One of the great things about the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is that you can meet winery principals either at a wine maker dinner, a seminar, or at their winery’s table at the International Festival Tasting room. In case you don’t know who will be attending the Festival this year, here is some background on a few of the vino-pioneers provided by the Festival. As Chile is the theme country, we have many Chilean wine makers for you to meet.
EDUARDO CHADWICK, PRESIDENT, VIÑA ERRÁZURIZ
Chilean wine pioneer and president and owner of Viña Errázuriz in Chile’s Aconcagua region, Eduardo Chadwick was inspired by some of the world’s top wine regions on his quest to produce greater expressions of Chile’s terroir. In July 2005, Decanter magazine recognized Eduardo among the 50 most influential personalities of the wine industry and Viña Errázuriz was described as the quality benchmark from Chile. Eduardo is now the sixth generation to own and run Viña Errázuriz. One of Chadwick’s most historic moments took place in Berlin, January 2004. As part of a blind tasting of first growth wines from French and Italian classic appellations with the best of Errázuriz wines, Eduardo presented his 2000 and 2001 icon wines Viñedo Chadwick, Seña and Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve. The three wines eclipsed famous houses such as Château Lafite, Château Margaux, Château Latour and Italian cult wines Tignanello, Sassicaia, Solaia and Guado al Tasso. Viñedo Chadwick 2000 and Seña 2001 were placed first and second respectively in what Jancis Robinson recognized as a milestone for the Chilean wine industry, now known as the “Berlin Tasting”.
Meet Eduardo at “Chadwick’s Iconic Quest”, Thursday, March 1st, 2012 http://bit.ly/z15lyU
and at “The Next Star Grape: Syrah”, Friday, March 2nd, 2012 http://bit.ly/wIqVQx
ALVARO ESPINOZA, WINEMAKER, EMILIANA VINEYARDS
Alvaro is a true pioneer and one of Chile’s most widely recognized winemakers. He apprenticed with the Fetzer winemaking family (Fetzer and Bonterra labels) in Mendocino County, the largest organic grape grower in California. Alvaro believes that growing grapes in a natural way produces higher quality fruit and thus better wine. With no unnatural intervention, he says, the Emiliana organic wines labeled “Natura,” respect the conditions of the soils and reflect the terroir where they are grown.
CHUCK WAGNER, OWNER AND WINEMAKER, CAYMUS VINEYARDS
At the 2007 Wine Experience hosted by Wine Spectator magazine, Chuck received the Distinguished Service Award given to individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the wine industry. Luminaries such as Robert Mondavi, Angelo Gaja, Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, Bob Trinchero, Piero Antinori, and Philippine de Rothschild have also received this honor. In 2006, Wine Spectator magazine rated Caymus Vineyards Special Selection as the Napa Valley’s best Cabernet Sauvignon – having the highest average score of 94.6 since the 1990 vintage. Chuck and his late father, Charlie, shaped the reputation of Caymus by always keeping the focus on quality – in both the vineyard and winery. Caymus continues to be a hands-on, family-owned and operated winery situated in the heart of the Napa Valley.
Meet Chuck at “Caymus Vertical Tasting”, Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 http://bit.ly/xBVeVy
NATHALIE BONHOMME, PROPRIETOR/WINEMAKER, LES VINS BONHOMME
Nathalie Bonhomme brings to the festival a vast knowledge of Spanish wines from the perspective of an ex-pat Canadian. Under the kind tutoring of winemakers Rafael Cambra in Valencia and Miguel Gil in Jumilla she has begun making her own wine. Her “El Bonhomme” is on the Quebec and British Columbia markets and “El Petit Bonhomme” in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and, soon to be, Ontario. Nathalie lives in Alfaz de Pi, situated on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, with her husband and youngest daughter.
Meet Nathalie at the International Festival Tasting on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, March 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2012 http://bit.ly/vy4y16
and at “Diva(s) at the Met”, Wednesday, February 29th, 2012. http://bit.ly/wMjVUB
ANDRÉS ILABACA, WINEMAKER, SANTA RITA
Since 1996 Andrés has held the position of one of two chief winemakers at Santa Rita. Andrés prefers wines that are succulent and complex with ripe fruit flavours and a mineral complexity. During his tenure, Santa Rita has developed their own proprietary canopy management program to reflect the region’s unique weather and soils. His Santa Rita Pehuén 2007 was recently awarded 91 points in the 2011 Wine Spectator awards.
Meet Andrés at “Celebrate Casa Real”, Friday, March 2nd, 2012. http://bit.ly/zA954f
ANNETTE BERGEVIN, OWNER/PROPRIETOR, BERGEVIN LANE
A fifth-generation Walla Walla native, co-founding Bergevin Lane Vineyards in 2002 was the fulfillment of a long-time dream for Annette, one that started with her father. The Bergevin Lane vision is to create wines with elegance and style that reflect the unique terroir attributes of Washington State and maintain the integrity of each varietal characteristic. It’s an ambitious goal that has been consistently rewarded with high scores, critical praise, and a passionate growing group of wine club members.
Meet Annette at “Diva(s) at the Met”, Wednesday, February 29th, 2012. Learn more: http://bit.ly/wMjVUB