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NEWS FROM VANCOUVER WINE FESTIVAL
Cheers from the 2012 Playhouse Winefest!
The recent 2012
Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival was a huge success and
we thank YOU for helping to make it happen. The festival set a new box
office record of $1,077,608. And for those lovers of statistics, the
festival attracted some 25,000 wine lovers to 64 events to sample from
1,700 wines poured by 180 wineries representing 15 countries. We
couldn't have done it without your passion, knowledge and commitment.
For some terrific photos of the 2012 festival, visit PlayhouseWinefest.com. And do have a look at the Festival Press page to read through some of the news coverage generated. Also see these topics below the 2013 preview:
- Thanks to Wines of Chile
- Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction raises $250,000
- Future fundraising
- Trade Competition winners:
- Spirited Industry Professional
- Sommelier of the Year
- Wine Professional Challenge
- Blind Tasting Challenge
- Vintners Brunch Food and Wine Pairing Contest
- Wine List Awards
- Back on stage: God of Carnage at the Vancouver Playhouse
- Sad news - Wine Festival family loses two members
2013 Playhouse Winefest Preview
February 25 to March 3
look forward to welcoming you back to the 35th Vancouver Playhouse
International Wine Festival, which takes place February 25 to March 3,
2013. The festival expects to be similar in size and scope to recent
festivals, featuring some 1,700 wines from 15 countries. We again will
be headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre and at select
restaurants and venues throughout the city. Some notes:
- Next year's theme region is California
- The global focus is on Chardonnay
- Next year's winery applications open May 15 and close on June 15. Check the Exhibitors section of www.playhousewinefest.com for details
- Advance tickets go on sale November 1 and all public tickets will go on sale January 8
- Wine List Award entries open November 1 and close January 15
- Trade Days Conference tickets go on sale January 22
Special thanks to
2012 theme region Wines of Chile for showcasing their extraordinary
wines, winemakers (Eduardo Chadwick, Aurelio Montes, Alvaro Espinoza, to
name a few) and events. For more information on continuing your Chilean
wine journey, visit www.winesofchile.org.
Big thanks also to all the producers who poured a fine selection of Cabernets as part of our varietal global focus.
Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction
centrepiece of the Playhouse Winefest is the spectacular Bacchanalia
Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by Goldcorp, at The Fairmont Hotel
Vancouver. The 2012 gala raised net proceeds of $250,000 for the
Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, bringing the total raised for the
theatre company to $7.8 million since the festival's inception in 1979.
This year's proceeds have been paid to the theatre company and
underwrote the 2011/2012 season. Big thanks to everyone who contributed
to the gala's success - wineries, auction donors, attendees, sponsors,
committee members and volunteers - to say nothing of bidders!
Future fundraising initiatives
are all aware of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company's sad
announcement that it would cease operations after 49 seasons. God of
Carnage, the final production in the 2011/2012 season, is on stage now
through May 5; see below for more details. We are pleased to confirm
that the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, a separately
incorporated non-profit society, will continue to stage one of the
city's premier festivals with our industry partners. The disposition of
future Wine Festival fundraising initiatives will be announced by the
festival's Board of Directors later this summer.
The 2008/09 production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE.
Photo by David Cooper
Congratulations to our 2012 Trade Competition Winners
vibrant food and wine scene has a well-deserved reputation for
excellence, and we're proud to honour the best of the best through our
trade competitions. Please give another big round of applause to the
Spirited Industry Professional
Richard Carras, vice-president of Authentic Wine and Spirits Merchants,
won the Spirited Industry Professional Award. The festival considers
nominations from across the province, and the award is presented to an
individual who has made a significant
and indisputable impact on British
Columbia wine culture. Born and raised in Vancouver, Richard studied
sciences at UBC, but a part-time bartending job led him to fall in love
with the hospitality industry. He set up and managed Vancouver's first
wine bar and then became a wine consultant for a small importing agency.
In 1997, he became the first non-US employee of Robert Mondavi Winery,
working his way up to the position of export sales director for Asia and
the Americas. He is a founder of the BC Hospitality Foundation, which
established a trust fund for those in the hospitality industry while
coping with severe illness or accident, and also was inducted into the
BC Restaurant and Food Services Association Hall of Fame. He is
past-president of the Society of Wine Educators and is a Certified Wine
Educator, a certification held by only about 250 people worldwide. In
2006 Richard cofounded a new Vancouver-based fine wine and spirits
company, which now has employees and offices throughout Western Canada.
Sommelier of the Year
Terry Threlfall, sommelier and wine director at Hawksworth Restaurant, won the Playhouse Winefest's 2012 Sommelier
of the Year. The award, the 13th annual, goes to the province's best
sommelier as voted by key industry members; Terry also will be
recognized in the May Restaurant Awards issue of Vancouver Magazine.
Born and bred in Vancouver, Terry's wine career began at West
Restaurant. That was followed by a decade abroad, including a stint in
London as the head sommelier and wine buyer at Michelin-starred Chez
Bruce, where his wine program won a number of acclaimed international
awards. Terry is the first Canadian sommelier to become a regular
panelist for Decanter magazine and a judge for the prestigious Decanter
Wine Awards. In 2011, he returned
to home to Vancouver to head the wine team at Hawksworth. Terry also
serves as festival sommelier at the Playhouse Winefest, a job he's held
for some 10 years; during his decade abroad, he commuted to Vancouver
annually to spearhead the festival's wine team and direct the complex
wine logistics. Terry is certified by the International Sommelier Guild.
The Art Institute of Vancouver
Wine Professional Challenge
The seventh annual Art Institute of Vancouver Wine Professional Challenge was won by Adrien Boisvert of Glowbal Group's Black + Blue, who took home the coveted Puddifoot Award (a Riedel carafe, engraved trophy and bottle of vintage port) and a Trade Days Conference Pass to the 2013 Playhouse Winefest. The challenge requires competitors, all
employed in the wine industry, to rotate through five judging stations
and speak for three minutes on a specific wine topic. Judges were
Barbara Philip MW of BC Liquor Stores, Neil Ingram of Boneta, Michaela
Morris AIWS of House Wine, DJ Kearney of the International Sommelier
Guild and Mark Shipway AIWS of The International Culinary School.
Blind Tasting Challenge
inaugural Blind Tasting Challenge featured wine trade and service
professionals, culinarians and nonprofessional wine consumers alike.
Competitors blind-tasted seven wines and identified them using the Wine
and Spirit Education Trust's systematic approach to tasting. The
discriminating, and winning, palates belonged to Lesley Anne Saito of Legacy Liquor Store (wine trade); Leah Gamache of Chambar Restaurant (culinary); and Brian Glaum,
who won in the consumer category. The challenge was generously
sponsored by the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and Mark Anthony
Vintners Brunch Food and Wine Pairing Contest
Chef Scott Kidd of Lift
won the food and wine pairing competition at Vintners Brunch with his
Quails Egg Benedict paired with M. Chapoutier's Beaurevoir Tavel 2010.
Runner up was Taryn Wa, executive chef of Savoury Chef Foods,
who paired ricotta gnocchi and braised pork cheeks with Marchesi
de'Frescobaldi's Terre More IGT Maremma Toscana 2009. Third place went
to Northwest Culinary Academy, under head pastry chef Tim Muehlbauer, who paired blackberry-peach
melba bar with Deseado Sparkling Torrontés from Patagonia by Familia
Schroeder. Vintners Brunch takes attendees on a tour of 16 of the city's
top restaurants and caterers, and each chef creates a
dish to match specifically with one wine. A panel of four judges,
including Hired Belly wine writer Tim Pawsey, The Vancouver Sun Food
editor Juanita Ng, sommelier Josh Clark and wine-chef consultant Tony
Lawrence, sample and taste their way through all the offerings and
announce a winner just before the band strikes up and the dancing
starts. Vintners Brunch is generously sponsored by the participating
wineries, restaurants and caterers, and by The Vancouver Sun-published
Salut! wine quarterly.
Wine List Awards
Platinum Wine List awards went to Blue Water Café & Raw Bar; Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca; Hawksworth Restaurant; and West. For Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honourable Mention winners please visit at PlayhouseWinefest.com .
The Vancouver Magazine-sponsored Wine List Awards recognize restaurants
throughout British Columbia and Alberta for creating wine lists that
complement their establishment's unique menu and concept. Candidates
submitted their wine lists and menus, and were then visited by judges
who reviewed their programs.
Back on stage: God of Carnage
at Vancouver Playhouse
mentioned above, the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company announced on
March 9 that it was ceasing operations. Since then, the Vancouver Civic
Theatres advised that God of Carnage, the final scheduled production of
the Playhouse Theatre Company's 2011/2012 season, would proceed as
planned from April 14 to May 5. God of Carnage is a co-production with
the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. A West End and Broadway hit, God of
Carnage is "fast, furious and very, very funny." When two young boys get
into a playground fight, their parents meet to discuss the incident in a
civilized manner. But what begins as a calm and rational debate between
grownups soon degenerates into a hysterical evening of name-calling,
tantrums and tears before bedtime. Tickets are on sale and can be
reserved by calling 604-665-3470, or in person at the theatre box
office, Hamilton St. at Dunsmuir, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All
ticket commitments will be honoured, including season ticket-holders.
Two valued members of the Playhouse Winefest family passed away this week. Both of them will be sorely missed.
- John E. Levine, the
man who founded the Playhouse Winefest, died April 17, peacefully
listening to jazz. John was a former board member with the Vancouver
Playhouse Theatre Company and started the festival in 1979 as a
fundraising initiative. There was one winery - Robert Mondavi - and wine
was served in paper cups. The festival has come a long way since then -
1,700 wines and not one of them served in paper cups! - and now is
widely regarded as the best in North America. And John's fundraising
idea raised $7.8 million over the ensuing 34 years for the theatre
company. He was 74 years old.
- Tom Kassian,
who worked as head of our security team for 15 years, passed away
suddenly on April 12. Those of you who entered the tasting room via the
Exhibitors Entrance will remember him scanning your badges, and always
with a smile. He was a wonderful person with a fantastic personality. He
was 51 years old.
behalf of the Board of Directors and all staff at the Playhouse
Winefest, we extend a heartfelt thank you for your generous contribution
to Canada's premier wine show.
We look forward to seeing you in 2013!
Harry Hertscheg, Randy Kaardal
Executive Director Chair, Board of Directors
I learn and taste so much at the Vancouver International Wine Festival that I seldom miss it. It's one of the world's best festivals -- certainly Canada's.