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inside New Zealand
$65  6:00 - 7:30
Host: Oliver Powrie, Villa Maria Estate
Head viticulturalist for New Zealand’s most awarded winery, Villa Maria Estate, Ollie Powrie invites you to join him for an insider’s tour of his country’s wine industry. Powrie will focus on the unique terroir, impressive diversity and commitment to environmental sustainability that make these wines second to none. Guests at this masterclass will get to taste some of New Zealand’s very best bottles, including six premium Villa Maria Cellar Selection tier wines and two premium single-vineyard Taylors Pass tier wines from the family-owned winery. These samples will illustrate how innovation and passion inform winemaking at the highest levels of the New Zealand industry. 
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Wines being poured:

1.      Villa Maria Cellar Selection Organic SB 2016
2.      Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2015
3.      Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Gris 2016          
4.      Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay  Chardonnay 2015
5.      Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah 2014    
6.      Villa Maria Cellar Selection Albariño 2015              
7.      Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2014
8.      Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2015

intervin Gold
$65  6:30 – 7:30
Host: Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine
This exclusive one-hour session presents ten Gold medal-winning wines from the 2016-17 InterVin International Wine Awards. InterVin Head Judge Christopher Waters and special guests will share highlights from the competition that saw more than 1,300 wines from 16 countries put to the test. Let your inner wine geek come alive as you sip and savour your way through a noteworthy selection of some of the top-scoring red, white and sparkling wines from this year’s challenge. Samples will include rare offerings from Winery of the Year finalists and highly regarded current releases so you can taste before you buy. Guests will receive a free one-year subscription to VINES Magazine. Buy tickets now


now & Then
$65  6:30 – 8:00
Host: The Independent Wine Education Guild (IWEG)
Learn how aroma and flavour are affected by age and appreciate the nuances that maturity brings to a wine’s character.Ageability is a significant element to wine education, which is often overlooked. Is the wine in your glass at its best? Or does the wine have the potential to evolve? This is a key factor in distinguishing fine wines from simply good ones. IWEG Drinks Academy, Canada’s premier organization for wine, spirits and sake education, has partnered with Wines of Germany for a one-of-a-kind tasting to showcase why Riesling is one of the most age-worthy wines on earth. This flight of international wines will compare current releases alongside an aged, library vintage, presenting the rare opportunity to compare and contrast. Buy tickets now


a little italy
$80  6:00 – 7:30
Host: Zoltan Szabo
Back for his third year to host A Little Italy, Zoltan Szabo is one of Toronto’s most distinguished sommeliers. He has a passion for Italy’s food and wine culture that has been honed by leading the wine programs at some of Toronto’s finest Italian restaurants and fine dining meccas on three continents. Each year Zoltan pours eight handpicked selections to showcase the very best of Italy, highlighting regions, producers and vintages that every wine lover should know about. An award-winning wine taster and consummate host, he invites you to join him on a personally guided tour of Italy’s bounty that’s not to be missed. One of the most popular Tutored Tastings sessions, this is sure to sell-out. Book today. Buy tickets now


Holiday hits
$65  6:30 – 7:30
Host: Wines of South Africa
Just in time for the holidays, join VINES Magazine editor Christopher Waters for a fun seminar exploring South Africa’s latest Vintages offerings alongside a curated soundtrack. A regular visitor to the Cape, Christopher will guide you through a line-up of wines that would be perfect for any upcoming holiday occasion. The vibrant selection of white, red and sparkling wines from South Africa rank as some of the most exciting wines in the world right now. Here’s your chance to survey the dramatic array available, at a range of prices and from a number of notable producers. Let us put your holiday wine selection (and DJ list) together in one! Buy tickets now


pushing the limits
$85  6:30 – 8:00
Host: John Szabo M.S.
It’s often said that the finest wines are made from the most desperate vines, those pushed to the edge of survival. This means wines made from vertigo-inducing slopes, from ancient, century-old vines vines, from the most meagre, impoverished soils, from oxygen-thin, extreme ultra-violet radiation-influenced altitudes, from dreadfully marginal climates, and other places that are hell-on-earth for vines, but yield heaven for wine drinkers. Travel with Master Sommelier John Szabo to remote corners of the planet and taste the divine fruit of desperate vines, sacrificed for our pleasure. The globe-trotting sommelier will also have specially-priced copies of his latest book, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power on hand for cash purchase and personal signing. Buy tickets now


$85  2:00 – 3:30
Host: Michael Vaughan  and Jason Woodman
With more than 1,000 years of viticultural history, Burgundy holds a unique significance for wine lovers. Experience the beauty and legacy of its fabled landscape through an impressive range of wines from Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis and Bouchard Père & Fils in the Côte d’Or. Michael Vaughan, economist, consumer advocate & editor of Vintage Assessments website (former wine columnist for the Globe & Mail and National Post) and importer Jason Woodman, of Woodman Wines and Spirits, will share their keen insight into these fine expressions of Burgundy’s sub-regions as they taste through village, premier and grand cru expressions, including William Fèvre Chablis Bougros Côte Bougerots Grand Cru and Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus Premier Cru monopole. 
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$65  2:00 – 3:30
Host: Wines of Germany
Season’s Greetings from Wines of Germany! A Christmas market is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. Generally held in the town square, markets are filled with dozens of open-air stalls selling seasonal decorations, savory foods, sweet treats and holiday drinks. In honour of this tradition, we invite you to enjoy a tasting of Germany’s finest white, red and sparkling wines paired with typical German style foods for the holidays. In this tasting, hosted by VINES’ Christopher Waters, you will be surprised by the many styles of Riesling — from crisp and dry to elegantly sweet — and discover why German Spatburgunder is a leading contender on the world stage of Pinot Noir. Buy tickets now


Great Grapes FROM SPAIN
$65  3:00 – 4:30
Host: David Lawrason
Spanish wine is anchored in Tempranillo and the traditions of Rioja, the source of some of the world’s great aged classics. But less well-known regions are emerging with bold, new wines from indigenous grape varieties, such as Cariñena, Garnacha and Monastrell. Wine authority David Lawrason of Toronto Life and WineAlign has visited many of these regions in recent years and will bring you up-to-date with a tasting of eight personally selected reds that reflect the vibrancy and value of modern Spain. Our Spanish Tutored Tasting seminar is always a crowd-pleaser as guests come to better understanding of the value and complexity to be enjoyed across the broad and distinctive portfolio of wines available at the LCBO and Vintages. Buy tickets now


California Benchmarks 
$75  3:00 – 4:30
Host: Wagner Family of Wine
Chuck Wagner and his family are proud to continue a farming and winemaking legacy traced over multiple generations. Chuck has spent his entire life on the land in Rutherford — the heart of Napa Valley.  He was 19 when he joined his parents in 1972 to create Caymus Vineyards and began establishing the region’s singular style and reputation. Caymus is part of the Wagner Family of Wine which includes wines made by Chuck’s children, Charlie and Jenny Wagner. While each Wagner has a unique point of view, they share some common family traits — a passion for hard work, innovation, and a mutual goal of excellence. Taste that passion during this tasting of California benchmarks, including Conundrum White, Emmolo Napa Merlot, Caymus Napa Cabernet and the rare Caymus Napa Zinfandel. Buy tickets now


tuscan treasures
$65  4:30 – 6:00
Host: Ruffino
For more than a century, Ruffino has been a leader in fine, award-winning Italian winemaking. Ruffino Chianti and Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico, a label originally made for Italy’s royal family, were among the first Tuscan wines to be exported. They created international demand for the Tuscany region’s classic wine character. This tasting will celebrate the evolution of Ruffino’s historic estates via a dramatic range of wines, including the innovative Super Tuscan Modus and the iconic Riserva Ducale Oro that bears the elite designation Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. It will also welcome a new member to the family, the award-winning Ruffino Prosecco. Buy tickets now


world of drinks 
$90  4:30 – 6:30
Host: Kevin Brauch, The World of Drinks
The most popular and energetic session in Tutored Tastings history returns for another triumpant year. Television personality and bon viviant, The Thirsty Traveler checks in from his ongoing global search for the world’s most unique beverages and looking to showcase his latest discoveries in this energetic session. Always entertaining and unexpected, this dynamic seminar is filled with Brauch’s signature tales from his travels and punctuated by surprise guests. He will provide an arsenal of his favourite spirits, beer and wine from around the globe, insight into their origin and more than a few moments of unabashed laughter to quench your thirst for the world’s best drinks. 
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This year’s program offers unrivalled access to the world's greatest wines and the most knowledgeable presenters including winemakers, media personalities and industry experts. Here are some of the presenter highlights for this year.

Kevin Brauch • Writer • Celebrity DrinkingRobot

The one and only Kevin Brauch, worldrenowned host of The Thirsty Traveler, globetrotter, bon viviant and, in his own words, “really great guy,” is back from his international search for the world’s most impressive beverages. From a talented young bartender working in Toronto’s busiest bars and restaurants to the titleholder as the man with “the best damn job in the world,” Kevin has immersed himself in the world of drinks. Kevin crosses the globe drinking the world’s finest spirits, wines, beers and eating the best food imaginable. This multiple-nominated, Gemini Awardwinning presenter also hosts MegaWorld and is the co-host of Iron Chef America.

John Szabo • Master Sommelier johnszabo.com

John added the MS credentials to his name in 2004, becoming the first in Canada, and is one of only 210 overly dedicated master sommeliers currently sipping wine worldwide today. John is a partner and principal critic at winealign.com, Canada’s most popular online resource for wine reviews and news in Canada, wine columnist for Ricardo Magazine, and wine editor for CityBites, among many other freelance and consulting activities. His next book, Volcanic Wines, was recently published in spring 2016.

Christopher Waters • Writer vinesmag.com

Christopher Waters is co-founder and editor of VINES, a national consumer magazine aimed at Canadians who buy, drink and enjoy wine and are passionate about the subject. His weekly wine column, Waters & Wine, is syndicated in Post Media newspapers across Canada. In addition, Waters is head judge of InterVin International Wine Awards, Canada’s largest international wine competition. He is also an educator at the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute at Brock University. Christopher travels the globe in search of the world’s best wines to enlighten and amaze his readers, students and fans. Congratulations Christopher on sixteen amazing years of Vines Magazine!