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!


Highland Park Single Malts Part II – Get Your Tickets

Do you like Scotch Whisky?  Have you ever tried Highland Park?  Why not attend this tasting of Highland Park whiskies at Liberty Wines in North Vancouver?

About Scotch Whisky

To be called Scotch Whisky, the whisky must fulfill three criteria, which are:

  1. to be distilled and matured in Scotland
  2. to be matured for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks
  3. to be bottled at a minimum strength of 40% ABV (alcohol by volume).

There are two main types:  Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Blended Scotch whisky.  For many Scotch Whisky drinkers, a single malt is their preference.  The characteristics of a Single Malt Scotch Whisky is that it is:

  •   Made from 100% malted barley
  •   The product of a single distillery

Highland Park whiskies

HIGHLAND PARK produces single malt Scotch Whisky and has won many awards. In 2009, Highland Park’s 18-year-old single malt Scotch whisky has been crowned ‘best spirit in the world’ for the second consecutive time by leading US independent whisky expert Paul Pacult in the Spirit Journal’s Top 115 Spirits in the World.

Did I whet your appetite?  Enjoy a great selection of single malts from one of the most famous distilleries in Scotland.  Six exceptional single malts to taste & discover.  Presented By Dan Volway, Highland Park Brand Ambassador for Western Canada.

Where and When is the Event?

Monday September 10, 2012 7:00-9:00pm
Liberty Wines Point Grey Store
4583 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC  V6R 2J2

For Reservations Contact Igal at:  (604) 224-8050  or

Admission: $75

Admission price also includes:
A Highland Park Welcome Cocktail & a Selection of Fine cheeses & baguette.

Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest – Wineries to Try

It is 1 week till the International Festival Tasting Room opens at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and we will get to try wines from all over the world. But which wineries? Here are a few wineries that I think you should try.


  • De Martino
  • Miguel Torres (also Spain)
  • Viña Montes
  • MontGras
  • Viña Santa Rita
  • Seña / Viña Arboleda
  • Concha y Toro

The Rest of the World

  • Bodega Catena Zapata (Argentina)
  • Decero (Argentina)
  • Las Perdices (Argentina)
  • Katnook (Australia)
  • Penfolds (Australia)
  • Yalumba (Australia)
  • Le Vieux Pin / La Stella (Canada)
  • Mission Hill Family Estate (Canada)
  • Osoyoos Larose  (Canada)
  • Painted Rock Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Thornhaven Estate (Canada)
  • M. Chapoutier (France)
  • Maison Louis Latour (France)
  • Pfaffenheim (France)
  • Estates of Antinori (Italy)
  • Bisol Desiderio & Figli (Italy)
  • Astrolabe (New Zealand)
  • Wither Hills (New Zealand)
  • Quinta do Crasto (Portugal)
  • Symington Family Estates (Portugal)
  • Taylor Fladgate / Fonseca / Croft Port (Portugal)
  • Lammershoek Winery (South Africa)
  • Bodegas Muga (Spain)
  • Bodegas Olivares (Spain)
  • Caymus Winery (USA)
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (USA)
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards (USA)
  • King Estate (USA)
  • Bergevin Lane (USA)
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle (USA)

There are of course many other wineries to try at the Wine Festival, so if you see something that interests you TRY IT.  Some of the wines at the Festival are brought in ONLY for the Festival, so if you like it, buy it in the wine shop at the back of the tasting room before it sells out.  The complete list of wineries at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival is here.

Helping to Choose Your Wedding Wines

Your wedding is coming up. So many details to plan for. But for many, knowing which wines to pick, can be daunting. One way to help relieve this pressure is to have a wine tasting in your home with someone knowledgeable about wine, like me!

Whether you contact me or someone else, look for someone that has WSET (Wine Spirit Education Trust) or ISG (International Sommelier Guild) certification. Tell him/her what food you will be serving, as this is an important factor. Also tell them what style of wine you like. Do you like big red wines, soft wines, wines with lots of citrus flavour, Okanagan wines, etc.?

Your wine guide for the evening should pick 4 or 5 white and 4 or 5 red wines for tasting. It would help if you could have similar food to nibble on at the same time, as you would have at your wedding.  Having someone with a wine background can help, especially if you want something quite specific.  For example, if you love Pinot Noir wine, the person arranging your wine selection, should ask you about some Pinots that you have enjoyed in the past, and use that information to maybe select some wines from Burgundy, Oregon, California, and New Zealand, which all produce very nice Pinot Noir wines, and have different styles.  Even within one country, there can be different styles of Pinot Noir produced (e.g. Try a Pinot Noir from Marlborough and then one from Central Otago in New Zealand).

I would love to help make your wedding spectacular.  I do offer custom wine tastings, so please give me a try if you are in the Vancouver area.  Here is a link to my Private Wine Tasting page. Otherwise if you are elsewhere in the world, try searching online for WSET  or ISG courses and talk to an instructor, or go to a private wine shop and ask there.  Have a great wedding!

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