The Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) launched ticket sales today for its 2023 extravaganza, which will take place April 22 to 30 and feature 152 wineries from 17 countries. The theme region is South America while the theme style is sparkling wine.
Wineries from four South American countries are expected to bring wine: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
There are set to be 36 events over eight days, which makes the festival larger than in May 2022, when there were 27 events, and 101 wineries from 14 countries, with no theme region.
While the 2023 festival is set to be smaller than the one held in February 2020, when the VIWF featured 56 events and 162 wineries, it is expected to be more international than it was pre-pandemic, as wineries from only 15 countries made it to Vancouver in 2020, when France was the theme region.
COVID-19 restrictions kept the festival from happening in 2021.
The VIWF is providing $6 discounts on an unspecified number of advance tickets for main tastings at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Those evening-event tickets sell for $109 on Thursday, April 27, $119 on Friday, April 28, and $129 on Saturday, April 29. The $6 discount is also offered for the Saturday afternoon main tasting, making tickets for that event $109.
The VIWF is also providing a $30 discount to make its Super Pass $460, with holders able to attend all of the main tastings and more.
The first VIWF was held in 1979 at the University Women's Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, and it featured only one participant – Robert Mondavi Winery.
Rapid expansion ensued until the festival peaked in size with more than 60 events in 2012. Feedback from the industry was that the festival was getting too big for winery principals to handle so many suppliers and different events so the extravaganza was scaled back a bit, executive director Harry Hertscheg told BIV in 2018, when the festival staged its 40th incarnation.
The VIWF is the largest international wine festival in Canada and one of the largest such events in North America. Here is a full list of the wineries expected to attend.
Proceeds of the event go to fund the theatre troupe Bard on the Beach.