Okanagan wine touring company looking for new owners
The owners of one of the oldest wine tours in the Okanagan are leaving the business due to unforeseen events and are looking for new owners to take over.
Daniel Ertolahti has been operating Napa North Wine Tours with the help of his wife since 2019 and said it has been a positive experience.
“It is one of those kinds of environments where it is tough for people to be in a bad mood,” he said. “They are out in the sun with friends, sipping wine and taking in the views. It is good energy to be around all day and beats some environments I have worked in before this.”
While COVID restrictions and travel bans put a damper on local businesses earlier this year, Ertolahti said business bounced back quickly for him.
“Once the travel bans were lifted, people were ready to go,” he said. “There is a lot of pent-up demand to just get out and feel normal again, so everyone I tour with is super grateful.”
Leaving something he loves behind, Ertolahti hopes the next owners will love it as much as he has.
“I hope the new owners will just be able to get out of the rat race a little bit and do something fun for work,” he said. “So many people struggle to find work that they enjoy. I hope the new owners can just have a little more freedom to work as much or as little as they want and do something positive while earning good money at the same time.”
Ertolahti said prospective new owners do not have to know everything about wine in order to succeed at the business.
“When I bought this business off of the previous owner I knew a little about wine but not much,” he said. “You don’t need to be a wine expert to do this job. Most of the customers are not experts, they are there for entertainment.”
Ertolahti said a good marketing system is required as well as a little understanding about how to keep the bookings coming in. Most of all, an owner of a wine tour company must be a social person.
“You will be meeting people from all over the country and get to show them around the Okanagan Valley,” he said. “We tend to forget that most of the country doesn’t have these views, or this wine, or any experiences like this.”
Ertolahti said they are still in the process of finding new owners. He said he will miss not having to set his alarm early.
“Hopefully someone can take it and run with it into the future like I had planned to,” he said. “Unfortunately for now it looks like life has other plans for me.”
Headquartered in Peachland, Napa North Wine Tours offers tours in the Central Okanagan region, from Kelowna to Naramata.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.