The Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach’s annual Wine Festival is back — and works of art have been added to the mix.
The event, set for April 13 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, will feature not only 17 wineries coming from Vancouver Island and across the province, it will also highlight artworks from a variety artists.
This will be the 17th anniversary of the festival. The organizers are expecting 400 people with a love for wine to attend. The event will start with a wine-tasting seminar at 6 p.m. and at 7 p.m. wine-tasting with hot and cold appetizers will take place.
As a lead up to the festival, the annual blindfolded wine-tasting challenge between the Rotary Club and the PQB News took place on Friday at the NEWS office.
The Rotarians were represented by this year’s Wine Festival event president, Lee Kuefler, and Donna Andres of Lady’s Mantle. For the NEWS, it was sales manager Steve Weldon and advertising co-ordinator Michel e Graham. The assistant manager at the BC Liquor Store distribution branch outlet, Peter Fenn, who will hold a wine-tasting seminar at the festival was again the judge of the challenge, with participants blindfolded and asked to sip two types of red wine blends. The event ended in a tie.
Fenn said there are a few things he plans to talk about at the wine-tasting seminar. He is keeping the type of wine he will feature a mystery to keep everyone guessing.
“We will be tasting four wines from one country,” said Fenn. “All of these wines will be tasted blind so that there will not be any preconceived ideas before we begin. I will be discussing grape varieties, farming methods and the traditions of the country I will be featuring.”
As well, Fenn will touch on how winemakers make the different wines and some of the history that has shaped these efforts.
“Audience participation will be encouraged and I will answer any questions the audience will have,” said Fenn. “This a very popular seminar, open to the first 100 people who arrive. I promise a little humour and lots of fun.”
Another feature that’s been added to popular festival this year is a booth where people can buy the wines they particularly liked and enjoyed. Kuefler said this added feature wasn’t easy to achieve as it was hard to get a licence for it. They’re looking forward to having this feature this year.
The organizers will also be offering a safe ride home program for those residing in Oceanside.
All proceeds from the event will be use to fund the Rotary’s project in the community.