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Penticton  

New life for packinghouse

Chantelle Deacon

Construction will begin shortly on a new cold-storage facility for wineries, distilleries and cider operations in Naramata.

The old BC Tree Fruits packinghouse has been vacant for a decade, partially demolished and sitting silent in the middle of the Naramata village.

“The first stage is getting the packinghouse back in operation. We hope to do that in the next two to three months,” said David Enns, former owner of Laughing Stock Vineyards.

“The facility needs to be revamped and our goal is to put it back into service as storage, primarily for wineries, barrels and cased goods.”

The 4.6 acre property sold for an undisclosed amount to four local residents, Mik Ball, David Enns, Robert Gritten and Steven Jaeger.

The idea will create a modern building on the rocky piece of land, which is currently surrounded by a barbed wire fence.            

“It’s not going to be a production facility ever, but it will be accessible to commercial trade on the Naramata Bench, which is 35+ wineries,” Enns said.                 

Redevelopment plans for the cold storage building includes new electrical, climate control, as well as site and building security.

The space could potentially be used for more than just storage, added Enns.           

“We have a long term goal of perhaps looking at secondary tasting rooms,” he said. “Typical of other wineries in the world a secondary tasting room allows for a cooperative venue not much different than a farmers market but for wineries.”

The Naramata Wine Vault is scheduled to open in spring 2018.

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