Teresa Zeleznik

Let the wine flow and the good times roll

The annual Rotary Wine Festival, held at the K2 Rotor Lodge

Wine lovers were in heaven on April 9 as the third annual Wine Festival took place at the K2 Rotor Lodge.

The event was hosted by the Rotary Club of Nakusp, in partnership with the Arrow Lakes Grape Growers Society.

The whole dining area of the K2 was used. Tables from different wineries and vineyards were set up along every wall, featuring wines made in different areas of the Kootenays and the Okanagan.

The idea for the festival came about when Kees Van der Pol, incoming district governor for Rotary district 5080, and his wife Mayumi attended the wine festival in Castlegar.

“We were looking for another fundraiser, because we had done dinner theatre for so many years,” he said. “Mayumi and I thought this was something we could do.”

When entering the festival, each person is given a wine glass, which they could use to sample the different varieties, along with a booklet featuring the names of all the wineries and vineyards attending the event and what each one brought with them.

While the event gave people a chance to dress up and have a fun time, it was also an opportunity to raise money.

“Half the proceeds will go to PolioPlus,” said Van der Pol. “That is part of the worldwide polio eradication program that Rotary International does.”

While part of the funding goes to PolioPlus, part of the money will go to supporting scholarships at Nakusp Secondary School and Lucerne Elementary and Secondary School. The remainder will go toward Rotary’s waterfront lighting project.

Along with the wine, there was a selection of food donated by Overwaitea. Rejean Perrault, manager at Nakusp’s Overwaitea location, was very impressed with the turnout.

“For a smaller town, it’s actually a really big turnout with a lot of wineries coming and a lot of people,” he said.” It’s nice to see.”

A highlight of the evening for Perrault was trying wines he would not have otherwise tried, and understanding the thought process of how they came about.

“I’m definitely learning a lot, even though I’ve been to other wine festivals as well.” he said.

One of the more popular wines of the night was a white wine called The Flame, which was created at Silver Sage in Oliver. It was sweet, but had a really nice kick to it.

The festival also had a series of 50/50 draws, along with a silent auction, which has grown since last year’s event. There was about 20 items more donated to this year’s auction compared to the one last year.

The festival seems to grow more popular every year, but Van der Pol doesn’t want to expand.

“I want to keep our fabulous relationship with the K2 because they’ve treated us so well. I don’t want to make it bigger,” he said. “I don’t want to have to hunt people down to sell tickets. I’d rather have them realize that this is an event they should be part of.”