Welcome to The Vine, a seasonal newsletter brought to you by the  Wines of British Columbia The Vine is your guide to everything BC wine.

Share your love for BC wine by using #ExploreBCWine  and #BCWin e  in social media .

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1 prize package awarded; 2 to go
Congratulations to our first Explore BC VQA Wine & Win winner: Shelley Colliver of Chase, BC. 
The winning photo captures the joy of contest winner Shelley Colliver accepting a marriage proposal while at
Monte Creek Ranch Winery.

Shelley won a three day, two night BC Wine Country Harvest Tour simply by posting her favourite BC VQA Wine experience to Instagram using #ExploreBCWine.

Shelley's prize package includes experiences generously donated by Bench 1775 Winery; Poplar Grove Winery & Vanilla Pod Restaurant; Misconduct Wine Co. & The Kitchen; Hillside Winery & Bistro; and the Naramata Bench Wineries Association.

There are t wo more BC VQA Wine tours up for grabs! Enter to win by following these three steps:

1. Take a photo of your favourite BC VQA Wine experience.
2. Post your photo to Twitter or Instagram.
3. Use #ExploreBCWine in your post or tweet. 

It's that easy.

Visit  WineBC.com/ExploreBCWine  for full contest details.
February 11 to 19, 2017
In recognition of Canada's 150th birthday, the 2017 Vancouver International Wine Festival features Canada as the theme country with 76 wineries from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, nearly one third of which are participating for the first time. This marks the largest gathering of Canadian wineries ever at an international festival.

Overall, the festival will showcase 181 wineries from 16 countries pouring 1,550 wines at 55 events. Included in these events are special regional and theme country tasting seminars. 

These seminars are your opportunity to hear from industry leaders and winemakers in expert-led tasting seminars featuring some of BC's top wine varietals and styles.

BC Pioneers & New Kids Consumer Seminar & Tasting
Presenters: DJ Kearney & Kurtis Kolt
Speakers: Howard Soon, Anne Sperling, Jacq Kemp, Pedro Parra, Chris Tolley, Val Tait
Details: Take a look at how the BC wine industry has evolved over the past 25 years and see how industry pioneers and the new kids on the block are putting their stamps on making wine in BC.
Date: Friday, February 17
Time: 5:15 to 6:45 PM
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West

Trans Canada Consumer Tasting
Presenters: Barb Philip MW & John Szabo MS
Details: Join Canada's first Master Sommelier, John Szabo, and western Canada's first Master of Wine, Barbara Philip, for a virtual road trip through this great country's vineyards. Also along for the ride will be leading viticulturists and winemakers from British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario to present some of their regions' benchmark wines.
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 5:15 to 6:45 PM
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West

Put a note in your calendar - tickets for these seminars go on sale January 10. For other festival tickets and information, click here.
Find out what's happening in BC Wine Country 
Events happening throughout BC Wine Country this winter. Stay up-to-date by visiting  WineBC.com.

Earning accolades around the world
BC VQA Wines are entered into dozens of competitions around the world each year and
achieve amazing success. In 2016, BC VQA Wines won more than 1,100 awards (accounts for only those BC VQA Wines that were included in the BC Wine Institute's Consolidation Program).
The latest results:

19th Mondial des Pinots (Sierre, Switzerland) 
65 international judges tasted 1,347 Pinot-based wines entered by 470 producers from 24 countries.  BC VQA winning wines included:
  • Arrowleaf Cellars Solstice Pinot Noir 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley - GOLD
  • Arrowleaf Cellars Solstice Pinot Gris 2015 BC VQA Okanagan Valley - SILVER
  • Arrowleaf Cellars Pinot Gris 2015 BC VQA Okanagan Valley - SILVER
  • Church & State Wines Vindication Pinot Noir 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley - SILVER
Decanter Asia Wine Awards (Hong Kong, China) 
More than 2,850 wines were tasted blind and rated by Decanter's experts. BC Wine Institute member wineries' BC VQA wines earned five silver medals and 18 bronze medals. Five received commendations. Click here for details.

InterVin International Wine Awards (Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario)
More than 1,300 wines were entered in this year's competiton from which just 48 were awarded gold medals (less than 4%) - 16 of which went to BC VQA Wines.  Click here for the details.

For more award-winning BC VQA Wines, visit the Awards page on BCWine.org .
Grilled Mushroom & Fresh Herbs Soup
In celebration of Lake Breeze Vineyards being named Canada's Best Performing Small Winery at the 2016 Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada, and in recognition of its 20th anniversary, we asked Chef Mark Ashton of the winery's The Patio Restaurant to share a seasonal recipe perfect for pairing with one of their award-winning wines.

Grilled Mushroom 
& Fresh Herb Soup 
Chef Mark Ashton of The Patio

10 g
(⅓ cup) dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp
vegetable oil
medium onion, diced
salt & pepper
rutabaga or turnip, coarsely diced
small sprig rosemary
small celeriac, coarsely diced
sprigs thyme
1 tbsp
garlic, diced
sage leaves
3 tbsp
olive oil
fresh parsley
large potato, coarsely diced
1 cup
heavy cream
⅓ cup
white wine
truffle oil
4 cups
vegetable stock
aged sherry vinegar
½ lb
mushrooms of your preference

Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in cold water until soft. Strain and set aside; reserve liquid.

Sweat the onion, rutabaga, celeriac and garlic in olive oil over low heat. Add potato, white wine, reserved porcini water and stock. Simmer until vegetables break easily when pressed.

Heat BBQ. Toss porcini and your preferred mushrooms in vegetable oil, salt and pepper, and then grill. Set aside to cool.

Remove stems from and finely chop the rosemary and thyme; add to soup. Purée soup using a blender or food processor; strain if desired.

When cooled, slice mushrooms and add to the soup. Simmer an additional 20 minutes to release the flavour of the grilled mushrooms. Add finely chopped sage and parsley and the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Chef Mark's tips

- Grilling or roasting the mushrooms adds an additional layer of flavour to the soup.

- Finish the soup with a drizzle of truffle oil, or alternatively a fine olive oil or nut oil.

- Carefully suspend drops of aged sherry vinegar in the oil drizzle for a spectacular presentation and to really excite the palate.


Pair with Lake Breeze Vineyards' award-winning 
2014 Meritage BC VQA Okanagan Valley. Find it here.

Find wine and food pairing tips on WineBC.com.