Food & Wine – California Wine Fair

“I wish they all could be California Wines”

To SIP and to SAVOUR
To SIP and to SAVOUR

The 35th annual California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting is the largest tasting of its kind in Vancouver.  I attended “The Arts Club” hosted event (in partnership with the Wine Institute of California) last night from what I can recall at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  This was one of three California wine-inspired fundraisers taking place this month.

The Prisoner - a favourite
A rep holds up The Prisoner – a favourite

As much as I would have like to, I couldn’t possibly have sampled all of the 350 wines from over 100 highly-regarded wineries that participated.  I might have managed about half of that.  Among the classic labels with interesting vintages, there were new favourites from an abundance of family run and boutique operations.winefair2

One of particular interest is Dancing Coyote, a family owned & operated old-world style vineyard located in a beautiful stretch of land in California’s Clarksburg appellation.  They’ve been farming in the Delta region along the Sacramento River for five generations. They make a wonderul Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah.

I really enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc from Dry Creek Vineyard Inc.  No wonder, as their Director of Export explained to me that they were the very first winery to plant the grapes in the Dry Creek Valley area, in 1972.  The Cabernet Sauvignon is excellent too.

Chateau St. Jean is a winery that is known for always producing exceptional wines.  An interesting tidbit: their winemaker, Margo Van Staaveren was the first woman to win winemaker of the year in 2010 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine which helped to put Sonoma on the map.

Forgive me if I've Zinned too much lately
I’ve Zinned & loved it!

While I don’t discriminate against any great wine growing region, I have a special affinity for these wines because of having been to many of the vineyards while traveling through California. Places like Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Monterey, Lodi & Temecula.   I can tell you one thing, the choices are getting broader for which wines will go with which dishes. I also love hearing the stories about how the wineries got their names.

These wine makers work with great care and passion to product wonderful vintages which keep getting better and better.  All in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable sipping and mingling evening.  I hope to attend again next year.

Have you been?

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