Tucked in the heart of a downtown industrial park, Kelowna’s only urban winery is branching out and bringing its vineyards in house.
Calona Vineyards is renovating and creating an 8,000 square-foot space next to its current Richter Street location, where visitors will be able to sample flights of premium wines, taste how different varietals are best paired with local fare and learn more about the winemaking process.
Core to that process are the vineyards, so the region’s terroir will be front and centre when the wine shop’s doors swing open.
The focus on the flavourful characteristics that geography and climate create in a wine is something that separates pioneer winemaker Howard Soon’s vintages from many of his contemporaries, and what visitors will become keenly aware of when they embark on the new Sandhill experience.
There are six different vineyards that Sandhill pulls its grapes from, and each has a different microclimate due to where they’re situated in the valley.
A number of 55-inch touch screens will be installed in the new space, and they will often a portal to those green spaces. A photographer has taken photos of all angles of the vineyard, and on the screens, visitors will first be offered a macro view of the vineyard, then they can home in on what interests them, whether that’s the soil or the grower.
“It’s literally a ground-up experience,” said Annika Cashmore, from the Peller Estates brand.
The new winery will also complement a few other developments in the industrial core.
The new Kelowna Farmer’s Market will be steps away, as are two distilleries and a couple breweries.
All combined, they’ll offer a suite of experiences for Kelowna residents and tourists alike to enjoy. And they can see it all on foot.
“We did our research to see what was out there and what we’d be up against, this is unique,” she said.
The store will be open by April. For more information on Sandhill, go to www.sandhillwines.ca
~ Kathy Michaels