Now in its 19th year, the Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club’s Annual Wine Festival this year introduced People’s Choice Awards.
Those who attended the nearly sold-out event were able to vote on their favourite red, white, blend, rosé and spirit, and the winners received custom-made medals to be displayed around the necks of their bottles in their showrooms.
“Quinn Gorkoff [from Cantac] designed our medals for us and those medals are unique,” said Alexia Turner, chair of the wine festival.
The medals feature the Rotary wheel and the category on the front and say “Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club 19th Annual Wine Festival” on the back.
The People’s Choice Awards winners were as follows:
• White — Gewürztraminer from Silver Sage;
• Red — 2016 Merlot from Therapy Vineyards;
• Rosé — 2017 Summer Blush Rosé from Wynnwood Cellars;
• Blend — 2016 Kootenay Crush from Skimmerhorn Winery;
• Spirit — Pickled Vodka.
Turner said she and other organizers of the event weren’t sure how successful having the People’s Choice Awards would be at first.
“But we had so many ballots to count, it was unreal, and we weren’t sure people would really be into it, but they were into it,” she said.
They even offered a draw prize for anyone who submitted a ballot to encourage voting, but Turner said they didn’t really need it.
The prize was a gift certificate to the Black Rooster and a gift certificates to the Nineteenth. Other prizes included the Grand Door Prize, which was a stay in the Vintage Chic Room at Columbia Gardens Vineyard and Winery and a $50 gift certificate to Café Michael, a draw for two Celtic pendants, a spa treatment and beauty products, a draw for a drone, a prize for designated drivers, and a prize for the wine trivia quiz, which was new this year.
The wine festival featured 30 wineries and three distilleries and had 20 major sponsors this year.
“One of the things that never, ever fails to amaze me is how supportive the businesses in this community are,” said Turner.
“And also surrounding communities too, they’ve been really [supportive],” added Sandy Hartman, co-chair of the festival and Rotary director.
Businesses from Nelson and Trail have also shown support for the event.
Twenty-one sponsors have already signed on for next year and the date has been set for Saturday, April 6, 2019.
Turner and Hartman also recognized members of Selkirk College Enactus and members of the Castlegar Interact Club who helped out at the event, as well as the parents of Interact students who volunteered safe rides home for festival goers and their vehicles.