March 23, 2020

It’s full steam ahead at the Senkulmen Business Park, where excavation and digging equipment prepare to lay utilities access for the upcoming District Wine Village that will occupy a large chunk of the park.

The village, an invention of Penticton’s Greyback Construction, has a 91-year lease from the Osoyoos Indian Band, set to occupy a 10-acre parcel of the Senkulmen Business Park development.

The village, which has been nicknamed “Disneyland for adults” by director of development operations Michael Daley, aims to incorporate small batch wineries, a distillery, brewery and maybe even a cider into one shared space.

Facing out onto the highway with McIntyre Bluff in the background, the site will feature grapes grown on site with modular home-style tasting huts. This specific site at the Senkulmen Business park was chosen because it offered a unique opportunity for the project, said  Daley.

“There’s an official turn off of the highway in both directions without having to stop on the highway. There’s a turning lane coming off in both directions into our facility,” said Daley. “And the site location, finding 10 acres right on the edge of (the highway) and with that backdrop… that location we thought was ideal.”

The site also allows for ample parking, so busses and cars can come in a drop off or pick up people at the village.

Daley also said that they believe the village will be a great addition to agro-tourism in the area both for the communities of Oliver and Osoyoos as well as the Osoyoos Indian Band. They hope to increase the number of people coming into the South Okanagan by making the village a cornerstone on the edge of the Oliver wine region.

“Our goal is to bring more people and more visits to the South Okanagan. Between the area 27 racetrack and phantom creek winery and all the exciting things that are happening down south I think this will just be another cornerstone and destination onto its own that’s going to attract more tourism, agro-tourism dollars to the south,” said Daley.

The first phase of the build is moving quickly, with the buildings being built off site to speed up the process. The 16 buildings will mostly house small, artisanal wineries but will also play host to a craft distillery and a craft brewery. Currently, Daley said, the plan is to have four wineries in place and ready for the grape crushing season in September.

In addition to alcohol and beverage options, the District Wine Village also plans on having food options at “culinary building,” as Daley puts it, which will focus on farm to table style food offerings. There will also be a central performance area to host up to 600 people, which will host “local artists, and performers and demonstrations and displays, whether it’s music or what have you and special events,” said Daley. “Not everybody wants wine.”

The District Wine Village plans to hold a ribbon cutting in the near future to celebrate the launch of the project which they plan to be “a celebration of the development on its own as well as the partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band, using their land for this project.”

The District Wine Village is part of phase three of development of the Senkulmen Business Park. Phase One and Two saw the building of the Arterra Wines Canada facility and the Okanagan Correctional Centre which opened in October, 2016.


Sophie Gray, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Oliver Chronicle

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