Vancouver Convention Centre Friday, May 20, 2022: The International Festival Tasting Event is one of the favourite activities of the Vancouver International Wine Festival and Friday night was the night to be there. The event was sold out and people seemed excited to attend. The last time the Wine Festival was held in-person was 2019. Even now, things aren’t quite back to the way it used to be, but it is a very good start. They have even set up the dates for 2023: April 24th to 30th. Proceeds go to Bard on the Beach.
For those of you who haven’t attended one yet: “The heart of the festival is the International Festival Tastings, where each winery will pour 4-5 wines for the public at four International Festival Tastings and for the hospitality industry at two Trade Tastings. The room also features food suppliers and industry exhibitors, including media and suppliers.”
The Vancouver International Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine events in the world, offering something for every level of wine drinker, collector and trade professional. In 2022, 100 wineries from 14 countries attended the festival to pour and discuss their wines at 27 events over the course of seven days.
At the Friday night Tasting Event, I decided to start with Dr. Loosen, as they were the only wine coming directly from Germany. Here I met Daniel Emmes, the production manager for J. Christopher Wines in Oregon. He is the nephew of Dr. Loosen and is completely fluent in English and German. Learn more here: https://drloosen.com/. Unfortunately Dr. Ernie Loosen was attending the International ProWein Trade Fair in Düsseldorf and couldn’t be there: https://www.prowein.com/. This is why he asked his nephew to drive to Vancouver and to represent the Dr. Loosen brand.
The Loosen family has been growing Riesling and producing wine in the Mosel valley for over 200 years. the current owner Ernst “Ernie” Loosen, assumed ownership in 1996 and is now one of the most iconic and influential winemakers in the world.
Where is the Winery located? The address is ST. JOHANNISHOF 1 – D-54470 BERNKASTEL/MOSEL .” In 1996, Ernst Loosen took over the traditional J. L. Wolf Winery in the Palatinate (Pfalz) area of Germany, along the Mosel river, a west-bank tributary of the Rhine River, flowing for 339 miles across northeastern France and western Germany. The Local Haardt Mountains provide protection and the warm, mild climate is ideal for for the development and growth of grapes. Only completely ripe grapes can provide dry wines that contain a wealth of extracts. The ‘extract’ consists of all the complex compounds that give the wine its flavour. Wine consists mostly of water, plus about 13% alcohol. Then there are the actual flavourants obtained from the grapes. In a light-bodied, thinnish wine you would expect to find about 18 grams per litre of extract.
In Germany, the Village Wolf vineyards have been cultivated exclusively by hand since 2014, without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Ernie Loosen studied the most famous vineyards and wineries around the world to learn the secrets of first-class wine making. His philosophy became: “Great wines are the perfect amalgamation of soil, climate and variety of grapes.”
To my surprise, Dr. Loosen had also purchased a winery in Newberg, Oregon, USA, where the head winemaker is Timothy Malone. Daniel Emmes, nephew of Dr. Loosen, represents the family as production manager and was also able to attend the Festival in Vancouver. His job is to ensure J. Christopher wines have everything they need, from corks to barrels, to keep wine production flowing. He serves as a vital communications link from the vineyards to the cellar to sales, by leading the charge to bring better information systems to the cellar and by helping out personally wherever he’s needed.
The well-travelled son of a diplomat, apparently Daniel speaks six languages and would be happy to engage you in deep conversation in any of them. Learn more here: https://jchristopherwines.com/
Located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA of Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley, the J. Christopher winery specializes in sustainably produced wines made with the patient, unhurried approach of the Old World. Owned by renowned Mosel winegrower Ernst Loosen (of the Dr. Loosen estate), the winery farms its own 20- acre Appassionata Vineyard, as well as 25 acres of leased vineyards. Additional fruit is sourced from excellent, sustainably managed vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley. The philosophy at J. Christopher is to produce wines that emphasize expression of origin, a fine balance and exceptional ageability. “Appassionata” is the name of the estate vineyard, as well as the top-tier line of late-release wines.
Then it was time to choose one bottle of wine to take home. BC Liquor had set up a store at the Vancouver Convention Centre and you were able to purchase wine and leave, or purchase a bottle of wine and have it sent to your favourite liquor store for pick-up or purchase a bottle of wine and give it to the bottle valet for safekeeping. I choose a bottle of Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Kabinett Riesling 2019.
The Vancouver Convention centre is a beautiful venue and I always love being in the building.
There will be more stories coming, so please stay tuned!