Here is our list of producers you shouldn’t miss!

First, some perspective. While every city in Canada has some sort of wine festival, Vancouver’s is the biggest. And the best. Last year saw some 25,000 keeners attend tastings, seminars and dinners and while the sheer size of the event—156 wineries from 14 countries pouring 1,450-plus wines—makes it special, it also means that you can quickly get overwhelmed by all the choices. By all means flit from booth to booth discovering gems you heretofore have never heard of. But first, go to these booths and sip these wines:

The Booth: Umani Ronchi

The Wine: Plenio Verdicchio RiservaThe Reason: A wine full of slated almonds and preserved lemons that immediately transports you to the Italian coastline of your choosing. You’re ready. 

The Booth: Vietti

The Wine: Nebbiolo PerbaccoThe Reason: This is a “base” nebbiolo (the star grape of Barolo and Barbaresco) that still costs more than many full-blown Barolos—why? Depth, concentration and a seductive quality that will make you fall in love with Piedmont. 

The Booth: Paolo Conterno

The Wine: Barolo Ginestra 2009The Reason: If you liked the Vietti, dip into this full-blown Barolo from one the area’s storied producers. 

The Booth: Biondi Santi

The Wine: Rosso di MontalcinoThe Reason: Maybe the most acclaimed producer of Brunello, this is their baby brother wine—still a knockout. 

The Booth: Haywire

The Wine: Free FormThe Reason: Perhaps the most exciting wine in the Okanagan right now: above all “natural” wine should be drunk where it’s grown and a sip of this trailblazer will help you decide if you’re a fan of non-interventionist winemaking (and it’s perfectly OK to say you’re not).