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Introduction: 2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival

Last week I attended the 35th Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) in Vancouver, British Columbia. With 175 participating wineries from 15 countries, I was invited to attend as a representative of my New Zealand wine blog Kiwi Daydreaming.

Grant Bellvé, export manager for Tyrrell's Wines in Australia's Hunter Valley.
The reveal at the Blind Tasting Challenge. A lovely Syrah.

The VIWF is a fundraiser for the “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival. Bard on the Beach is one of Canada's largest not for profit professional Shakespeare Festival. In addition, many other activities are offered; opera concerts, workshops, lectures and forums. A wonderful venue for locals and tourists. Make your plans now. The 2013 season is June 12 – September 14, 2013. Tickets go on sale starting April 8.

Discover California Wine.

Each year the VIWF has a theme, this years regional theme was California wine, with a global focus on Chardonnay. California wines were strongly represented. It was a pleasure to see that principles from most wineries were in attendance all week long, at the International tastings and at many of the workshops and seminars. This was my first time attending this week long venue.

Vancouver Convention Centre West in background on the waterfront.

I arrived on a drizzly Monday afternoon and left Vancouver on the sunniest day of the week. Vancouver looked glorious. It was a wonderful week replete with wine, walking, food, conversations and new friendships. The 360 mile drive to Vancouver was worth the time and the gas.

I was impressed. Please, put me on the list for next year.

New Zealand Wine - at the International Festival Tasting.

There will be specific New Zealand winery details posted to my other blog “Kiwi Daydreaming” - the night I spent three hours visiting New Zealand wines at the International tasting and the Saturday where I spent two hours at the New Zealand wine and food pairing – OMG – what a stellar venue.

Over the next week, I will re-cap my time spent in Vancouver. This will include specifics of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, places I visited, where I ate, the people I met, tips for visitors, as well as interviews with Vancouver locals. During the week of the VIWF tweeters used #VanWineFest to share comments and make connections. You can backtrack some of our dialogue by looking up that hashtag.

Cheers to the City of Vancouver, the International Wine Festival and everyone who made this fantatic event such a success. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you...stay tuned.

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