The Chileans are taking centre stage at the 2012 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

    Henry Yuen

          Want to change your impression on New World wines? There is  an  important event you don’t want to miss - the 2012 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival!

This year’s festival will run from February 27 to March 04.  Awaiting all levels of wine consumers and trade personnel is an exciting line up of wine dinners taking place at top notch restaurants in town; pin-pointing seminars for wine lovers to raise their wine proficiency; and fun-filled food and wine pairing functions where close encounters with the wine pros are the highlights.  And of course, the three days colossal International Festival Tasting is a must attend event for many tempting reasons. Let’s start with these numbers: 1700+ wines, 180+ wineries, 64 events, 15 countries and 25000+ attendees!

Secondly, Cabernet lovers will be thrilled to find out that a special tasting program with global emphasis on Cabernets and around 185 different Cabernets and Cabernets blends are waiting to be swirled and tasted.  The International Sommelier Guild will be there to provide guidance and share their expertise on anything Cabernet. What an awesome opportunity to not only sip some beautiful wines but to take a journey into the world of Cabernets.

This year’s themed wine country is the increasingly popular Chile, meaning that an array of outstanding Chilean products, perhaps including your favourite labels, will be on hand for everyone to try. Talking about Chilean wines, who do not have a bottle or two at home these days?  No one will argue the Chileans have done a great job in producing and marketing their wines!

Since the 16th century when the Spanish explorers discovered this land and found it to be a viticulture haven, Chile has been a grape growing region. Now, it is one of the major players in New World wines!  Both the wine production and the export volumes are on a constant rise. Chile is currently the fifth largest wine exporter in the world!  Taking centre stage at the upcoming Vancouver Internal Wine Festival is no doubt the testament to their viticulture effort and winemaking practice.  A drum roll indeed to showcase their solid progresses that make Chile one of the not-to-be missed wine regions.

Geographically, Chile has wine growing regions stretching length-wise from south to north to provide friendly appellations, great diversity and distinct characteristics. The natural mountain barriers and Mediterranean climate are ideal for practicing organic viticulture. But it is their forward thinking wine philosophy, supported by modern technology; years of experiences and most of all, the passion and their belief to be able to produce good-drinking wines! These put Chile on the global wine consumers’ map, and now, the shining star of the upcoming 2012 Vancouver International Wine Festival!

Wine drinkers who love to explore cannot afford to miss this annual food and wine extravaganza! Chile will surely provide a different perspective of what New World wines entail. For those wine drinkers who are familiar with Old World wines but willing to listen, taste and expand their wine horizon; and for anyone wishing to fine-tune their wine knowledge, get your tickets early! Go on-line at tickets.vancouverplayhouse.com.