If all goes according to plan, the South Okanagan’s new District Wine Village will be at once a hub for tourism, an incubator for small wineries and quite possibly the most ambitious project in any wine region in Canada.
Set to open in June, and located at the Osoyoos Indian Band’s Senkulmen Enterprise Park north of Oliver, it comprises 16 small, uniquely designed buildings, 13 of which will be leased to regional wineries. The others will house a distillery, brewery and restaurant; plus, the facility will have an amphitheatre, vineyard and education centre.
The wineries include exciting labels like Winemaker’s Cut, Vintners Cove, Eau Vivre and Gneiss Wines, which will each have a production facility, barrel room, outdoor patio and retail shop, as well as access to a crush pad facility and a three-to-five-year lease. This is an ideal opportunity for a small-production winery that wants to grow its business without the risk of building its own structure.
The whole project—the first of its kind in Canada—is the inspiration of Penticton’s Kenyon family, owners of Greyback Construction, which has helped build more than 40 Okanagan wineries over the past 20 years.
The buildings surround a central hub that is licensed to serve 600 guests and will feature art shows, concerts, a Wednesday market and, in the winter months, an outdoor skating oval. And this is just the beginning. The Kenyon family plans to add more, larger buildings to the 11-acre site in its second phase.
“We feel this will become a destination unto its own and people will enjoy other wineries in the area,” said Matt Kenyon, president of Greyback Construction, during the kickoff press conference in March. “We hope this village will be their first stop or end stop at the end of the day.”
@ Vitis Magazine