KELOWNA - There’s more on the horizon at O’Rourke Peak Cellars than a stunning view of Okanagan Lake.
O'Rourke celebrated its third summer this July, and although they’re a relatively new winery, they’ve got big plans for expansion.
“There’s going to be an O’Rourke Family Vineyards,” said O’Rourke’s General Manager Heather Courtney, “located on the 100 acres that we grow our grapes on.”
The new facility, located in Carr’s landing, will specialize in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whereas the current winery will focus on smaller varietals like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Rosé.
"With the big facility, next year we will be producing out of the production area where the winemaking actually takes place,” Courtney explained. "The year after that, the rest of the facility is going to be available for the public to come see.”
There are many projects and ideas up in the air for the new facility. What wine enthusiast can count on for certain are the O’Rourke Family Vineyard caves.
"The caves are complete, and that’s where we store our wine,” Courtney said. "It’s a great spot for you to have your wine because the temperature doesn’t change down there, and it’s a very good temperature for storing wine.”
The humidity in the caves also causes the alcohol content of the wines to lower slightly, by only about .3 to .5 per cent, which is an old French winemaking tip.
The wine club members of the new facility will have exclusive access to the caves, and will be able to do wine tastings inside.
If permits come through, the old lodge home located on the property will become a bed and breakfast for guests.
A boathouse is also in the works. “We’re hoping to be able to open the boathouse for people to come by boat and be shuttled up here, or to the other location once it opens as well,” Courtney said.
O’Rourke also has plans to host concerts and small weddings in an entertainment space in the vineyard, with a capacity for 250 to 400 guests.
There are also plans for a restaurant at the new facility, as well as private dining spaces and an amphitheater.
“All of this at this point, because we don’t have licensing, they’re all ideas,” explains Courtney. The caves and the winemaking facility are a go, but the rest is still in the works.
“There’s going to be this amazing facility, and we have many ideas for what it can be.”
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