  1. Tweet “I want to win 2 tickets to Sonoma in the City tasting on Feb 5 from @MyWinePal. #sonomawine in support of @BCHospitality”
  2. Post a comment below, naming a winery that is located in Sonoma County.

The contest will close on January 30.  You will be contacted by MyWinePal if you are the winner.  If you are not the winner, you can still buy a ticket and use my promo code below for a $10 discount.

Sonoma in the City

Where, When, How Much?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

6:30 – 9:00 pm

Terminal City Club, 837 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tickets $55; available here: https://www.eply.com/sonomainthecity

$10 discount with promotional code SCV14 makes them a great deal at $45

If you would like to learn a bit more about Sonoma County wines, please click on this link to a past article I published on Sonoma wines.

My Quick Winery Picks for Vancouver International Wine Fest

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2013When you step foot inside the Festival Tasting room, time is ticking. There are 1850 wines to taste. Let me give you some suggestions for the theme region, California, and for the rest of the world.  No time in this article to give you any details, but these are wineries I have tried in the past, or I am interested in tasting.  I will visit each of these tables, among other tables.  To find these wineries, when you arrive, your Festival Tasting Room program, p.23, has a map showing the layout of the tables.

California Wineries to Visit

  • Blackbird Vineyards
  • Chateau St. Jean
  • Clos du Val
  • Duckhorn Wine Company
  • Gloria Ferrer
  • Girard Winery
  • Heitz Cellar
  • Joseph Phelps Winery
  • Louis M Martini
  • MacRostie Vineyards
  • Marimar Estate
  • Ridge Vineyards
  • Schug Carneros Estate Winery
  • Silver Oak Cellars
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

The Rest of the World Wineries to Visit

  • Bodega Catena Zapata Winery, Argentina
  • Las Perdices, Argentina
  • Chapel Hill, Australia
  • Josef Chromy, Australia
  • Tyrrell’s Wines, Australia
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars, BC
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery, BC
  • Meyer Family Vineyards, BC
  • Nk’Mip Cellars, BC
  • Painted Rock Estate Winery, BC
  • Poplar Grove Winery, BC
  • Sandhill, BC
  • Stoneboat Vineyards, BC
  • Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, BC
  • Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery, BC
  • Concha y Toro, Chile
  • Vina Koyle Family Vineyards, Chile
  • Vina Undurraga, Chile
  • Baron Philippe de Rotschild, France
  • Brumont Vineyards, France
  • Dourthe & Thienot, France
  • Chateau de la Gardine, France
  • Georges Duboeuf, France
  • Famille Perrin, France
  • Champagne Pol Roger, France
  • Estates of Antinori, Italy
  • Barone Ricasoli, Italy
  • Fontodi, Italy
  • Akarua, New Zealand
  • Giesen Wines, New Zealand
  • Whitehaven Winery, New Zealand
  • Jose Maria da Fonseca, Portugal
  • Ramos Pinto, Portugal
  • Taylor Fladgate/Fonseca/Croft Port, Portugal
  • Boekenhoustskloof Winery, South Africa
  • Glen Carlou, South Africa
  • IberWine, Spain
  • Miguel Torres, Spain
  • Nathalie Bonhomme, Spain
  • King Estate, Oregon
  • Long Shadows, Washington

I know, its a long list, but worthwhile if you have the time.  Enjoy the Festival!

Back to Back Sonoma County Wine Events Next Week

Ferrari Carano Sonoma County Fume Blanc 2010

Ferrari Carano Sonoma County Fume Blanc 2010

Napa Valley in California is very famous.  Most people know about their big Cabernet Sauvignons. But it’s next door neighbour, Sonoma Valley may not be as familiar to you.  In my opinion it is not as flashy as Napa, but produces excellent quality wines.  Next week you can have a few opportunities to try some of the wines from Sonoma, and at the same time helping the Arts Umbrella.  Below is the announcement about the events next week and where you can buy tickets to their events.  Give Sonoma a try!

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November 7, 2012 (Vancouver, BC) – Next week, Vancouverites will have two days to sip and savour the extraordinary wines of Sonoma County in either a ballroom setting or at an intimate winemakers dinner, all to benefit Arts Umbrella.   Back by popular demand, both events will welcome the County’s premier wineries as they come north to promote signature Sonoma wines at these back to back events.

Sonoma Winemakers Dinners

Rodney Strong winery

Rodney Strong winery

On Tuesday, November 13, foodies or oenophiles can first enjoy an intimate dinner in a truly unique setting – participating in simultaneous dinners at Brix Restaurant at Lounge, hosted by Mike & Tara of the Mike and Tara in the Morning show on QM/FM.  Upon arrival, all guests will be welcomed at a reception in funky George Ultra Lounge, then move upstairs to the dinner of their choice in either the garden courtyard setting or the elegant dinner room.  Four esteemed Sonoma County wineries will participate in each dinner, paired with a decadent four-course menu.  Guests will be treated to a compelling musical performance by the inspiring students of Arts Umbrella’s Pre-Professional Theatre Program.  Tickets are $150 each.  Very limited tickets still available. Participating wineries include:

  • Davis Bynum
  • Dry Creek Vineyard
  • Dutcher Crossing Winery
  • Foppiano Vineyards
  • J Vineyards & Winery
  • Kunde Family Estate
  • Laurel Glen Vineyard
  • Rodney Strong
    (My personal motto for this winery is “You can’t go wrong with Rodney Strong”. You can depend on all their wines IMHO.)
  • Siduri Wines

A Taste of Sonoma

If you recover from the night before, you can also enjoy the full bounty of Sonoma wines along with 300 other guests at the elegant Sutton Place Hotel on Wednesday, November 14.  Hosted by CTV News Anchor, Coleen Christie, over 20 wineries will participate, offering guests a chance to meet the vintners, find their new favourite wine and bid on auction packages, all to support Arts Umbrella.   Tickets are $65 each.  Participating wineries include:

  • Benovia Winery
  • Davis Bynum
  • Dry Creek Vineyard
  • Dutcher Crossing Winery
  • Ehret Family Winery
  • Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery (if you ever travel to Sonoma, you must visit this winery.  Beautiful!)
  • Folie a Deux Winery
  • Foppiano Vineyards
  • J Vineyards & Winery
  • Kendall-Jackson
  • Kosta Browne Winery
  • Kunde Family Estate
  • Laurel Glen Vineyard
  • MacRostie Winery and Vineyards (Try their Chardonnay.)
  • Pedroncelli Winery
  • Pezzi King Vineyards
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards
  • Schug Carneros Estate Winery (Try their Pinot Noir.)
  • Seghesio Family Vineyards
  • Siduri Wines / Novy Family Winery

To reserve your tickets to either event, visit www.artsumbrella.com/wine

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TWO Sonoma Winemakers’ Dinners

Tuesday, November 12, 2012
Brix Restaurant & Lounge (courtyard & restaurant)

$150 a ticket

A Taste of Sonoma

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Sutton Place Hotel

$65 a ticket

About Sonoma County Vintners:

Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 175 wineries of all sizes throughout the county.

Learn more about SCV at www.SonomaWine.com.

About Arts Umbrella:

Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to bringing the best in arts education to as many children as possible. Programs in visual and performing arts for children and youth ages 2-19 are delivered free-of-charge to thousands of kids every year. Arts Umbrella is committed to delivering the highest quality arts education experience to young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. Two new locations in Surrey dramatically increase Arts Umbrella’s ability to deliver arts education to children and youth in need.

For more information about Arts Umbrella visit www.artsumbrella.com

Advance Tickets to Vancouver International Wine Festival Now on Sale

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2013This is Vancouver’s big wine tasting event of the year.  I think we all look forward to it.  It is more than just the Festival Tasting room, there are wine maker dinners and seminars too. The tickets are now available at reduced prices for the International Festival Tasting, Gold Pass and Discover California Pack. Below is the official announcement from the Festival.  Get in on this great deal before the passes sell out.  California is the Theme Country this year!

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November 1, 2012, Vancouver, BC – In time for the holiday gift giving season, the Vancouver International Wine Festival has released select tickets and packages to the 2013 festival. Wine aficionados will have the opportunity to purchase discounted Festival packages and International Festival Tasting tickets in advance of the official ticket release date on January 8, 2013.

2013 will be a very special year for the festival. In addition to being the 35th year of what is now one of North America’s largest wine festivals, this edition also marks the first fundraising year for new charitable partner Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

California winesThe advance ticket release offers the opportunity to secure access to the wildly popular International Festival Tastings. A unique chance to sip rare bottles and discover new treasures in the company of renowned winery principals, the 2013 Tasting Room will feature 176 wineries, with 63 of these from the Theme Region of California. Advance tickets will also be available to two of the California Theme Region events as part of the Discover California Pack. “On behalf of California Wines, we are thrilled to be the Theme Region of this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival,” says Rick Slomka, Canadian Director for California Wines. “California wines have increasingly become a preferred lifestyle choice for British Columbians and we take tremendous pride in being part of this vibrant and diverse community. We look forward to a week of fabulous events hosted by many of our premium wineries and exciting vintner personalities.”

For those looking to amplify their wine festival experience, the advance ticket release also offers guests a chance to enjoy VIP treatment with a reduced-price Gold Pass. Gold Pass holders will have exclusive access to the Gold Pass Tasting Lounge, which will offer an assortment of the festival’s premium bottles, delicious appetizers and sommeliers on hand to guide guests through wines from around the world.

Of the advance tickets that will be released, the Gold Passes and Discover California Packs are sure to be the most popular. As well, 1000 advance tickets to the International Festival Tasting Room will also be available. The 2013 festival is expected to entertain and educate over 25,000 thirsty wine enthusiasts and will feature 176 participating wineries from 15 countries pouring 30,000 bottles of wine over 55 events in 7 days.

Tickets for International Festival Tastings and other advance tickets events will be available online at vanwinefest.ca or by phoning 604-873-3311 or toll free at 1-877-321-3121 or in person at the VanWineFest Box Office (305 – 456 West Broadway, Vancouver).

AVAILABLE ADVANCE TICKETS:

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL TASTINGS
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre West

This year’s International Festival Tasting Room will showcase the best wines from around the world with all 176 participating wineries in one room. Centre stage will be the remarkable winemakers from the 2013 Theme Region of California and a wide range of this year’s Global Focus, Chardonnay. Once again, this year’s International Festival Tasting Room will be organized by country, allowing oenophiles easy access to wines of the world.

Advance ticket price    $85 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
Regular ticket price    $95 (includes HST and ticket service charges)

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2013 IFT
The Chardonnay Tasting Station will engage connoisseurs and the curious alike with a range of Chardonnays from around the world, poured by experts from the International Sommelier Guild. Regional Tasting Stations will take visitors through a series of sommelier-assisted wine flights highlighting the unique regional terroirs of British Columbia, New Zealand, and South Africa, as well as a California Tasting Station, featuring wines from Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Also included in the price of each ticket is the opportunity to shop at the on-site BC Liquor Store where wines from presenting wineries will be available for purchase – a unique and rare opportunity! The BC Liquor Distribution Branch will also help everybody Get Home Safe by providing a complimentary transit ticket to patrons as they leave the Tasting Room.

GOLD PASS
Enjoy VIP treatment with the Festival Gold Pass, which offers incredible access to the festival. Sample an assortment of premium bottles with the helpful guidance of sommeliers, and enjoy some early light bites before hitting the tasting floor. This pass includes three evenings in the International Festival Tasting Room (with priority access), two afternoons at the Trade Tasting sessions where you’ll rub elbows with Vancouver’s top sommeliers and restaurant owners, admission to the exclusive Curtain Raiser VIP reception on February 28, and Friday and Saturday entry to the exclusive Gold Pass Tasting Lounge which opens at 5:30 pm (well before the IFT).

Advance pass price     $445 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
Regular pass price      $475 (includes HST and ticket service charges)

DISCOVER CALIFORNIA PACK
Enjoy an afternoon and two evenings of celebrations with the Discover California Pack: the ultimate sipping experience that will take you from two of Yaletown’s vino hotspots – Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar and George Ultra Lounge – to a ballroom in the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Cap your California experience off with a tour through the International Festival Tasting Room on your choice of Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Package includes:

California Cruisin’
Wine Mingler in Yaletown
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
8:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Brix Restaurant and George Ultra Lounge
(Available individually for $59 including HST and ticket service charges)

Savour California Flavour
Saturday Lunch in the Theme Region section of the Tasting Room
Saturday, March 2, 2013
12:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre West
(Available individually for $99 including HST and ticket service charges)

International Festival Tastings
Also included in the price of the Discover California Pack is an evening session at either the Thursday, Friday or Saturday International Festival Tasting.

Advance pack price $233 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
Save $20 on the total ticket value, only available during advance ticket sales

ABOUT THE VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL
Canada’s premier wine show will run from February 25 to March 3, 2013. The festival features 176 participating wineries over a week that sees 55 special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Vancouver International Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society.

In 2013 VanWineFest will mark its 35th anniversary of pairing wine, food and the performing arts, with a Theme Region of California Wines and a Global Focus of Chardonnay. Tickets to all public events will be on sale January 8, 2013.

To view this year’s participating wineries visit vanwinefest.ca/page412.htm
For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to vanwinefest.ca