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Kelowna winery looking to use gravity to boost quality of wine

This is the proposed winery and observation tower at Azhadi Vineyards in Kelowna.
This is the proposed winery and observation tower at Azhadi Vineyards in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna

An Iranian-themed winery in the McKinley Landing area of Kelowna is seeking permission for an observation tower that’s about six storeys tall.

Azhadi Vineyards has filed an application with the City to have the tower built on a steep slope as part of its winery in the middle of its 41-acre vineyard on Shayler Road.

“The slope adaptive and vertical building design also provides opportunity to provide for a gravity wine making process, which helps elevate the quality of the wine produced onsite,” the application states.

According to a Wine Collective article, gravity wine making has been around since the late 1800s but is seeing an upsurge in interest.

“Gravity flow winemaking is a practice that is becoming well recognized by wine makers and vino fanatics,” it states on its website. “The process in gravity flow winemaking (also known as gravity fed), allows for the wine to stream from winery levels. Unlike traditional one-level cellars there is no use of pumps or mechanical force, enabling the wine to gently extract colour, flavour and tannin.”

The application is to allow for a building of up to 19.5 metres.

“We are limiting the footprint of the building and maximizing the vineyard potential of the site,” the application states.

The observation tower will be used to monitor the vineyard and the occasional wine tour for VIP guests.

“The proposed winery includes iconic architecture, with the goal of celebrating Canada’s unique cultural diversity, bringing people together to celebrate and create a place of gratitude,” the application states. “There are significant architectural motifs from Iranian architecture that are cleverly combined with more modern western architectural features.

“The height variance permits the use of these architectural features to help create an intimate sanctuary based on ancient Persian teachings of Good thoughts, Good deeds, Good words.”

Because it’s in the middle of the property the tower will not block views of the neighbours, the application states.

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