VPIWF Celebrating Excellence Awards

Even though the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival was just getting started before I left for my stagette on Friday afternoon, it seemed fitting that my last event was the “Celebrating Excellence” awards lunch. So many things are happening in the wine world and this is the place to celebrate them.

As we ate and drank our way through Spanish favorites, the winners were announced:

Sommelier of the Year went to Owen Knowlton of West Restaurant. Usually I am drinking cocktails there, but they also received a Platinum Wine List Award so this is an amazing combo. Other wine list award winners for metro Vancouver are as follows:


  • Blue Water Café + raw bar
  • West Restaurant


  • C Restaurant
  • Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
  • CinCin
  • Wine Room at Joey Bentall One
  • L’Abattoir
  • Au Petit Chavignol
  • Salt Tasting Room


  • Cactus Club Cafe
  • Provence Marinaside
  • The Observatory
  • The Salmon House
  • Zest Japanese Cuisine
  • Chambar


  • ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro
  • Poor Italian Ristorante
  • Lift Bar Grill View
  • Yew Restaurant + Bar
  • Raincity Grill
  • Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

Honourable Mention:

  • Goldfish Pacific Kitchen
  • Gramercy Grill
  • Joey Restaurants
  • Hart House Restaurant (Burnaby)

See the winners in other regions and categories here.

Jurgen Gothe won the Spirited Industry Professional Award. It “honours an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia” and the weekly wine columnist for the Georgia Straight has certainly done this, with style. As photos were presented, he started to realize what was happening and by the time the room was standing, he was almost speechless.

It was a great event and I was happy to be leaving the festival on such a warm note. Can’t wait until next year!


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