Top Drop: Vancouver's coolest wine fest is on this May

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Lindsay William-Ross May 18, 2017 1:21 pm 1,142

Think of it as the wine fest for the cool kids. Not the “too cool” kids, mind you; at Top Drop Vancouver you check snobbery at the door and sip, mingle, and get a little loose with some of the world’s most exciting small-scale wine, beer, and cider producers.

Thinking small is a pure win for this kind of wine fest. As Daily Hive wine columnist David Stansfield explained last year ahead of Trop Drop, the gathering is free to focus on “just the good shit.”

Top Drop organizer and top-notch wine expert Kurtis Kolt is particularly excited to give smaller wineries, including those that focus on natural winemaking, their own platform in the city. The popular gathering is a great forum for an ongoing conversation about what’s happening in wine, and the delicious ways in which terroir–a sense of place–comes through in each bottle…and your glass.

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Taking place May 22, 23, and 24 this year, Top Drop kicks off with a keynote speaker event on night one, includes an evening of exclusive dinners on the second night at five terrific Vancouver restaurants, and the Main Event tasting on the third evening.

The keynote event, called Site Expression & Technique: The Human Factor in Terroir is a moderated panel discussion true wine lovers will enjoy.

Dinner party/Shutterstock

For those interested in the wine dinners, here’s what on the docket, courtesy Top Drop Vancouver:

  • A ‘Low Country Seafood Boil’ at Mamie Taylor’s’ sees Herdade do Esporão (Alentejo, Portugal), Fattoria Colmone Della Marca (Marche, Italy), Cambria Estate Vineyard and Winery (Santa Maria Valley, California), Gramercy Cellars (Walla Walla, Washington), and Yangarra Estate Vineyards (McLaren Vale, Australia) breaking bread (and prawns, and lobster, and dungeness crab…) for a casual evening in Chinatown.
  • L’Abattoir’s Chef Lee Cooper and Vancouver magazine’s Sommelier of the Year, Lisa Haley, are hosting an Indigenous Wines of Italy dinner featuring Musella from the Veneto and Puglia’s Masseria Li Veli, with plenty of Garganega, Fiano, Corvina and Negroamaro to go around.
  • At Yaletown’s Provence Marinaside, Expressions of Varietals, Vintages and Terroir has Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia serving his iconic Southern France and West Coast cuisine alongside wines from Caves Bernard Massard (Grevenmache, Luxembourg), Thomas Bachelder (Ontario, Oregon & Burgundy), Bartier Bros (Okanagan Valley, BC), and Calmel & Joseph (Languedoc-Roussillon, France).
  • Wildebeest has teamed up with BC’s Roche Wines & Ontario’s Tawse Winery — to create a Cross-Country Check-Up–a Canadian wine and food experience. Chefs Alessandro Vianello, Ian McHale and Wine Director Justin Everett have teamed up to craft an exclusive menu highlighting fresh spring ingredients alongside these exemplary wines.
  • Celebrate some of the most compelling non-interventionist, pure, expressive and unique BC wine being made at a five-course dinner at Burdock & Co, under the hand of Chef Andrea Carlson for a Super ‘Natural’ BC-focused evening.
Top Drop Vancouver

Top Drop Vancouver/Facebook

The Main Event takes place on May 24 at the Roundhouse, and features all international, terroir-focused wineries, craft breweries, cideries, food purveyors, and much more. This spirited mingler includes participating wineries from South Africa, France, Italy, the US, Canada and beyond.

Make sure to snag tickets, as the events are likely to sell out. Proceeds from Top Drop Vancouver go to the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Top Drop Vancouver 2017

When: May 22, 23 and 24
Where: Various locations around Vancouver
Tickets: $25 to $160; Available for each event online via Top Drop site


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Lindsay William-Ross
Lindsay is Daily Hive's National Food Editor. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she has also lived in Toronto, NYC, and LA. Previously the EIC of LAist.com, she earned a Master's in English, attended culinary school, and taught English at Cal State LA. Lindsay's first published piece was in 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa.

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