BC's Okanagan Valley gets a $100 million investment

| No Comments

Thumbnail image for Naramata Bench w Okanagan Lake.JPG

British Columbia's wine country, just across the border, is home to one of North America's prime wine-growing regions, the Okanagan Valley. (Washington's spelling is Okanogan.) Long before Washington's Yakima Valley became the destination it is today, the Okanagan, with its mild climate and fruit orchards, was already a tourist destination. Once NAFTA made wine growing economically viable (by removing protective tariffs), local viticulture took off. Harry McWatters was the pioneer, but within a couple of decades Anthony van Mandl bought and remodeled the Mission Hill winery complex, a six-year, $100-million project that came on line in 2002. The same year, Vincor (Canada's biggest wine producer) and the local Osoyoos Band spent a similar amount to build Nk'Mip Cellars and cultural center. Okanagan Valley wines (BC wines in general, truth be told), backed by a generous, tax-funded marketing campaign, are making their mark on the world.

Now a third major investment, as announced this week by Business Vancouver: McWatters provided some of the land, but the money came from the Bai family in Vancouver, which accumulated its wealth selling flax seeds to farmers in central Canada and in China. The new winery, which will include a restaurant in addition to the production facility, is not yet named, but the Bai family already has a winery called Phantom Creek.

Leave a comment


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on July 22, 2017 8:51 PM.

Where will Jason Wilson pop up next? Hint: Walla Walla was the previous entry in this blog.

Not for all the Starbucks tea in China after all is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.