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Hello to you!  What a phenomenal week I had at the Vancouver International Wine Festival celebrating Canada’s 150 birthday – British Columbia wineries shone brightly and I sampled some delightful Ontario and Nova Scotian wines as well.  Uruguay made its first appearance at the festival with Bodega Garzón and it was announced that Spain and Portugal will be the featured countries of the 2018 VIWF – olé! 

On Saturday evening, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the always sold-out ’25 Wines Under $25′ wine mingler at the conference.  The lineup to get in was long and buzzed with excited wine lovers chatting about what new favourite wines they hoped to find.


Val Tait of Bench 1775, Ezra Cipes of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Rob and Sandy Summers of Hester Creek, David and Alison Scholefield of Haywire Winery

As the title indicates, there were 25 wines to swirl, sip and savour.  White wine and the sparkling category highlights include:

  • Haywire Winery Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2015 – this richly textured organic wine from Summerland is a delight.  Good complexity and balance make it one of my favourite Pinot Gris wines from British Columbia. $24.90
  • Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Livermore Valley, USA Chardonnay 2015 – this wine has been one of my ‘go-to’ Chardonnays for 5 years. Continues to deliver at $19.49.
  • Hester Creek Estate Winery Trebbiano 2015 – this Golden Mile Bench wine got my attention last year and this vintage is damn right delicious. Embrace something new and treat yourself to a bottle. $20
  • Tantalus Vineyards Juveniles Chardonnay 2015 – this is Tantalus Vineyards’ second label crafted to enjoy upon release.  This is the first vintage and, let me tell you, if you are a Chardonnay fan like I am, you will be very pleased. $17.30
  • Cantine Giacomo Montresor Soave Classico 2015 – this Italian wine made from the Garganega grape is fresh, crisp and a perfect summer sipper.  If you have had your fill of Pinot Grigio and are looking for something different – look no further. $15.49
  • Bench 1775 Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – here is a delicious and well crafted B.C. Sauvignon Blanc from the Naramata Bench.  The flavour profile hits all the right notes and is a super value at $18.79. 
  • Summerhil Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut NV – a blend of organic Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, this pretty sparkling wine is made in the traditional method.  Nicely balanced with a beautiful mouthfeel.  $25.90

I will be back shortly with my list of highlight reds from this great wine mingler…