An evening spent at the Riverside Theatre this weekend was an evening spent being entertained while having tastebuds tantillized with delicious flavours. This was the seventh year of the wine festival and the first year it was held at the Riverside Centre Theatre. A crowd of wine enthusiasts attended the event and went away with raffle prizes, silent auction items and some new knowledge about local vineyards.
The Rotarians had earmarked their profits from the wine festival for three important fundraising objectives. They want “to refurbish, re-equip and expand the kitchen facility at Riverside Centre,” stated Rotary president Ken Blower. The wine festival was the first fundraising event for the kitchen. Some of the funds from the event will go towards sponsorship of a high school exchange student and some will go towards graduation scholarships.
Wineries from the Okanagan/Similkameen brought their wines to the festival for sampling and the many who attended were pleased with the variety. There were many different white wines to sample – pinot blanc, chardonnay and pinot gris. The red wines were varied as well with cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and more. The curious tasters were awakened to a wide variety of flavours and grapes. Dessert wines and fruity wines were counterbalanced with dry whites and oak aged reds. The evening was a delight to the mouth.
Numerous tables of food were also set up for samplings. Thomasina and Jerome from Thomasina’s Tea Room and Bread Shoppe had cheese, cheese and more cheese with chunks of homemade bread and grapes to nibble on. Santos brought some Greek to the house. Overwaitea, the Heartland Restaurant and the Belaire Restaurant all had generous tables of food for the tasting. There was also a chocolate fountain for fondue style dipping.
“Rotary is a worldwide service and humanitarian organization that promotes ethical business practices and is dedicated to improving the lives of people everywhere through improvements in health, education and the advancement of peace,” said Blower. “The wine fest is just one of our fundraiser for this year. The festival was a financial success. We haven’t totalled up all the numbers yet, but believe that once we are done all our accounting that the final total will be favourable. This was our first opportunity we have had to put funds towards our kitchen project at Riverside and we hope to have some for the scholarships at PSS.”
“The sponsorships we have had by local businesses have been great and led to the success of the wine fest. The sponsorship list is long. People have been great about supporting us. We received a lot of favourable comments about the venue too. There were around 80 and 90 people at the event and overall we are pleased with the way things went.”
Six wineries made the trip to Princeton – Tinhorn Creek, Road 13, Hester Creek, Forbidden Fruit, Gehringer Brothers and Rustic Roots.
There were many great auction items to bid on, as well as some nice raffle prizes. Shirley Campbell won the Henkel knife set and Shirley McMahon was the circle of life pendant necklace winner.
Shirley Campbell won the necklace earring set from the roulette wheel and Del Hall won the first prize Hester Creek get-a-way.
“It was a really fun evening,” stated Rotarian Colleen Stevens “and the community once again showed us that they too care about their town. We want to thank everyone for attending and helping us give our kitchen project some fundraising CPR. We hope to see you all again next year…and bring some friends, so our wine fest can keep getting bigger and better.”