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Drink News
May 07, 2010
Spain To Be Theme Region for Wine Festival 2011
(From the press release.)

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is pleased to formally announce the theme region and global focus for 2011. “We’re very excited to welcome Spain as next year’s theme region,” says Festival Executive Director Harry Hertscheg. “Not only does Spain offer a wealth of exciting varietals from storied wine regions, the country also produces the world’s only Cava and Sherry, all of which will be featured in 2011.”  In addition to the theme region announcement, Hertscheg has also confirmed that next year’s global focus will be Fortified Wine, which promises to make the 2011 Festival an exciting opportunity for wine lovers to better appreciate the role of Sherry, Montilla, Port, Madeira and Marsala at the table.  The 2011 edition of the Playhouse International Wine Festival will take place from March 28th to April 3rd at the Vancouver Convention Centre East and at top restaurants throughout the city.

The theme region announcement comes on the heels of a very successful Festival. Ninety-seven percent of all tickets were sold, generating a record total of $1,057,929 in box office revenue. The Bacchanalia Gala, which is the centrepiece of Festival week, raised an impressive $323,691 for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company through its live and silent auctions, sponsorships, and exciting raffle trips to Argentina and New Zealand. On the International Festival Tasting room floor, guests were given the chance to mix and mingle with winery principals from the world over including actor and winery owner Sam Neill, who poured wine for visitors and happily took photographs with fans. Surprisingly, the Thursday night International Festival Tasting did not sell out (57 tickets remaining), something for guests to keep in mind for next year (along with the fact that Thursday’s IFT capacity is guaranteed to be less, meaning fewer line-ups and more chances to interact with winery principals). Meanwhile at various restaurant and special event venues throughout the city, oenophiles and neophytes had a chance to sip, learn and mingle at 63 separate events, 50 of which were completely sold out.

“We are delighted that Spain has been selected to host the 33rd edition of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and we are proud to support the foundation of what is recognized internationally as one of the premier wine events of its kind in the world” said Pilar Randolph Riera, Director of Wines from Spain in Canada. “Since Spain was last a thematic region 10 years ago at this Wine Festival, there have been fundamental changes in all areas of our wine culture. With seemingly no end to the accolades from writers, professionals and consumers around the world, who have been giving high praise to the quality, value and versatility of Wines from Spain,” she added, “we are excited that Canadians will be given the opportunity to discover for themselves what all the buzz is about.”

For 2011, guests can look forward to tasting the full range of Wines from Spain, from elegant and vibrant still wines to sparkling Cavas to the unique Fortified Wines from Andalucia including Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso. Many of Spain’s wine producing regions and 70 ‘Denominaciones de Origen’ will be represented by wines made from indigenous varietals such as Albariño, Cariñena, Garnacha, Godello, Macabeo, Mencía, Monastrell, Palomino, Pedro Ximénez , Tempranillo, Verdejo and Viura and also some 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 its delicious food, diverse culture and rich history.

About the Playhouse Wine Festival

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, will run from 28th March to 3 April 2011. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. The theme region for 2011 will be Spain with the global focus of fortified wine. The festival features a week of special events including a gala auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, 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 consumers 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 $7.8 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.

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