Boosting wine tourism

Old and new, big and small, a group of Central Okanagan wineries are banding together to brand this region to wine-loving visitors and locals alike.

Old and new, big and small, a group of Central Okanagan wineries are banding together to brand this region to wine-loving visitors and locals alike.

The initiative is being driven by Tourism Kelowna, with 15 area wineries on-board so far to develop a strategy for cost-effectively marketing wine routes or trails for consumers.

Tourism Kelowna CEO Nancy Cameron said, “They’re much more powerful as a group; they’ll get much more exposure this year, with numerous wine routes or trails.”

She figures there are now 24 wineries in the Central Okanagan, and envisions numerous wine routes or trails linking several wineries to people to visit in a single trip.

This “re-positioning” of Kelowna’s brand will include the culinary opportunities available in the area as well as other attractions, for a mix of both urban and those with a more-rural feel, she explained.

Ultimately, the intent would be to increase visits to the wineries and sales; but as well the expectation is that it would also increase overnight visits and traffic at other attractions in Kelowna.

Although there are only 15 wineries involved now, Cameron said she expects others to join in the collective once the strategy is complete in the coming weeks.

Participating wineries include: Arrowleaf Cellars, Camelot Vineyards Estate Winery, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Ex-Nihilo, Gray Monk Estate Winery, House of Rose, Little Straw Vineyards, Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Villa Estate Winery, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, SpierHead Winery, St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Tantalus Vineyards and Vineyards Estate Wines at Calona Vineyards.

Tourism Kelowna produced a brochure last year called Studio and Farm Tours, which focussed on 37 artisans, farms and wineries in this region, from Arlo’s Honey Farm, Arrowleaf Cellars and the Orchard Industry and Wine Museums, to Gatzke’s Farm Market and Paynter’s Fruit Market.

“It’s all part of broadening the experience for visitors,” said Cameron.

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