Victoria International Wine Festival returns

A local festival is catering to the growing number of average wine consumers who enjoy the beverage.

With Victoria’s wine scene expanding, a local festival is catering to the growing number of average wine consumers who enjoy sipping the beverage.

The Victoria International Wine Festival kicks off Friday (Sept. 25) and features more than 300 wines from 100 different wineries from around the world. Participants can taste wines from Australia, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, the U.S. and France.

The event is a traditional wine tasting, with each participant receiving one ounce of wine, descriptors of what they should be tasting and what region it comes from. Seminars will be included as well.

Unlike some wine festivals, organizers are trying to cater to the average wine consumer, not just sommeliers.

“We’re not trying to have really expensive wine at the festival. While we do have some expensive wine, we want the consumer to be able to walk into a liquor store and not shop by labels at the end of the wine festival,” said David Bain, event organizer.

During last year’s inaugural event, the event sold out, which is why it has grown into a two-day event this year. Organizers are expecting an even larger turnout this weekend with participants ranging in age from late 20s to late 40s.

“It definitely seems like the norm for younger people to be consuming wine,” he said, adding there is a market for wine festivals in Victoria. “The demand is definitely there. We have a huge amount of liquor stores who are selling wine now. Wine has been around for much longer than any other alcohol and it has the ability to be a conversational piece.”

Bain said wine is generally becoming more popular, and is a $2.8-billion industry in B.C.

The festival runs from Friday, Sept 25 to Saturday, Sept. 26

For more information or to purchase tickets visit vicwf.com.