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What: 12 th Annual Whistler International Wine Festival

When: May 9, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Macdonald Ballroom, Fairmont Chateau Whistler

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Grape Expectations

New Varieties on Offer at 12 th Annual Whistler International Wine Festival

Sangiovese or Chenin Blanc?

Even more grape varieties are on offer at the 12 th Annual International Wine Festival, which takes place at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

"It’s a real locals’ night, with casual milling," said Dagmar Roth, Board of Trustee member with the Whistler Public Library.

For two hours you can sample red and white wines, enter the book draw for prizes, and cleanse your palate in between with a little bubbly to boot.

The event is sponsored by International Cellars, the Vancouver-based company, which is a supplier for Western Canada. Nesters Market will donate appetizers for the event, while Chateau staffers will assist by serving guests in the Macdonald Ballroom

"It’s a fun, affordable event as a wrap-up to ski season," said Jenny Villard, who recently stepped down as a Board of Trustees member for the Whistler Public Library, but continues to volunteer for the popular annual event.

The intricacies of tannins, body and flavour make for some alternate beverage stimulation.

Since its inception, the event has raised over $75,000 for Whistler charities. All proceeds this year benefit the Whistler Public Library.

The annual ‘book draw’ is another part of the fundraiser organized by the library, whose fifty volunteers help support the event.

"People buy pages of the book, three tickets for $10, and if there is a ticket on that page they win that prize," said Villard.

Dana Harris, in marketing and promotions with sponsor International Cellars, said the festival is a chance "to have people come in and learn more about wine, and support a cause."

Twenty tables of wines will be showcased, and guests receive a booklet to accompany their tastings.

Harris highlights the Peter Lehman brand from Australia, available for the first time in Whistler for consumers, in addition to the Sumac Ridge Gewürtztraminer and a Shiraz from Haselgrove from the McLaren Vale area in Australia.

"[As a company] we wanted to support the community of Whistler with an event that supports local charities," added Harris.

As part of sampling wines of the world to bring home to Canada, Harris has travelled to Burgundy, France and different regions of Australia. All part of a day’s work for the promotions representative, who supplies wine to the Whistler and Greater Vancouver area, for the B.C. Liquor Board.

International Cellars also supplies wine to retail merchants.

Ten staffers from the company will be on hand to describe, present, and serve wines from two B.C. vineyards, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery from Summerland, and Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards from the Okanagan.

Wines imported from twenty different destinations will also be on hand. This year wines come from France, Italy, Spain and the U.S. These include Bodegas Palacio (Spain), and Mezzacorona (Italy).

Cin cin! Grape libations and knowledgeable representatives offer your this mini-course in wine.

Tickets are $25, available at the Whistler Public Library, for information call (604) 932-5564, International Cellars at (604) 713-0827, the adele-campbell art gallery at (604) 938-0887, the Whistler Activities and Information Centre at (604) 932-2394, and at the door.

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