Vancouver International Wine Festival 2014 pops the cork on France

New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but there are still plenty of bottles of Champagne to be enjoyed. The 36th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival takes place February 24 to March 2, and this year’s featured country is France.

The festival kicks off with a big-ticket gala dinner, followed by wine tastings, winery dinners, educational seminars, and the Vintners Brunch throughout the week. Some of these events are for people in the wine industry only, but the majority of events are open to the public.

This year’s International Festival Tasting ($89) at the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place) will feature 780 wines from 178 wineries across 14 countries. Of those wines, more than 200 will come from 52 wineries in France. Champagne won’t be the only sparkling wine to toast to; a Bubbly Tasting Station will include 110 sparkling wines from around the world.

At a media preview at Forage restaurant (1300 Robson Street) on January 14, VIWF executive director Harry Hertscheg announced that one of the biggest changes to this year’s festival is that the kick-off Bacchanalia Gala Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 West Georgia Street) will take place on a Saturday rather than mid-week. Tickets to the event, which includes an auction of rare wines, are $395 and proceeds go towards supporting the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, VIWF’s new charitable beneficiary.

For details and tickets to VIWF events, visit the festival’s website.

Below, have a look at some of the wines that will be poured during this year’s festival.

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut Champagne and Sauvion Brut Crémant de Loire.
Michelle da Silva
The Pierre Sparr Riesling and Château de Sancerre will both be served at the France: Find Your Style event, while the Domaine Zinck Vins d'Alsace Riesling Grand Cru Pfersigberg will be poured at the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner and Auction.
Michelle da Silva
Gérard Bertrand Cigalus, Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Bernardine are three red wines from France.
Michelle da Silva
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