The opening of a $30-million, Tuscany-inspired Grizzli Winery should make quite a splashy addition to the West Side Wine Trail. The foundation has been poured and the walls have gone up at Grizzli Winery, a 60,000-square-foot building taking shape at the corner of Boucherie and Hudson roads on a former apple orchard in West Kelowna. Grizzli will join the other established members of the Westside Wine trail – Ciao Bella Winery, Beaumont Family Estate Winery, Kalala Organic Estate Winery, Little Straw Vineyards, Off the Grid Organic Winery, Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery (for sale), Mission Hill Family Estate, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, Rollingdale Winery, the Hatch and Volcanic Hills Estate Winery. The new wine tour destination in West Kelowna could dramatically increase the number of foreign tourists coming to the Okanagan.
Grizzli’s owner John Chang also is also the founder and winemaker of Lulu Island Winery, the largest winery in Metro Vancouver, covering 15 acres. Eighty percent of Lulu’s wines is exported. He has over 30 years experience crafting fine wines. In his humble beginnings, he first learned to create fine wine with his grandmother. Then, after moving to Canada, John studied with many notable winemakers. He now combines Chinese traditional wine making methods with modern Western technology and equipment. Lulu Island winery’s recent competition awards include:
2015 All Canadian Wine Championships Double Gold for 2013 Riesling Chardonnay Icewine
2014 All Canadian Wine Competition Gold for Winery 2011 Red Icewine
2014 All Canadian Wine Competition Silver for 2012 Meritage
The Grizzli winery has a dramatic setting, flanked by vineyards and directly underneath the imposing north face of Mount Boucherie. When completed the winery will feature four large open and spacious wine tasting rooms, a retail store, picture perfect outdoor gardens, picnic areas, easy access and ample parking for buses plus 150 seat restaurant offering indoor and outdoor seating. It will be the perfect place to host private events, corporate events, visitors, tour groups, escorted groups and more.
Wine Tasting: According to the Grizzli representative I was able to contact they are planning to serve:
• Icewine – Sauvignon Blanc, Icewine – Merlot, Icewine – Gewurztraminer, Icewine – Cabernet Franc
• Red Wines – Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir
• White Wines – Pinot Gris, Muscat and Chardonnay.
There might be more varieties in the near future.
Grizzli is an independent brand and will only serve Grizzli’s own wine. They are expecting to produce 25,000 cases per year which would make it one of only four large BC Wine producers.
The winery was 90% complete and finally open for wine tasting in August. See the update here.