VanWineFest Welcomes Vine Stars From Around The Wine World And Keynote Speaker Andrew Jefford

French logo with VanWineFest logo 2020One of the coolest things about VanWineFest is that each winery represented at the Festival has to bring a winery principal, who could be the owner or a family member, or their winemaker.  When you ask them to pour you a glass of their wine at the Festival tasting room, you can ask them about that wine:  How was it made?  What do you recommend to pair with it?  Can this wine age? What is the meaning of the graphic on the label?

I am also very excited to meet the keynote speaker for the Festival, Mr. Andrew Jefford, who is a fantastic wine writer and lives in France, so he can give us a unique perspective on French wines.

Below is an announcement from the Vancouver International Wine Festival listing who are some of the winery principals coming to the Festival, and where you can find them and maybe even have a brief chat.  Enjoy!


Andrew Jefford (Image courtesy VanWineFest 2020)
Andrew Jefford (Image courtesy VanWineFest 2020)

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is pleased to welcome acclaimed wine writer Andrew Jefford as the keynote speaker for the 2020 festival. Jefford will moderate and speak at a number of public and trade-only events over the festival week, which takes place February 22-March 1, at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues in Metro Vancouver.

Since becoming a wine writer in 1988, Andrew Jefford has written for many British newspapers; he is today contributing editor and a regular columnist for both Decanter and The World of Fine Wine. He has written 12 books and guides and won 8 Roederer Awards and 8 Glenfiddich Awards for his journalism. Andrew and his family live near Montpellier in France. Jefford’s talk at the Trade Days Conference’s Keynote Speaker Lunch on Wednesday, February 26 will be French Lessons in a Warming World. On Thursday, February 27, he will co-moderate, along with 2019 keynote speaker Jon Bonné, the trade opening plenary, Vin Tour de France. Andrew will also moderate the public wine seminar, French Terroir Talk.

As well, vine stars from the 162 participating wineries are travelling to Vancouver to present their wines at the 42nd annual festival. They’ll participate in educational seminars, team up with Vancouver’s best restaurants for exclusive dinners and sample a selection of their wines at International Festival Tastings and Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld, in the Tasting Room at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year the featured country is France. For details on the 57 festival events, check out the interactive Festival at a Glance, updated regularly with ticket sales status.

“Each year we welcome top winery principals to our festival, and in 2020 we have an esteemed line-up of owners, winemakers, and other top executives from our featured country, France, as well as from wineries from 14 other countries,” says Harry Hertscheg, VIWF executive director. “Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to meet the people directly responsible for the wines they are tasting at seminars, dinners, lunches and, of course, in the Tasting Room.” Winery principals are identified by a royal blue lanyard at events.


All 42 participating wineries from France will have a principal in attendance in the theme country section of the Tasting Room, at the Principals Welcome Lunch, presented by Hillebrand, on Thursday, February 27, and at a spectacular lunch on Saturday, February 29, Bon Appétit. France’s vine stars at the festival include:

Vanessa Aubert, Owner, Aubert Vignobles

Vanessa Aubert is part of the eighth generation to helm Aubert Vignobles, with her cousins Héloïse and Yohan and their fathers, Daniel, Alain, and Jean-Claude. She has degrees from the University of Bordeaux in enology and commercial management and trained in Japan. Meet Vanessa at: 17th Annual Awards Lunch; French Terroir Talk.

Gérard Bertrand, Owner, Gérard Bertrand

Gérard Bertrand in the estate of Cigalus – Photo credit Marie Orsmières
Gérard Bertrand in the estate of Cigalus – Photo credit Marie Orsmières

Gérard Bertrand owns or manages 13 estates in the Languedoc Roussillon region and is dedicated to revealing the full potential of Languedoc wine. In 2013, he was awarded the title of Red Winemaker of the Year 2012 in the International Wine Challenge. Meet Gérard at: L’Art de Vivre de Languedoc; Languedoc with Gérard Bertrand.

Frédéric Chaudière, Proprietor / Family Member, Château Pesquié

Frédéric Chaudière and his brother Alexandre are the third generation of their family to own Château Pesquié, taking over management of the domain from their parents in 2003. They have introduced organic and biodynamic viticultural methods at the estate, taking it to the next level. Meet Frédéric at: Ventoux Tour de Feast; 17th Annual Awards Lunch.

Jean-Luc Colombo, Owner & Winemaker, Jean-Luc Colombo

Jean-Luc Colombo acquired his first vineyard in Cornas in 1986. He and his wife created the “Centre Oenologique des Côtes du Rhône,” and he has been a consulting winemaker for some of the best domaines in the Rhône Valley, Provence and Bordeaux for more than 25 years. Meet Jean-Luc at: Jean-Luc Colombo in Provence; Wine 101: Explore Your Senses; French Terroir Talk; The Global Cru.

Joseph Drouhin family
Joseph Drouhin family

Laurent Drouhin, Global Export Director / Family Member, Maison Joseph Drouhin

Laurent Drouhin joined the family winery in 1993 and became sales manager for the French capital, directing a team calling on restaurants, retailers and individual collectors. In addition to his current role as export director, he is involved with communications and public relations activities. Meet Laurent at: Ça, c’est cool; Vin Tour de France; The Family Spirit; Blind Tasting Journey: France; French Terroir Talk.

Fabrice Dubosc, Chief Winemaker, Vignobles Alain Brumont

Fabrice Dubosc has experience in leading regions in France, including vinifications at Château Montus, Château Margaux, and two years in Côte-Rotie with Guigal. He created the first high-end Gascony red (Domaine de Chiroulet) and in 2001 was appointed winemaker/oenologist at Château Montus and Château Bouscassé. Meet Fabrice at: The King of Madiran; Blind Tasting Journey: France.

Julien Dugas, Winemaker, Domaine Boutinot

Julien Dugas’s career as a winemaker in the south of France has taken him to key villages and Crus of the Southern Rhône, including Rasteau, Gigondas, Séguret, Ventoux, Costière de Nimes, Vacqueyras and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (at Domaine le Vieux Télégraphe), as well as further afield in South Africa. Meet Julien at: Natural Wine, WTF?; 17th Annual Awards Lunch; French Terroir Talk.

Bernard Duseigneur
Bernard Duseigneur

Bernard Duseigneur, Owner / Winemaker, Domaine Duseigneur

Bernard Duseigneur is the fifth-generation winemaker in his family, joining the family estate in 2002 after a career as an investment banker. Bernard also joined the Biodyvin group the same year and obtained the biodynamic certification in 2004. Meet Bernard at: Vin Tour de France; Natural Wine, WTF?; Grapes Unknown.

Manon Flores, Brand Ambassador, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf

Originally from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Manon started working in the wine industry in Australia in Champagne imports and events. While finishing her studies in International Wine Business, she worked in Vietnam for a wine importer and now represents Georges Duboeuf. Meet Manon at: Ça, c’est cool; Festival Toast; Blind Tasting Journey: France; 17th Annual Awards Lunch; French Terroir Talk.

Michel Gassier, Vigneron, Domaine Michel Gassier / Les Halos de Jupiter

With an encyclopedic knowledge of the wines and terroirs of the Rhône, as well as of his native Costières de Nîmes, Michel Gassier is a restless and innovative vigneron. His family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Costières de Nîmes for four generations. Meet Michel at: Michel Gassier @ Hawksworth; Vin Tour de France; Festival Toast; Blind Tasting Journey: France; 17th Annual Awards Lunch; French Terroir Talk.

Nicolas Haeffelin, Oenologist & Specialist of Alsace Wines, Arthur Metz

Nicolas is an experienced oenologist, and spent time in New Zealand as an assistant winemaker and worked with Antonin Rodet in Burgundy as part of his training. His family has deep roots in the Alsace, with a winemaker in each generation since 1560. Meet Nicolas at: Ça, c’est cool; 17th Annual Awards Lunch; Grapes Unknown.

Jean Frédéric Hugel, 13th generation of Famille Hugel in Riquewihr, Hugel & Fils

Jean Frédéric Hugel is in charge of promoting Famille Hugel abroad and works collaboratively with his family on the harvest and business decisions. He represents the 13th generation of Famille Hugel, who have produced wine in Riquewihr, Alsace, since 1639. Meet Jean Frédéric at: Alsace, Synonymous with Hugel; Vin Tour de France; French Terroir Talk

Laurent Sauvage, Head Winemaker, Fortant de France

Laurent Sauvage is an agronomical engineer and oenologist, and for over a decade, he has been the head winemaker for Fortant de France. In the vineyards, he is responsible for identifying the potential of the grapes best suited to the terroir. He also supervises and advises the house’s partner winegrowers. Meet Laurent at: Blind Tasting Journey: France; Grapes Unknown.

Clovis Taittinger
Clovis Taittinger

Clovis Taittinger, General Manager, Champagne Taittinger

The eldest child of Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger, President of Champagne Taittinger, Clovis joined the family business in September 2007. He represents the family’s name worldwide and is in charge of grapes suppliers and growers relationships. Meet Clovis at: L’Instant Taittinger; Vin Tour de France; The Family Spirit; 17th Annual Awards Lunch.

Véronique Torcolacci, Head Winemaker, Gabriel Meffre

Véronique Torcolacci obtained her degree in enology from the University of Toulouse in 1991. She joined Gabriel Meffre as oenologist in charge of quality before becoming head winemaker, where she maintains her role as wine quality manager, as well as purchasing director. Meet Véronique at: Ça, c’est cool; Festival Toast.


Wineries from 14 other countries are represented at VanWineFest, and the stars are shining just as brightly over the rest of the wine world. The Tasting Room is the place to meet all 162 vine stars, but you’ll also find these great personalities at special events throughout Festival week. As well, all principals will be present at the Principals Welcome Lunch, presented by Hillebrand on Thursday, February 27.

Richard Angove, Managing Director, Angove Family Winemakers, Australia

Richard is a member of the fifth generation of the Angove winemaking family. Richard gained experience in many different wine regions in the world before returning to the family business in 2008. In 2016, he and his sister, Victoria, became joint Managing Directors of the company. Meet Richard at: Keynote Speaker Lunch; PICA Kitchen Party; Rah, Rah, Rosé!

Jon Bonne speaking at the Lessons From California Thoughts lunch
Jon Bonne speaking at the Lessons From California Thoughts lunch 2019

Jon Bonné, Journalist and author

Jon Bonné is one of the most influential American voices on wine. He is the senior contributing editor for PUNCH, and the author of The New California Wine and The New Wine Rules and the upcoming The New French Wine. Previously Bonné was the lifestyle editor and wine columnist at MSNBC, wine editor and chief wine critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, US columnist for Decanter and wine columnist for Seattle magazine. Meet Jon at: Vin Tour de France; Natural Wine, WTF?.

Laura Catena, Managing Director and Catena Institute of Wine Founder, Bodega Catena Zapata, Argentina

Vintner, author and emergency room doctor, Laura Catena has been called the Face of Argentine Wine. A physician and biologist, she is managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata and Luca Winery and author of Argentina’s definitive wine guide, Vino ArgentinoMeet Laura at: Gusto Latinoamericano; The Global Cru.

Emily Faulconer, Head Winemaker, Viña Carmen, Chile

Emily Faulconer has worked in wineries in Chile, the United States, New Zealand, and France. She is responsible for the premium range of Carmen, focusing on producing wines showing specific varietal and terroir identity, as well as strengthening Carmen’s innovation projects. Meet Emily at: Gusto Latinoamericano; The Global Cru.

Pedro Fonseca, Export Manager, Herdade das Servas, Portugal

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Pedro Fonseca studied Business Administration at Lisbon’s International University. For the past 20 years, Pedro has gained experience in the Portuguese wine industry working in both the domestic and international markets. Meet Pedro at: Combinado!

Drazan Krolo, Owner / Winemaker, Krolo Winery, Croatia

Drazan Krolo was educated as a construction contractor and was successfully running his own company, but his love for nature and his ancestral home drew him back to Stremendolac, where he constructed a residence and installed a vineyard and winery. Meet Drazan at: A Taste of Croatia; Rah, Rah, Rosé!

Maria Lopez, Owner / Winemaker, Bodega Sarmentero

After living and working among wine in different cities of Spain, France and USA (Napa Valley), Maria is now home with her family in Valladolid. Maria is the director of operations of Bodega Sarmentero and shares the duty of winemaking with her mother, Amparo. Meet Maria at: Grapes Unknown; Rah, Rah, Rosé!

Thomas Price MS, Estates Division Wine Educator & Master Sommelier, Jackson Family Wines: Oregon, USA

With more than three decades in the restaurant industry, Thomas Price obtained his Master Sommelier certification in 2012 and joined Jackson Family Wines in February 2014. As National Wine Educator, he shares his passion for wine with his guests and friends, one bottle at a time. Meet Thomas at: Blending California-style; PICA Kitchen Party.

Cristiana Tiberio, Owner / Winemaker, Tiberio, Italy

Cristiana Tiberio took over the family estate winery in 2008 with her brother and handles winemaking duties. A chemistry graduate, she teaches winemaking chemistry and sommelier classes and has trained extensively in France, Germany, and Australia. Meet Cristiana at: Wine 101: Explore Your Senses; Grapes Unknown; Rah, Rah, Rosé!

Ross Wise telling us about the Black Hills Estate wines
Ross Wise telling us about the Black Hills Estate wines

Ross Wise, Winemaker, Black Hills Estate Winery, Canada

Originally from New Zealand, Ross Wise has over 16 years of winemaking, viticulture and consulting experience in New Zealand, Ontario, and British Columbia. He holds a WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits and is pursuing his Master of Wine. Meet Ross at: Black Hills in the Park; Nota Bene Library Tasting; West Coast Rosé Brunch, The Shape of Wine

Paul Wagner, Wine educator and writer

Paul Wagner has been an instructor for Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Enology department for the past 23 years. In addition, he teaches at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, is a guest lecturer at many universities and has spoken at more than 80 conferences throughout the world on wine, wine education, wine tourism, public affairs, and wine marketing. With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, he hosts “Bottle Talk,” a weekly conversation about wine. Meet Paul at: Wine 101: Explore Your SensesWest Coast Rosé Brunch.

Author: mywinepal
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