While all signs point to record grape harvests in BC and further south along the West Coast of the US, demand for Okanagan vineyard land continues.
Farm Credit Canada highlighted the phenomenon in its annual report on farmland values earlier this year, with FCC senior relationship manager Amos Rossworm noting that purchases were driven by wineries seeking to secure fruit sources.
The activity has remained strong this fall, with vineyards in the Similkameen Valley attracting interest.
Recent deals have included purchases by Orofino Vineyards, which doubled its holdings in November with the acquisition of the 10.5-acre Passion Pit vineyard, and Corcelettes Estate Winery’s acquisition of 132.5 acres on the upper bench above Keremeos. The deal follows the acquisition last year of a six-acre orchard.
While the Passion Pit vineyard is an established source of grapes for Orofino, Corcelettes is proceeding with a five-year development plan for 30 acres of its new acquisition.
Meanwhile, Road 13 Vineyards, which acquired a tract in the Similkameen earlier this year, recently became a target itself. Von Mandl Family Estates, which manages wineries for Mission Hill founder Anthony von Mandl, acquired the winery from the Luckhurst family in late November.
Road 13 general manager Joe Luckhurst will remain in his role, as will winemaker Jeff Del Nin.