It seems that authenticity and boutique-style experiences are trending. Wineries are giving visitors unique and personalized tours or the taste of one-off samples of experimental wines in order to be memorable. However, these experiences translate to visitors in vastly different ways. For example, O’Rourke Peak Cellars is mid-construction on a 100 million dollar project that’ll give people a wine experience that isn’t offered anywhere else in the region.
O’Rourke Peak Cellars spent the past year finalizing its identify transformation from The Chase Winery. They focus on aromatic white wines in the tasting room that is currently open on Goldie Road in Lake Country.
I was fortunate to have a recent VIP viewing of their new project. It’ll eventually be the biggest estate wine and event destination the Okanagan Valley has seen in decades. The infrastructure will include a new winery facility, event space, restaurant and luxury accommodation built quite literally INTO the side of a mountain.
The new winery will be home of O’Rourke Family Wines with focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their barrel ageing takes place in the already finished jaw-dropping caves.
Blasting is nearly complete for the event space and construction has begun for their tasting room and 120-person capacity restaurant. Both of which overlook the vineyards and the north end of the Okanagan Lake. The unobstructed, 180-degree view looking south towards Kelowna, is the true treasure of Peak Cellars’ location.
The project’s vision is that of winery owner, Dennis O’Rourke, an Alberta construction mogul and part-time Lake Country resident since the ’70s. The goal of the new winery is that of lifestyle and entertainment. The intention is not to produce hundreds of thousands of cases of wine, but perhaps only 10 to 15 thousand that are of superior quality and will match the VIP experience and luxurious feel of the new space.
A project of this magnitude hasn’t been seen in the Okanagan Valley in nearly 20 years – since Missions Hill’s massive renovation. The grand opening won’t be for a couple of years. And when it happens there’s hope that Lake Country will have its formal sub-GI designation. Whether that happens or not, this project will make an unquestionable impact of the quasi-sleepy community of Carr’s Landing. The area doesn’t see as much foot traffic as other wine-focused spots in the Okanagan. The newly minted winery would undoubtedly generate mounds of excitement and draw attention and tourism dollars from around the world.