New Video feature on Gismondi on Wine
Published on April 23, 2020
At the Vancouver International Wine Festival in February, our team had a chance to chat with the team at Gismondi on Wine about the vision behind District Wine Village, what it will mean for small craft beverage producers in BC and how producers can become a part of history.
Despite the current pandemic, a new, innovative, seemingly communal wine production centre, District Wine Village is on track to open just in time for the fall 2020 crush. It could play a vital role in attracting young winemakers with garagiste attitudes that answer Tait’s lament. Pipes were already being laid in February at the 10-acre site located just south of McIntyre Bluff. Construction is lead by Matt Kenyon, co-owner and GM of Greyback Construction, whose family has a 30-year history of building major projects throughout the Okanagan Valley, including many wineries.
Kenyon developed the idea of a village concept over several years with his friend Max Brock, who had visited similar business models in the US. Brock passed away last year. To keep the project going, Kenyon asked wine consultant Mike Daley, a 15-year veteran of Vincor/Arterra, to oversee consumer and marketing developments.
Kenyon and Daley have designed a site with the consumer in mind, so it looks less like an industrial park, and more like an inviting space, that encourages visitation to all of the growers equally. And, it will include food, craft beer and a distillery built around a central shared space for entertainment.
An immediate flow of consumers is just part of the benefit to the tenants, with most of the infrastructure and crush pad already in place. Kenyon and Daley hope that some of their tenants will use the space as a stepping stone, graduating to their own wineries and opening up spots for a fresh set of garagistes. It seems to fit right into what Tait had been saying, “We’re one of the youngest wine regions in the world, and I think that it’s naive to believe that we’ve arrived with a complete understanding of who we are (as an industry). I hope that our industry continues to attract all kinds of different demographics, different people, quirky people, and the experimentation continues.”
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