OAK Estate Winery joins the Summerland scene
One of the Okanagan’s most glamorous winery properties has recently been acquired. And, with one of the Okanagan’s most glamorous wine members involved, we should prepare to be dazzled.
What was formerly Bonitas Winery in Summerland was first bought a few years ago by an out of country organization and then leased by the McWatters family to house their Evolve Cellars brand. When Alysha Harker, daughter of the celebrated Harker farming family in the Similkameen, heard through the grapevine that the property may be coming for sale – she jumped on it. She and her long-time best friend, Andrea Miller, had been dreaming of a wine country project for years and so the duo sat down and brainstormed over martinis at Hester Creek Winery and began to view local properties for their unique concept.
Alysha and Andrea met when Alysha was only 17 years old following her dream to become a Broadway star in Manhattan. They tended bar together at Madison Square Gardens and became fast friends. Over the years the two have managed to travel the world, visiting every wine region on the way, gathering inspiration and crafting a vision that is now ready to be created.
The winery has been christened OAK Estate Winery — OAK being a clever acronym for ‘One of A Kind’. The group is launching first as an event venue, and after hearing that so many couples have had their venue dates cancelled due to the social distancing orders in place, they have decided to open up bookings now for later in 2020.
Weddings, exclusive parties and all, this will easily become an extravagant A-lister destination and playground for all Okanagan and International wine lovers. The view from its Summerland lakefront is stunning and add to that vineyards rolling down to the water, a mansion featuring floor to ceiling glass windows of the superb setting and even one of the few helipads on site, this will have it all.
Both ladies have super successful careers that will continue full time as the winery side of the project is designed and completely rebuilt. As the Canadian Manager for international crystal company Riedel-The Wine Glass Company, Alysha will be keeping up with her jet-setting lifestyle that includes being mommy to her daughter, Autumn. Andrea is a high-profile matchmaker and lifestyle coach with a new app that has been launched called Go Getter Dating.
The team is keeping details of their concept hush hush until closer to opening date of April 2021.
“We are going to have our own winery as well as supporting every other winery in the Okanagan Valley," Alysha said. "We are excited to support the town of Summerland and put the spotlight on this beautiful town. Our project will draw people from all over the world to come to visit our unique property that will offer a variety of experiences all in one place.”
Accommodation is also available in the six-bedroom architectural masterpiece on the property that is also getting a makeover. The winery space is being transformed into what Alysha describes as an “Instagrammable space” that will change every six months. A rooftop deck is also being added that will offer 360-degree views of the vineyard and Okanagan Lake with a high-profile farm to table restaurant in the plans. Weddings and events can be held in multiple locations on the property including a dramatic cliffside setting above Okanagan Lake.
Cheers to the great success of this new winery project.
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