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Four Whistler restaurants honoured at wine festival

Festival continues in Vancouver through the weekend



Araxi and the Rimrock are celebrating after each received prestigious awards.

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival announced the two Whistler restaurants were given gold level awards for their wine lists.

Restaurants submitted their wine and menu lists to the award organizers and then judges followed up by visiting the outlets to review their programs.

The judges recognized the restaurants for creating wine lists that complement the establishment's unique menu and concept.

Samantha Rahn, the Wine Director at Araxi Restaurant and Bar, said after the awards were announced that the recognition for Araxi is the result of teamwork within the Table Top Group of restaurants. She said Andrea Vescovi of Blue Water Cafe and Owen Knowlton from West work together.

"Owen, Andrea and I work as a team to ensure that our wine lists are always approachable and in harmony with our food menus," said Rahn. "The sum of what we learn from each other, our suppliers and our travels is what we are passionate about passing on to our guests."

Vescovi was named Sommelier of the Year in 2009 and Knowlton received the same honour last year. Araxi, Blue Water and West are Top Table Group restaurants.

The Rimrock Café has received this honour in the past. The restaurant at Whistler's Creekside was honoured with gold awards last year and in 2008. In 2009 the Rimrock received a silver award.

The awards were handed out at the 9th Annual Awards Lunch on Friday in Vancouver.

Honourable mentions were given to Ric's Grill and The Grill Room at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

The international wine festival started on Monday and continues through the weekend with speaking events, seminars, tasting events, minglers and a number of other events at various locations around Vancouver. This year the festival's regional theme is the Wines of Chile and the global focus is on Cabernets.