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Wineries will help create the vision for Summerland wine village

Construction is well underway on what could become the Bottleneck Wine Centre in Summerland.
Construction is well underway on what could become the Bottleneck Wine Centre in Summerland.
Image Credit: Submitted/Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy is a landlord with eight commercial units under construction in the middle of Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive.

While he could lease the space to a wide variety of businesses, he suggested wineries and/or similar tenants move in to create what he’s tentatively named as the Bottleneck Wine Centre.

“It’s a concept and an idea,” Kennedy told “Really it’s going to come down to, when the tenants are in place, what do they want it to be? What do they want to call it? How do they want to market it?

“That’s their business, more than mine. I’m here to lease out space and provide an idea and an opportunity for them. The vision, they can make it their own and I’ll support them in however they want to make that happen.”

The Bottleneck moniker comes from the fact that Summerland’s wine route with its 18 wineries is called the Bottleneck Drive.

Kennedy’s commercial units are on Lakeshore Drive South, behind the Oasis Project with its 24 luxury condos.

Called Pier 14, it’s a separate building behind the waterfront units in two storeys with about 11 residential units above and behind the commercial spaces.

Certainly, under the zoning regulations, he could lease to a wide variety of customers, from day cares and art galleries to financial and health services.

“Trying to put a mish mash of businesses in there would be fine,” he told “I could say sure, as long as you pay your rent, I don’t care. But I think the (wine centre) concept is needed and I think it’s attractive and I think people are interested in it.”

These are relatively small, 400-square-foot spaces so they’re not suitable for wineries but ideal for wine tasting.

“There are wineries out in remote locations that don’t get the traffic way back in the hills of Summerland and I think it’s the same thing with wineries in Naramata and Cawston or elsewhere,” Kennedy said. “The fact that these are remote locations, they probably don’t ever get the traffic they need.

“So, for them to do this, they’re going to get a ton of traffic they would never get otherwise and it’s all in one stop. For a tour company, I can drive my bus up and, all of a sudden, we hit six wineries all at once. Then buy a bottle and walk down to the beach and have a bottle of wine on the beach or on the waterfront.”

The Oasis are the tall white buildings by the waterfront. The Wine Centre is right behind it on Lakeshore Drive.
The Oasis are the tall white buildings by the waterfront. The Wine Centre is right behind it on Lakeshore Drive.
Image Credit: Submitted/Ryan Kennedy

Besides, from a landlord’s point of view, wineries are good solid businesses.

"I'm very aware the whole valley from Osoyoos up to Kelowna is really driven by a lot of those tourist businesses." Kennedy said. "We know they’re successful and putting a bunch together will be more successful than just one being there."

People buying into the new homes are already excited about a wine village being in their backyard, Kennedy said.

READ MORE: Okanagan wine industry will take half a decade to fully recover: Wine Growers

“The interest has been hugely positive, from wine tour companies to people that are very interested in wine or want to come and taste and who kind of like the idea of being a one-stop kind of shop,” Kennedy said.

Already, one prospective tenant is looking at combining two spaces into one. While others may wish to do the same, Kennedy would prefer to have most in smaller spaces to provide a wider variety to attract customers.

He’s the owner of the leasing company, KPP and can be contacted by email, at for more information.

Kennedy has eight spaces to lease. A ninth unit, which is not his, is already destined to be a restaurant/café.

He's aiming for the wine village to open in the spring but the exact date will depend on how construction goes and the work tenants will need in order to create their own unique spaces.

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