Canada’s first wine village is getting closer to its completion, with construction moving steadily ahead and the central hub taking shape.
Driving by the 11-acre site, which sits just south of Gallagher Lake, the village’s shiny new builds begin putting the full picture in place.
District Wine Village was a project that kicked off in November of 2019, with Greyback Construction beginning work at the start of 2020.
Now, 14 months in, their site has 10 buildings complete, with the others in various stages of construction and the centre structure close to being done. Water features and ponds have been placed and the next month will start landscaping and the finishing touches before an opening set for early June. A culinary centre will sit in the middle, along with the multi-purpose amphitheatre for future events and shows. Fire pits are in the works for installation.
“It’s gone fairly well to plan so far,” Matt Kenyon, the president for District Wine Village, said. “Obviously opening is going to depend on certain restrictions and what not with the health authorities, but we’re planning for early June, first week of June for opening, and we’re set up well for COVID protocols.”
The team is hoping to see the orders announced a week ago by the province to limit non-essential travel between three regional zones until May 25 lighten after the long weekend, but they’re prepared to adjust and go ahead with what they can.
“Preferably obviously a place like this…we would want more restrictions lifted. We have enough ability and space to open this space successfully in the local market for sure, which can provide hopefully enough support for those early months.”
The 16 dedicated production facilities have now all been reserved, set to open throughout the summer.
JoiRyde, One Faith, Trading Post Eatery. Trading Post Brewing, Wapiti Cellars, Vintners Cove, Uppercase Winery, Nk’Mip Cellars, Gneiss Wines and Winemaker’s Cut have been announced so far.
“We’re really pleased about that, we’re 100 percent reserved, It’s really exciting,” Kenyon said. “We have a really great mix of pure start ups, to grape growers that are entering the wine business, to a few existing brands doing a second place.”
And while 16 different spots to taste brings excitement, the village will be making sure beverages are enjoyed responsibly.
When residents show up to the village, they will come into the main plaza and scan the QR codes to order drinks or food or schedule tastings in the buildings.
A wine touring company is planning to make the wine village their home with different shuttle services and options to book e-bikes for the day.
Kenyon added that feedback from the local community has been very positive, excited to see the hub bring more attention to the area.
“I think it’s a well needed anchor for the South Okanagan, something else to do. It’s a great destination that’s been really well received by everybody we’ve spoken to.”
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