January 20, 2014 - 2:29 PM
KAMLOOPS - Wine tours are expected to begin this spring in Kamloops.
TasteFull Excursions is slated to begin offering wine tasting tours in the Thompson Shuswap region this April. From full-day to half-day tours or customized tours for up to 11 people, the new Kamloops company will provide van tours of local wineries.
Maatje Stamp-Vincent is behind the idea with her husband. They both moved from Terrace to Kamloops last July.
“There’s no winery tours based out of Kamloops,” Stamp-Vincent said. “We have an opportunity here.”
The company only recently launched, with it’s preliminary website up and running, expected to be completed in February. A single 2014 Mercedes van is on its way, and the tours are expected to begin in April, with pre-bookings already in the works.
Running independently, the company isn't formally partnerring with wineries, but it intends on working with them for mutual benefit and to gain awareness about wineries in the areas. Catering to its local and tourist clientelle, it plans to include a variety of wineries such as Fort Berens Estate in Lillooet, Bonaparte Bend Winery in Cache Creek and Sunnybrae Vineyard and Winery in the Shuswap.
“We will have options,” Stamp-Vincent said. “If you like wine you want to experience the difference.”
Locally, Kamloops is home to Privato Vineyard and Winery and Harper’s Trail.
Vicki Collett, owner of Harper's Trail, welcomes the idea and has been in talks with the tour company.
"The wine industry in our region, Kamloops - Shuswap, is definitely growing," she said. "People are very excited."
Harper's Trail has been in operation since 2008, but only opened its wine tasting room in August of last year.
"We had a lot of interest," Collett said.
She's unsure what sort of partnership will be worked out with TasteFull Excursions, but she expects to continue the conversation.
"We've been in talks with them," she said. "It's a great compliment to what we are doing."
The Okanagan is typically known as B.C.’s wine country, but Stamp-Vincent sees a future in Kamloops.
“We don’t need to be the Okanagan, but we can also ride in the Okanagan’s slipstream,” she said. “It could be that in that sense, the Okanagan has kind of maxed it’s capacity which leaves the door open for other areas to start to grow and shine.”
To find out more or for advance booking, visit TasteFull Excursions online. Follow them on Twitter for updates.
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