It’s that time again…… time for the round-up and my thoughts from this years Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) with the featured country of France!

If you have never been to the main tasting room at the VIWF it can be overwhelming. With 167 wineries and about 750 wines to taste, the best advice I can give is to come with a plan – after all you just cant do it all!

The festival website always has a list of the wineries and the App (VanWine Fest) is great way to sift through the wines available at the main tasting events and plan your “must try” list!  I generally start by country and use the “hearts” to mark my wines for the ones I want to make sure I try. This way you don’t even need a paper program as you make your way through the tasting room floor, all you really need is your phone.  The 3 hours that the tasting room is open will also go by fast, and it is difficult to remember what you tasted and loved, so make sure to either keep track of these in the App or take a photo of your favourites throughout the night.

So……. What did I enjoy this year?  Well let me start with the fact that there was a great (and large) presence from the featured country -France! And I will admit I didn’t really make it out of France except for a swing by Croatia on the way out (I love seeking out some new wines that I don’t usually have the opportunity to taste or find easily here).

Here is a list of some of the highlights for me this year:

Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire – great value and delicious, they have a brut and rosé and both were great value sparkling.

Mulonnière Chenin Blanc – this Chenin from Loire was everything I was hoping for and more, fresh fruity with enough complexity to keep me interested.

Jardin de Roses, Languedoc – this blend of Syrah and Grenache was the perfect balance of fresh berries and floral aromas that I love in a rosé and for about $21 a definite must try.

Mâcon-Lugny Les Genièvres – White Burgundy, if you haven’t tried it you should and this one did not disappoint.  I don’t believe this is currently available at BCLDB but keep your eye out at the private stores and pick up a bottle if you find it.

Joseph Mellot La Chatellenie, Sancerre – This Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire represents great balance between acidity and wonderful citrus fruit, herbs and minerality.

Joseph Drouhin – To be honest I loved most of the wines they were pouring in the tasting room, but I think the highlights were the Morgon and the Côte de Beaune.  The Morgon is 100% Gamay from Beaujolais and the name means “decayed soil” to represent the broken-up schist and mica in the soil that give the wine it’s uniqueness and complexity.  The Côte de Beaune is a Pinot Noir, hand harvested and full of those interesting flavours that go beyond the fruit to represent the terrior.

Georges Duboeuf, Morgon Côte Du Py – This Gamay is fruity with balanced acidity and tannin – a great value and guess what it is available at BCLDB and on sale until March 31st.

Gabriel Meffre, Plan De Dieu – A Côte Du Rhône Villages that is a GSM (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) might be one of the best value wines of the night! Dark fruit and minerality to keep you interested and enjoying all night and guess what…. It is also on sale for $16 until March 31st.

As you can see a lot of time was spent exploring the French wines of the festival and they did not disappoint!  I hope you have an opportunity to try some…. Be sure to let me know what you think!

À votre santé