This week sees the return of Top Drop Vancouver (Sept 10-11), a “wine and more” festival that focuses very much on smaller wineries and other craft producers. Last year’s debut was rightly well received—likely because the selection of wineries did indeed appeal to a more curious taster, as well as to sommeliers looking to tweak their lists.
Here’s why this year’s edition (with more cideries, craft breweries and an expanded food component) looks even more promising.
1. Top Drops: It’s All About Terroir
One glance at the list of who’s coming and you’ll see that the organisers have done their homework to respect that mantra of wine being, truly, about ‘people and place’.
You can see the full list here but below is a sampling:
Benjamin Bridge – Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia – Extraordinary Canadian east coast sparkling wine producer that has Champagne tongues wagging.
Champagne Lallier – Champagne, France. Remarkable Champagnes from Aÿ, one of the original 17 Grand Cru villages.
Elio Altare – Barolo, Italy. Cutting edge, often controversial winemaking, with top drawer Barolos.
Stina – Dalmatia, Croatia. Italy’s Adriatic neighbour is on a roll. A chance to discover some great tastes from this 100 year old producer.
Vaglio Wines – Uco Valley, Argentina. Widely acclaimed wines from José Lovaglio Balbo, son of ground-breaking Susana Balbo.
2. The Top Drop Dinner Series
Grab some of the few tix remaining for some seriously good bites from Cinara, Edible Canada and Wildebeest in Vancouver, and Whistler’s Alta Bistro. Both winery and menu lineups reflect the festival’s mantra, with a good balance of BC and visiting wineries.
Of note: Edible Canada hosts a long table dinner with wines from five terroir-focused BC producers: Full details here.
Find details on the full Top Drop Dinner Series here.
3. The Main Event: for Real
This year’s grand tasting, with public (evening) and trade (afternoon) components is on September 11th, in much bigger digs, at The Roundhouse Community Centre. Running the gamut of styles and some 50 wineries, ciders and craft breweries, it promises to deliver a snapshot of what’s hot (and real) in the wine world. Book here.
4. A Smart Trade Program
If you’re in the restaurant or wine business you’ll want to be there. The calibre of Top Drop Trade Forums looks excellent, from Terroir Mash-Up: Home & Away (with Justin Everett & DJ Kearney and principals) to Minerality, Rocks & Dirt (with Jason Yamasaki and principals), Unique Regions of the World (with Neil Ingram and principals) and more. Register on line. Qualified buyers only are admitted to the The Main Event trade tasting, with all participating wineries, craft breweries and cideries.
For a complete list of participants, click here