Can you tell us about the wine festival?

Nanaimo Grape Escape is taking place at The Grand Hotel Nanaimo on Friday October 26 from 7pm-10pm. The Nanaimo Wine Festival has been around for over 20 years, but this year we have a whole new venue and event. There will be 200 different wines to sample and Chef Ian Ter Veer is preparing the food. You can experience live music, while sampling wines from around the world.

What can visitors expect?

The opportunity to sample 200 different wines from around the world, including wines local to British Columbia. This event also features food pairings and live music!

There’s an impressive amount of wine represented at the tasting event. Will there be some local Nanaimo wineries? Are there some unique wines you’re excited to try?

We have local Nanaimo winery Chateau Wolff joining us. Other central Vancouver Island wineries include Unsworth, Alderlea and Averill Creek. I am most excited to try The Little Engine wines, out of the Okanagan. I have heard a lot of great things!

And this is much more than just a one day event. What else can folks attend?

In addition to the event on Friday, October 26th here at the Grand Hotel, people can attend winemaker dinners throughout town. On Wednesday October 24th, one is being held at Mahle House. On Thursday October 25th, we are hosting one at the Grand Hotel. And on Saturday October 27th, La Stella Trattoria is hosting a winemaker dinner.

Can you tell us about how the wine and restaurant pairings came to be?

The Grand Hotel is a member of the Chaine Des Rotisseurs, a gastronomic club that celebrates food and wine pairings and lays out standards for how food and wine should be consumed together, such as no salt on the table, to consume the food exactly as the chef intended and no water, as the focus is on the wine. I am the President of the chapter on Vancouver Island that is North of the Malahat.

This is about creating a fine dining experience. The winemaker dinner at Mahle House will feature Blue Grouse Winery of Duncan. Here at the Grand Hotel we will be featuring Martin’s Lane Winery and CheckMate Artisanal Winery. These wines will not be sampling at the main Friday event, so if you want to experience them, come to the winemaker dinner. These wines retail for $100-250 per bottle, so it is an experience and great value. The 5-course dinner is $160/per person plus tax and gratuity.

Where can folks buy tickets?

Tickets are available exclusively at The Grand Hotel, 4898 Rutherford Road.