Vancouver Int’l. Playhouse Wine Festival - 8th Annual Awards Lunch Winners

PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2011 TRADE COMPETITION AWARD WINNERS            
Vancouver, BC, April 1st, 2011 – The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival announced this year’s trade competition winners at the 8th Annual Awards Lunch on Friday, April 1st, 2011. “The trade competitions give the Festival an opportunity to honour and celebrate those professionals who have developed and enhanced the extraordinary wine and food culture of our region,” says Festival Executive Director Harry Hertscheg. In honour of the awards, guests enjoyed lunch prepared by culinary talent Blair Rasmussen, Executive Chef to the VCC, and toasted winners with wines from Spain, this year’s Festival theme region.
SPIRITED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL (SIP) AWARD The Spirited Industry Professional Award annually honours an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The sixth annual SIP Award goes to internationally acclaimed food and wine critic, Jurgen Gothe. Gothe has seen his columns run in over 100 publications over the past few decades, and is currently the weekly wine columnist for the Georgia Straight. After 23 years hosting CBC Radio Two’s DiscDrive, Gothe retired as the station’s only double-gold-medal winning program host. Today, he does weekly spots for CBC on everything oenophilic, and can also be found on The Peak FM airwaves commenting on BC’s local flavours.
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR AWARD

The 11th annual Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes outstanding wine knowledge and wine service. This year’s award goes to Owen Knowlton for his 500+ wine list at West restaurant, which also took one of the most coveted accolades in the trade competition: the Platinum Wine List Award. Driven to provide West guests wine that is high in value and quality (with a splash of boutique bottles and sommelier favorites), Knowlton has been sipping, spitting, and perfecting his wine knowledge over the last decade. The Sommelier of the Year is awarded based on votes by key members in the industry and is also included in the May Restaurant issue of Vancouver Magazine.

WINE PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE The Wine Professional Challenge gives sommeliers and wine professionals a chance to compete for the coveted Puddifoot Award. Currently in its sixth year, competitors were required to rotate around 5 judging stations and speak for 3 minutes on topics related to technical and varietal distinctions, flight tasting and customer service. This year, the challenge winner was Jay Whiteley of Hawkswort
h Restaurant. The Wine Professional Challenge is sponsored by Puddifoot.

FETZER GREAT BEGINNINGS WINE & APPETIZER CHALLENGE Vancouver’s top chefs vied for gold on Wednesday night at Fetzer Great Beginnings, Flavours of the City. Chefs from Bearfoot Bistro, One Hundred Nights at OPUS Hotel Vancouver, Cibo Trattoria, DiVino Wine Bar, Sandbar, Diva at the Met, Prestons, Terminal City Club, and Uli’s Restaurant all vied for top prize from a panel of judges that included the city’s top food and wine journalists. This year’s award for best food and wine pairing went to Diva at the Met Executive Sous Chef Jeff Kang.

QUADY DESSERT COMPETITION The Quady Winery of Madera California hosted the 23rd Annual Quady Dessert Competition, inviting British Columbia’s top pastry chefs, cooks and students to complement their orange muscat dessert wine, Essensia. At stake was a Grand Prize trip for two to California, as well as Silver and Bronze Prizes and C
ertificates of Merit for the top 10 competitors. First Place went to Lisa Ip of the Four Seasons Hotel, Second Place and Top Student from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts went to Maria Darquier, while Michael Gelinas of Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie took Third. Competitors were judged on taste, wine pairing with Essensia, technique, presentation, and practicality by a respected panel of pastry chefs, executive chefs, sommeliers and food and wine media.

WINE LIST AWARDS

Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants in Metro Vancouver, Whistler, Vancouver Island, the Interior and Alberta have all been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine List Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.

METRO VANCOUVER
Platinum

Blue Water Café + raw bar
West Restaurant


Gold
C Restaurant
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
CinCin
Wine Room at Joey Bentall One
L’Abattoir
Au Petit Chavignol
Salt Tasting Room Silver
Cactus Club Cafe
Provence Marinaside
The Observatory
The Salmon House
Zest Japanese Cuisine
Chambar
Bronze
ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro
Poor Italian Ristorante
Lift Bar Grill View
Yew Restaurant + Bar
Raincity Grill
Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

Honourable Mention
Goldfish Pacific Kitchen
Gramercy Grill
Joey Restaurants
Hart House Restaurant (Burnaby)
WHISTLER

Gold

RimRock Cafe Whistler Silver
Araxi Restaurant + Bar

Honourable Mention
Ric’s Grill VANCOUVER ISLAND AND GULF ISLANDS

Silver
The Pacific Restaurant (Victoria)

Bronze
Nautical Nellies Restaurant
 (Victoria)
Stage Small Plates Wine Bar (Victoria)
Veneto (Victoria) Honourable Mention
The Landing West Coast Grill (Nanoose Bay)
The Marina Restaurant (Victoria)

BC INTERIOR   Silver
La Bussola (Kelowna)

Honourable Mention
Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)
Local Lounge . Grille (Summerland)
The Restau
rant at Painted Boat (Madiera Park)
Whitetooth Mountain Bistro (Golden)   ALBERTA

Gold

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro (Calgary)
River Café (Calgary)
Vin Room (Calgary)

Silver

Cilantro (Calgary)

Bronze

The Ranche Restaurant (Calgary)
Ric’s Lounge and Grill (Calgary) Honourable Mention
Taste (Calgary)
Ric’s Grill S
teakhouse (Grande Prairie)

ABOUT THE PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from March 28th to April 3rd, 2011. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. In 2011, the theme region will be Spain and the global focus, Fortified Wine. The Festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and Festival partners; and raise funds for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, 
the Festival has raised over $7.2 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs. The Shore Club generously presents the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

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Sanafir Raises a Glass to the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival
Glowbal Restaurant Group

Olé!
Sanafir Raises a Glass to the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival with an Exotic Wine Fest Tapas Menu Featuring Spanish Flavours     

With the 33rd Annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival just wrapping up (March 28-April 3), many people are deciding which events, wines, and restaurants they will take in while enjoying this year’s regional theme of “Wines from Spain.”

In line with the fiesta, Sanafir Restaurant & Lounge has created a Spanish-style tapas menu, on offer now through April 3. From Serrano & Quince Crostinis to Wine Cured Pork Belly and Sautéed Honey Mussels with grilled Chorizo, all dishes can be paired seamlessly with Sanafir’s Spanish wine offerings. By the glass or bottle, choose from labels such as the delicate Prado Rey ‘2009 BL8 Birlocho,’ or the more robust Sabor Real Toro ‘Viñas Centenarias’ Tempranillo.

With its central location on Granville Street, Sanafir is the perfect place to wind up or wind down an evening of wine tasting. The restaurant’s exotic vibe and sultry ambiance will set the mood for tasting, sharing, and learning about wines from all over the world. About Sanafir
Sanafir Restaurant & Lounge is Vancouver’s most imaginative tapas restaurant and bar located at 1026 Granville Street. Lush décor reminiscent of an Arabian night creates a luxe and exotic atmosphere. The menu showcases innovative twists on Asian, Mediterranean and Indian flavours. For reservations, please call 604.678.1049.

The Glowbal Collection | Glowbal Afterglow Sanafir Trattoria Italian Kitchen Coast O Lounge Society Global Catering

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Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival March 28th to April 3rd


VINESTARS OF WINE CELEBRATE 33 YEARS AT PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL
Meet the industry’s top international trendsetters and principal vintners

Vancouver, BC, February 21, 2011 – To mark its 33rd year the 2011 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will welcome some of the most progressive winemakers and winery leaders in the world. From pouring at the International Festival Tasting to hosting events, these vin-pioneers are set to satisfy curious neophytes and seasoned oenophiles with personal, one-on-one meet and greets. Appearances from the following wine world celebrities are just a few reasons to partake in the weeklong festivities.

DIVA(S) AT THE MET

What’s it like to be a woman in the grape trade? Vancouver-based sommelier and Playhouse Wine Festival host Daenna Van Mulligen(alias WineDiva), who has a decade-long list of wine tasting critiques in her purse, will be introducing an international group of female winemakers, proprietors and industry headmistresses at Diva(s) at the Met. Speakers include Ann Sperling, of British Columbia’s 86-year-old Sperling Vineyards; Mary Ann Yewen, Director of Freixenet, one of the top selling sparkling wines on the planet; and Mariola Varona, the North American Export Director of the multi-award-winning Bodegas Martín Códax, specializing in the Albariño grape. Among other dignitaries, these wine queens will dish on the coveted wines they represent, as well as the stories behind their successes as principal businesswomen in a traditionally male dominated industry.

With direction from the biggest wine diva of them all, attendees will also enjoy a selection of small bites prepared by Diva at the Met’s Executive Chef Quang Dang. Join this inspirational group of women on Tuesday, March 29th at the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver, 645 Howe Street, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

THE LEGACY OF A SPANISH VISIONARY: MIGUEL TORRES

When it comes to describing Spanish wine icon Miguel A. Torres, “legendary” is an understatement. Arguably one of the most important families in the history of Spanish wine, Legacy of a Visionary is thepièce de résistance of Festival week. Miguel is the fourth generation of Torres to preside over the acclaimed and centuries-old Miguel Torres Winery, a published author several times over, Decantermagazine’s 2002 Man of the Year and Wine International magazine’s 2005 Personality of the Year.

Moderator Anthony Gismondi will be discussing Miguel’s influence and the Penedès region winery, whileguests are guided through a rare and diverse selection of wines from the Torres wineries in Spain, Chile and California.

One of the most anticipated events of the Festival, Legacy of a Visionary will held on Thursday, March 31stat VCC East, meeting room 8, 999 Canada Place Way, from 5:00 - 6:45 pm.

GOOD GRACIOUS GRENACHE!

Join house wine’s Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris as they explore the grandeur and the many guises of Grenache. This lesser known, but surprisingly common grape, was baptized as “Garnacha” by the Spaniards and has ties to cheerful rosés, fuller-bodied reds (think: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Priorato and Rioja), and lusciously sweet elixirs. Prepare to taste some of its finest expressions hailing from Spain, France, California and Australia. Good Gracious Grenache! will be held on Saturday, April 2nd, at VCC East, meeting room 1, 999 Canada Place Way, from 3:00 – 4:45 pm.

MEET YOUR MATCH

Finding the perfect wine is like finding the perfect partner, it takes the right introduction at the right time. Oeno-enthusiasts are promised that proverbial “spark” at this year’s much anticipated, Meet Your Matchevent. Chaperoned by master wine matchmaker and acclaimed wine writer, Anthony Gismondi, sippers will be invited to get up close and personal with the vinestars of the wine biz. These fascinating international winery principals are set to lead tasters first-hand through the intimate secrets of some of the world’s most outstanding wines and wineries. Presented in a format that allows small groups direct and personal interaction with Festival celebrities, each group will have about 6 minutes to taste the producer’s wine, hear their story and ask questions.

Includedin the VIP list is proprietor Telmo Rodriguez, one of Spain’s most celebrated and animated winemakers. Telmo sought out forgotten vineyards for the purpose of recovery and cultivation of abandoned indigenous vines to rave reviews, consistently scoring 90+ points. Alvaro Palacios, widely considered to be propelling Spanish wine into the modern era, acquired his first vineyard, Finca Dofí, in 1990, and will be pouring cellared wines for Meet Your Match guests.

Known for his outstanding Syrahs and Cabernets, South African winemaker Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof will be returning to the Festival with his much lauded The Journeyman Franschhoek 2005. David Guimaraens, a sixth generation to Portugal’s Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca, is considered something of a winemaking genius at the international table. In December 2010, David released one of the world’s oldest ports, SCION, to a limited group of collectors and connoisseurs, which at 155 years old, may be one of the only wines to have survived the pre-Phylloxera era.

If these wine experts haven’t already satiated your taste buds, the event will also see Stefano Leone, International Export Director of Antinori; Louis Moreau, owner and winemaker of France’s Domaine Louis Moreau; British Colombia’s own Anthony von Mandl of Mission Hill Family Estate; Cristiano Van Zeller of Portugal’s Quinta do Vale Dona Maria; Californian winemaker Rick Sayre of Rodney Strong; Rupert Symington, Joint Managing Director of Symington Graham’s Port; and David Paterson of BC’s Tantalus Vineyards. Meet Your Match is scheduled on Saturday, April 2nd at VCC East, meeting room 8, 999 Canada Place Way, from 5:00 – 6:45 pm.

ABOUT THE PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from March 28thto April 3rd, 2011. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. In 2011, the theme region will be Spain and the global focus, Fortified Wine. The Festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and Festival partners; and raise funds for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, the Festival has raised over $7.2 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.

The Shore Club generously presents the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

 

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Spanish Sipping In 2011 At Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival

“Every vintage at the Wine Festival offers a fresh journey of discovery,” says Festival Executive Director Harry Hertscheg.

“Whether it’s wines from across Spain, Fortified examples from around the globe or selections from unfamiliar wine regions, each Festival attendee gets their own unique tasting experience while trying new wines and connecting directly with their producers.”

Spanish Winemaker, Miguel Torres

Wines from Spain and a Global Focus on Fortified Wine will bring plenty of varietals
to the 33rd annual event September 24th, 2010, Vancouver, BC - The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will mark its 33rd year with Wines from Spain and a Global Focus on Fortified Wine. The Festival, which runs from March 28th to April 3rd, 2011, will bring 176 participating wineries to the Vancouver Convention Centre and top Vancouver restaurants and hotels for a total of seven days of tastings, seminars, and wine focused events. A full list of participating wineries is now available online

“The great quality, value and versatility of Spanish wines continues to win fans around the world and to elicit high praise from the international wine and food media,” says Pilar Randolph, Director of Wines from Spain, “we are thrilled to have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on these wines at Canada’s premier wine festival this coming spring.”

Alvaro Palacios, Winemaker, Priorat Region, Spain

With a total of 33 participating Spanish wineries, visitors to the 2011 Festival will have the opportunity to sip wines from indigenous varietals such as Albariño, Cariñena, Garnacha, Godello, Macabeo, Mencía, Monastrell, Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, Tempranillo, Verdejo and Viura, as well as Spanish versions of more international grapes such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. All of this will be complemented by events that will highlight not only the Wines from Spain but also the delicious food, diverse culture and rich history of the country.

A number of Spain’s most notable and impressive principals will be on hand at this year’s Festival, including Miguel A. Torres, President and Managing Director of Miguel Torres Winery. Named European Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2006, Miguel A. Torres is the fourth generation of Torres to preside over this acclaimed winery in the Penedès region. Decanter magazine named Miguel A. Torres Man of the Year in 2002.

Also attending will be Alvaro Palacios of Alvaro Palacios Winery. Palacios founded his namesake winery at the young age of 25 and is often credited for resurrecting the region of Priorat. His L’Ermita is widely regarded as one of the most important Spanish wines in a generation.  Other notable names scheduled to attend this year’s Festival include:·       Alex Giesen, Director and Owner, Giesen Wine Estate – New Zealand·       Ann Sperling, Winemaker, Sperling Vineyards – Canada (BC)·       Aurelio Montes Sr., Winemaker, Montes – Chile· Christophe Hedges, Winemaker, Hedges Family Estates and Snoqualmie Vineyards. – USA (WASH)·
Craig McDonald, General Manager, Wine Gretzky Estate Winery - Canada (ON)· Fernando
Alvear, President and CEO, Bodegas Alvear – Spain· Felipe González-Gordon, President, González Byass – Spain· Javier Hidalgo, Proprietor, Bodegas Hidalgo – Spain· Joel Peterson, Founder, Ravenswood – USA (CA)  ·       Louis Moreau, Proprietor and Winemaker, Domaine Louis Moreau – France·       Marc Kent, Winemaker and Co-owner, Boekenhoutskloof – South Africa·       Nik Weis, Owner, St. Urbans-Hof – Germany·       Riccardo Tedeschi, Owner and Winemaker, Tedeschi – Italy·       Rupert Symington, Joint Executive Director, Symington Graham’s Port - Portugal·       Stuart Blackwell, Senior Winemaker, St Hallett – Australia·    Susana Balbo, Winemaker, Dominio del Plata – Argentina·Telmo Rodriguez, Proprietor, Telmo Rodríguez Wines - Spain·       Udi Kadim, CEO, Galil Mountain Winery and Yarden – Israel

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will open on Monday, March 28th, 2011 and will feature 176 wineries participating in 63 events to a projected 25,000 attendees. Early tickets to the Festival will be on sale November 30. For more information visit the newly revamped www.playhousewinefest.com.

About the Playhouse Wine Festival

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from March 28th to April 3rd, 2011. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the  world. In 2011, the theme region will be Spain and the global focus Fortified Wine. The Festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and Festival partners; and raise funds for the Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, the Festival has raised over $7.2 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.The Shore Club generously presents the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

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Spanish Sipping In 2011 At Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival

“Every vintage at the Wine Festival offers a fresh journey of discovery,” says Festival Executive Director Harry Hertscheg.

“Whether it’s wines from across Spain, Fortified examples from around the globe or selections from unfamiliar wine regions, each Festival attendee gets their own unique tasting experience while trying new wines and connecting directly with their producers.”

Spanish Winemaker, Miguel Torres

Wines from Spain and a Global Focus on Fortified Wine will bring plenty of varietals
to the 33rd annual event September 24th, 2010, Vancouver, BC - The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will mark its 33rd year with Wines from Spain and a Global Focus on Fortified Wine. The Festival, which runs from March 28th to April 3rd, 2011, will bring 176 participating wineries to the Vancouver Convention Centre and top Vancouver restaurants and hotels for a total of seven days of tastings, seminars, and wine focused events. A full list of participating wineries is now available online

“The great quality, value and versatility of Spanish wines continues to win fans around the world and to elicit high praise from the international wine and food media,” says Pilar Randolph, Director of Wines from Spain, “we are thrilled to have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on these wines at Canada’s premier wine festival this coming spring.”

Alvaro Palacios, Winemaker, Priorat Region, Spain

With a total of 33 participating Spanish wineries, visitors to the 2011 Festival will have the opportunity to sip wines from indigenous varietals such as Albariño, Cariñena, Garnacha, Godello, Macabeo, Mencía, Monastrell, Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, Tempranillo, Verdejo and Viura, as well as Spanish versions of more international grapes such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. All of this will be complemented by events that will highlight not only the Wines from Spain but also the delicious food, diverse culture and rich history of the country.

A number of Spain’s most notable and impressive principals will be on hand at this year’s Festival, including Miguel A. Torres, President and Managing Director of Miguel Torres Winery. Named European Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2006, Miguel A. Torres is the fourth generation of Torres to preside over this acclaimed winery in the Penedès region. Decanter magazine named Miguel A. Torres Man of the Year in 2002.

Also attending will be Alvaro Palacios of Alvaro Palacios Winery. Palacios founded his namesake winery at the young age of 25 and is often credited for resurrecting the region of Priorat. His L’Ermita is widely regarded as one of the most important Spanish wines in a generation.  Other notable names scheduled to attend this year’s Festival include:·       Alex Giesen, Director and Owner, Giesen Wine Estate – New Zealand·       Ann Sperling, Winemaker, Sperling Vineyards – Canada (BC)·       Aurelio Montes Sr., Winemaker, Montes – Chile· Christophe Hedges, Winemaker, Hedges Family Estates and Snoqualmie Vineyards. – USA (WASH)·
Craig McDonald, General Manager, Wine Gretzky Estate Winery - Canada (ON)· Fernando
Alvear, President and CEO, Bodegas Alvear – Spain· Felipe González-Gordon, President, González Byass – Spain· Javier Hidalgo, Proprietor, Bodegas Hidalgo – Spain· Joel Peterson, Founder, Ravenswood – USA (CA)  ·       Louis Moreau, Proprietor and Winemaker, Domaine Louis Moreau – France·       Marc Kent, Winemaker and Co-owner, Boekenhoutskloof – South Africa·       Nik Weis, Owner, St. Urbans-Hof – Germany·       Riccardo Tedeschi, Owner and Winemaker, Tedeschi – Italy·       Rupert Symington, Joint Executive Director, Symington Graham’s Port - Portugal·       Stuart Blackwell, Senior Winemaker, St Hallett – Australia·    Susana Balbo, Winemaker, Dominio del Plata – Argentina·Telmo Rodriguez, Proprietor, Telmo Rodríguez Wines - Spain·       Udi Kadim, CEO, Galil Mountain Winery and Yarden – Israel

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will open on Monday, March 28th, 2011 and will feature 176 wineries participating in 63 events to a projected 25,000 attendees. Early tickets to the Festival will be on sale November 30. For more information visit the newly revamped www.playhousewinefest.com.

About the Playhouse Wine Festival

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from March 28th to April 3rd, 2011. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the  world. In 2011, the theme region will be Spain and the global focus Fortified Wine. The Festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and Festival partners; and raise funds for the Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, the Festival has raised over $7.2 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.The Shore Club generously presents the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

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House Wines, Two Trained Sommeliers

House Wines is co-owned by Michelle Bouffard, and Michaela Morris, both trained Sommeliers. 

house wine advocates wine pleasure without pretense, where wine is demystified and laughs are guaranteed. Find out more about house wine and the services  they provide.

Michelle Bouffard


Michelle Bouffard, Sommelier, co-owner House Wines

Michelle grew up in Québec where she studied classical trumpet and performed, taught and conducted music. She moved to Vancouver in 1996 to finish her bachelor’s degree in classical music and learn English.

In 2003, she completed her International Sommelier Diploma with top marks and today she teaches for the International Sommelier Guild. Michelle continued her wine education with the completion of the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) Diploma Programme in 2007. Her first year was funded by a scholarship awarded by the Vancouver Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier.

Michaela Morris

Michaela Morris, Sommelier, co-owner House Wines

Michaela  earned her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and French from the University of British Columbia, funding her studies by working in fine dining restaurants. A one year exchange program led her back to France where she discovered the wine region of Burgundy.

It was there that she decided to pursue a career in the industry. She enrolled in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) classes and was awarded a scholarship by the Vancouver Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier for the WSET’s Diploma Programme. She successfully completed the programme in 2005 and is currently a guest lecturer for the WSET Diploma.

April/May 2010: New Zealand the Green

“The picture perfect wine producer continues to redefine its story.” Just in time for the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Michaela & Michelle provide a primer on New Zealand’s wine regions and share their favourite outdoor, cultural and gastronomic experiences.

Michaela and Michelle conducted a seminar at the recent 2010 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival called “Get The Dirt On New Zealand Terroir.”  They gave an overview, compiled from their 3 weeks of travel to the country late last year, on the main 8 wine-growing regions of the island nation south of the equator.

During last week’s festival, The Globe And Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, did a profile Q&A on each of them. Here is a slice of excerpt from both…

Globe And Mail Q&A With Michaela Morris

 What wine are you most excited to taste at the festival?

MM: With hundreds of wines to taste, it is impossible to choose just one. I look forward to indulging in plenty of wines from Argentina and New Zealand but always like to make time to visit the German tables. There are usually great off-the-beaten track surprises. Bürgerspital Estate from the region of Franken is definitely on my list. Beyond their Riesling Spätlese, they are also pouring a Gewürztraminer and a Scheurebe as well as a Rieslander Beerenauslese.

Q&A With Michelle Bouffard by Globe And Mail

What wine are you most excited to taste at the festival?

MB: Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée NV from New Zealand to satiate my bubble craving and Zorzal Pinot Noir to transport me to sunny Argentina.

You’re going to a dinner party tonight. You have $20 to spend on a bottle of wine from the BCLB. What would you buy?

MB: 2008 Schloss Reinhartshausen, Riesling Dry, Rheingau, Germany, $19.99. I love introducing people to dry Riesling. Its low alcohol content is a bonus. It allows you to drink a few more sips.

Read More On The Globe And Mail, Vancouver »>

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Kurtis Kolt, Sommelier of The Year, 2010 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival


Kurtis Kolt took home Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Sommelier of The Year Award 2010 during last week’s festival.

Kurtis Kolt was awarded the Sommelier of the Year Award at the 2010 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

Read More on Cherries And Clay, Kurtis’s Blog »>

He is the General Manager at Gastown, Vancouver’s Salt Tasting Room and has been in the Vancouver wine and food industry for the better part of two decades. He is a passionate supporter of BC wines, and has been at the forefront of introducing them to Vancouver consumers. He is certified by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, The Wine Academy of Spain and is credited in the Winemaking program at UC Davis. 

Read More on The Globe And Mail »>

Kurtis’ managing and wine-directing experience has launched two local restaurants, Main Street’s Aurora Bistro and Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room onto the international culinary map… Both restaurants won gold as Best New Restaurant in the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and were named one of Canada’s Top Ten New Restaurants by enRoute Magazine in their respective years. Along with receiving a Gold Award for his much-acclaimed wine program at Salt Tasting Room from the Vancouver International Wine Festival, Kurtis has received the Premier Crew Service Award from Vancouver magazine. He’s also not half as serious as all of this makes him sound.

Read More from Andrew Morrison on Scout Magazine »>

Twitter @LocalFoodWine

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