October 07, 2015 - 9:00 PM
WEST KELOWNA - A new $30-million wine tour destination in West Kelowna could dramatically increase the number of foreign tourists coming to the Okanagan.
Construction on Grizzli Winery on Boucherie Road is scheduled for completion next spring. Ground was broken earlier this year but already it’s starting to take shape. The winery, at 60,000 square feet, will feature a state-of-the-art fermentation plant, four wine tasting rooms, retail space and an indoor-outdoor 150-seat restaurant.
The winery is owned by John Chang, who is originally from Taiwan but has been in Canada for more than 20 years. He is also the owner of Lulu Island Winery in Vancouver and Lailey Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Jim Harris of Uncorked Wine Tours says Grizzli and the Chinese tourists who are already familiar with Chang’s other ventures could dramatically change the face of wine tourism in the valley.
“We could see an influx (of tourists) one of these days,” he says. “I don’t think it’s going to happen tomorrow because they still love Vancouver but the more we get discovered I think eventually there’s going to be an influx of people coming to the Okanagan. It looks pretty darn impressive.”
Grizzli will feature a Tuscan-style look and feel, with stucco and brick and a gabled roofline. Varietals grown will include everything from ice wine grapes and merlot to chardonnay and many others.
“Kelowna’s west side is rapidly becoming one of B.C.’s most exciting wine producing and tasting destinations for quality wines,” Chang says. “We wanted the winery’s architecture and landscape design to provide an experience that would enhance visitor’s experience and appreciation of our award-winning wines through tastings and education.”
Earlier this year Lulu Island Winery’s 2013 Riesling Chardonnay walked away with gold at the International Wine Challenge in the UK. Their 2013 Riesling Chardonnay also took home silver at the 2015 Los Angeles International Wine Competition, beating out more than 3,000 wines from 1,000 wineries around the world.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015