Gray Monk Estate Winery Sommelier Rainier Wilkins pours a beverage for Genelle resident Helen Amundsen at the 14th annual Wine Festival held April 6 in Castlegar. Wilkins said he thought it was his eighth time at the fundraiser. Amundsen said she came to the fundraiser with her family and was enjoying it.

GALLERY: 14th annual Wine Festival another huge success for Castlegar Rotary

The event was sold out and a record number of wineries participated.

Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club held the 14th annual Wine Festival Saturday, April 6 at the Community Complex in Castlegar.

“This is our biggest fundraiser,” said Rotary president Brenda Balahura. “It’s another sold out year and all of the money goes to community projects and helps fund world-wide projects, too.”

Balahura said the event had a record number of wineries participating (35) and would not have been possible without the hard work and support of many community sponsors and volunteers.

John and Maria Ferreira, proprietors of Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery in Oliver, were busy with inquiries at their booth as they shared vintages from 2008 to 2011.

Maria Ferreira said they have been participants in the festival for five years, and a lot of wineries from their area of B.C. attend the event. She also said Rotary treats them very well in Castlegar and that’s why they keep coming back.

While wine was the focus, there were other unique bottled beverages.

Susan and Gary Snow of Tabletree farm in Creston, produce international award-winning Black Cherry Juice using a process and equipment they invented. They have been nominated for B.C. Food Processors Innovation Award and Product of the Year Award: three finalists will be announced April 9.

The unique juice has already been awarded “Best Pure Juice 2012” at the World Juice Awards held in Barcelona, Spain. They were up against huge bottling companies like Pepsi, Coke, Tropicana, etc.

The closest place to find it near Castlegar is at Thrums Market, 1680 Moran Road.

The evening featured a silent auction, raffle, door prizes, a blind taste-test challenge, appetizers and safe rides home courtesy of the parents of Interact club members.

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