MyWinePal At The 31st Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

The 31st Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival has now come and gone. I attended the “Get Uncorked” kick off to the Festival, went to a Burgundy tasting (pinot noir, chardonnay and gamay), a Pinot tasting (all types of pinot both red and white), a Vinho Verde (Portuguese wine) tasting, plus tasted wines in the big tasting room three times. I have quite a compendium of wine notes to now put together and share on MyWinePal.

Some statistcs for you about this year’s festival:
– 1700 wines to taste
– 163 wineries attending
– 15 countries represented
– 61 tasting events
– 25,000 attendees

BC was the theme region this year and did not disappoint. I was able to try a wide range of red and white wines from the Okanagan and from Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands. One thing of interest is that this is the first year that the BC region has been the theme region of the festival. When the festival first began, BC wines were not very good, and it could be argued not a good showcase to the world, but now with many medalling wines from festivals around the world, BC wineries can be proud of their achievements.

The Okanagan is being recognized for a very good region for growing pinot gris and pinot noir, which are cooler climate grapes. That being said, there are warmer microclimates within the Okanagan, so you are able to grow and mature grapes such as malbec, petit verdot and syrah.

Some of the BC winery tables I visited and wines I really enjoyed are:
– Burrowing Owl,
– Cedar Creek,
– Garry Oaks,
– Hillside Estate,
– Thornhaven Estates,
– La Frenz Winery,
– Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery,
– Osoyoos Larose,
– Sandhill,
– Tantalus Vineyards.

I am sure there are many other worthy wineries that I have omitted, but it is in part because there were too many wines to try.

If you go to the MyWinePal blog, you can get some quick reviews of the BC and international wines that I tasted. Full tasting notes are coming. I will be posting more on the main page too.

I enjoyed speaking with the winemakers from Osoyoos LaRose, Mr.Pascal Madevon and with Mr. Howard Soon from Sandhill. Mr. Madevon, originally born in Paris, and trained at the University of Bordeaux, became winemaker and vineyard manager of Osoyoos LaRose in 2002. In speaking with Mr. Madevon we discussed how their Le Grand Vin have changed over time, which in part Mr. Madevon feels due to the age of the vineyards, with older vines producing more characterful fruit. Mr. Soon from Sandhill, a long-time winemaker in the Okanagan was very happy to discuss the vinification methods of the grapes for his different wines.

I would like to finish off this brief introduction to the wine festival with a few audio interviews I did with Garry Oaks, Tantalus, and Hillside Estates.

Interview with Marcel Mercier from Garry Oaks.
MyWinePal Garry Oaks Winery 2009 interview
Listen to the interview (4.55 MB)
Interview with Jane Hatch from Tantalus.
MyWinePal Tantalus Vineyards 2009 interview
Listen to the interview (2.2 MB)
Interview with Bill Carpenter from Hillside Estates

MyWinePal Hillside Estate Winery 2009 interview Listen to the interview (3.9 MB)

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Some people prefer red wines. Some only like Cabernet Sauvignon. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I met many great wine makers. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

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