The organizing committee of Rotary Club of Langley Central raised their glass in the Vista D’Oro vineyard

VIDEO: VIP helicopter tour adds juice to Langley wine fundraiser

Rotary Club of Langley Central hosts its 27th annual wine festival at Willowbrook Saturday.




One lucky attendee at the Rotary’s 27th annual Fraser Valley Wine Festival will win a helicopter tour of the Campbell Valley wine region, VIP guided tours of three Langley’s wineries, and a five-course dinner at one of the community’s most popular eateries – just for being part of Saturday’s event.

This grand prize alone has caused a spike in ticket sales for this weekend’s annual fundraising soiree at Willowbrook Shopping Centre, said Steve Carter. He is president of the Rotary Club of Langley Central this year, it’s the local service club that has been organizing this fundraiser for close to three decades.

Carter has personally been involved with the festival committee for five years, and said the involvement of new restaurants and wineries, more sponsors than ever before, and even new committee members has helped create quite the buzz around the 2016 wine festival.

But the biggest buzz seems to be around the grand prize being donated in large part by Sky Helicopters in Pitt Meadows and Moxie’s Restaurant in Willoughby.

“Every years, we try to do something a little different, a little more dynamic,” Carter said.

“The community has really gotten behind the event this year,” he added, introducing the prize as the brainchild of Jerome Uy, operating partner of the local Moxie’s (next to the freeway) and a long-time supporter and participant in the wine festival.

“In years past, I realized that maybe we could do something for a greater return for them, and to help build the Fraser Valley Wine Festival ticket sales by putting together a great grand prize. So, we partnered up with Sky and created a prize with them for an ultimate wine tour,” Uy said.

Participating was a no-brainer for George Lacny of Sky Helicopters, who said his company’s Fraser Valley wine tour is one of the signature experiences for travellers from around the world and a natural fit with this event.

He agreed to offer a flight for two out of Sky’s Pitt Meadows hangar, not only flying his guest over what he calls a pristine wine district, but landing at three of the different wineries in the Campbell Valley area.

“It’s a flight out here, into the beautiful wine district of Langley, and who wouldn’t love that?… Folks get VIP treatment and special tastings at the wineries here,” he explained.

“So, it’s an amazing grand prize,” Lacny added, moments after touching down in the vineyard at Vista D’Oro Farm and Winery on 4th Avenue in South Langley last week, as part of a pre-event promotion to draw more attention to the upcoming festival.

Patrick Murphy of Vista D’Oro is pleased to be part of the prize tour, and has long since been a part of the annual wine festival.

He believes in the good work that Rotary Clubs around the world do, and is happy to get behind the professionals and executives in his hometown of Langley by helping with this “hugely popular” Langley event.

“We support Rotary because of the great work they do in the community,” Murphy said, noting he’ll be just one of the five members of the Campbell Valley Wine Association participating in the festival. Three of those, Vista, Domaine Chaberton, and Township 7, will be part of the prize package tour.

“We’re proud to be pouring our wines for this worthy cause,” Murphy added, noting that Vista D’Oro has been part of the fundraiser for the past six years.

The flight and VIP winery tours is complemented by a five-course meal and wine pairing at the chef’s table at Moxie’s.

Great outing for wine lovers

In addition to placing guests being in the running for this grand prize, this evening also offers them a great chance “to taste some great wines – including some great Fraser Valley wines – and some food from some of the local restaurants and food providers in the area,” said long-time committee member Wayne Crossen.

This event features more than 200 wines from around the world, as well as signature samples from many of Langley’s finest eateries.

The Rotary wine festival is being held this Saturday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Willowbrook Shopping Centre. Tickets are $50 each and available ahead of time online at fvwf.ca.

This annual event is a fundraiser for Rotary Club, and with last year’s event as an example, they had 1,100 people attend and raised close to $70,000.

Net proceeds from this year’s festival will be going to several community initiatives helping youth and children in Langley.

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