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The 40th Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier trade and consumer wine show, takes place February 24 to March 4, 2018.

This is your opportunity to showcase and sample your wines to British Columbia’s sophisticated wine audience, along with invited media, sommeliers and buyers from across Canada and around the world. Wine sales in BC top $1 billion annually and Canada is the world’s fourth largest wine importer by value.

All selected wineries feature their products in the festival’s Tasting Room, the hub of the festival, which hosts two trade-only tastings and four consumer International Festival Tastings over the course of three days. All wines exhibited during the International Festival Tastings are sold onsite at BC Liquor Stores’ wine shop; in 2017 BCLS (Western Canada’s largest wine retailer) had $440,000 in wine sales onsite at an average price of $28 per bottle. In addition, trade and consumers purchased $40,000 in cases of wine through the BUY THE CASE program for fast post-festival delivery. Participating wineries have added opportunities to present their wines at seminars, winery dinners, wine minglers, lunches and more.

New York’s BizBash has named the Vancouver International Wine Festival the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada for the past four years. It is considered one of the best wine festivals in the world.

We anticipate 160-170 wineries will be selected to participate in the 2017 festival (50-60 wineries from Portugal and Spain and ~110 wineries from the rest of the world). Canada’s premier wine show once again aims to attract some of the biggest wine industry names from around the world.

Note that winery applications must be submitted by a registered and active BC wine agent on behalf of suppliers they represent in the BC market.

New to the Festival? Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit Your Wines at VanWineFest.


Relive VanWineFest 2017 (video) VIWF Quick Facts
Winery Application Guidelines Planned Event Schedule
Special Event Wine Submission Guidelines Sponsored Event Proposal Guidelines
Festival Timeline Portugal and Spain Theme Fee Memo


The International Festival Tastings are the heart of the festival, but there are many special events throughout the week, including seminars, minglers, a Sunday brunch, lunches, and dinners, for which you can submit your wines.

Full details can be found in the Special Event Wine Submission Guidelines, but below is a breakdown of the planned 2018 special events (using working titles and descriptions).


The centrepiece event of the Vancouver International Wine Festival and the main source of fundraising for our designated charity, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. A popular event with wine collectors, sommeliers and Vancouver’s business elite, this five-course meal is paired with 10 showcase wines.

I HEART BUBBLY PARTY (Wine Mingler, Tuesday, February 27)
Sparkling wines from and around the world,from traditional-method Cava, Crémant, and Champagne to tank-method Prosecco, Lambrusco, and Sekt to spritzy Vinho Verde and Txakoli to other Old and New World interpretations.

CALIFORNIA CRUISIN’ (Wine Mingler, Wednesday, February 28)
An evening of sipping, noshing and hobnobbing with the stars of California wine country, featuring California style tapas, music, funky entertainment and a buzz-worthy room.

PORTUGAL & SPAIN THEME PARTY (Wine Mingler, Wednesday, February 28)
This theme country party will feature wines from Portugal and Spain, as well as light tapas and music, celebrating the wine, food and culture of the Iberian Peninsula.

TOUR DE FEST SEMINAR (Wine Seminar, Thursday, March 1)
This seminar will offer wine lovers insights by winery principals on a selection of unique, premium wines from diverse regions of the wine world.

FESTIVAL TOAST: FEATURING PORTUGAL & SPAIN (Wine Mingler, Thursday, March 1)The Festival Toast is an exclusive, by-invitation-only reception.

SPAIN BLOCKBUSTER SEMINAR (Theme Country Seminar, Friday, March 2)
This seminar will introduce wine lovers to some of the legendary vine stars of Spain and their top wines (including Sherry).

The wines of Cascadia will be showcased at this seminar featuring top principals and wines from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia.

(Theme Country Grazing Lunch, Saturday, March 3)
All participating Portuguese and Spanish wineries will gather for a grazing lunch that celebrates their wine and food culture, set against the stunning North Shore backdrop.

DINE ITALIA (Sit-down Lunch, Saturday, March 3)
Sit down and enjoy the best of Italy in a superb multi-course lunch paired with wines from top Italian producers.

LATIN AMERICAN LUNCH (Sit-down Lunch, Saturday, March 3)
A sumptuous sit-down lunch featuring food-friendly wines from Latin America. Wineries from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Mexico are invited to apply.

MEDITERRANEAN LUNCH (Sit-down Lunch, Saturday, March 3)
A sumptuous sit-down lunch featuring food-friendly wines from around the Mediterranean. Wineries from South of France, Rhône, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel are invited to apply.

(Wine & Food Pairing Grazing Lunch, Saturday, March 3)
Take a wine and food journey through the kitchens of PICA, featuring international wines matched with a small bite prepared by some of Vancouver’s top chefs.

DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS SEMINAR (Wine Seminar, Saturday, March 3)
An opportunity for consumers to sample a selection of wines that won honours in the annual Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). Only wines that have received a bronze medal or higher award in the 2016 or 2017 DWWA program will be considered.

PORTUGAL BLOCKBUSTER SEMINAR (Theme Country Seminar, Saturday, March 3)
This seminar will introduce wine lovers to some of the legendary vine stars of Portugal and their top wines (including Port and Madeira).

VINTNERS BRUNCH with Wine and Food Pairing Competition (Sunday, March 4)
One of the festival’s most popular and prestigious events. Top local chefs pair dishes with a selection of premium wines for this annual event that attracts 500 patrons.


TRADE MASTERCLASS: CAVA (Masterclass, Wednesday, February 28)
Explore the vinification, production and sales of Cava, Spain’s premier sparkling wine and how the new Cava de Paraje Calificada designation hopes to raise trade and consumer perceptions about Cava.

TRADE MASTERCLASS: SHERRY (Masterclass, Wednesday, February 28)
An exploration of the wide variety of Sherry styles, including Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Jerez Dulce, and Montilla-Moriles PX.

TRADE MASTERCLASS: PORT & MADEIRA (Masterclass, Wednesday, February 28)
An exploration of the wide variety of Port styles, including Ruby, Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV), Vintage, and Tawny; as well as Madeira styles such as Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malmsey.

(Industry Symposium, Wednesday, February 28)
This full-day symposium will look at the effect on growing seasons, harvest times, alcohol levels, and regional variations, as well as the challenges of extreme weather patterns and long-term sustainability.

THEME COUNTRY PLENARY: PORTUGAL & SPAIN (Conference Plenary, Thursday, March 1)
The Trade Days theme plenary will examine the Spanish and Portuguese wine industries and their place in the global wine marketplace, with specific references to their potential in the British Columbia and Canadian markets.

PORTUGAL TRADE SEMINAR (Trade Seminar, Friday, March 2)
A regional journey through Portuguese grape growing and winemaking, featuring principals and wines from the various regions.

SPAIN TRADE SEMINAR (Trade Seminar, Friday, March 2)
A regional journey through Spanish grape growing and winemaking, featuring principals and wines from the various regions.

A panel of winemakers from around the world will discuss the cause-and-effect of what happens in the vineyard and in the winery to what’s made in the bottle and becomes of it in the glass.

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE: 15th Annual Awards Lunch FEATURING WINES OF PORTUGAL & SPAIN (Trade Lunch, Friday, March 2)
This year’s annual awards lunch will feature food-friendly wines from Portugal and Spain that are suited for sale by the glass.


You also have the opportunity to propose your own event, based on the Sponsored Event Proposals Guidelines. Some of the suggested events include:

Vintage Tastings are designed to capture the interest of wine collectors.The featured winery principal hosts these intimate tastings, which are often vertical tastings stretching back several decades.

 VINE STAR SEMINAR (Thursday, March 1)
A wine seminar featuring an internationally-renowned wine producer/ personality who has made a global impact on the wine industry and/or wine culture.

An in-depth study and exploration of wines from a specific region, theme or topic. Masterclasses must include top principals and be moderated by an expert in the area being explored. Masterclasses take place Wednesday, February 28 at 10-11:30 a.m., 1:15-2:45 p.m. or 3-4:30 p.m.

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