Celebrated Wine Industry Leader Shows Keen Interest in Kamloops
Kamloops, B.C. – Andrew Peller Ltd., a name associated with award-winning premium and ultra-premium brands including Peller Estates, Black Hills, Sandhill, Tinhorn Creek, Red Rooster, and Gray Monk, announced Monday the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ignition Tranquille Developments Ltd. (Ignition), to explore the viticulture potential for the Tranquille farmland in Kamloops, B.C.
The joint-venture announcement was made during an exclusive media event held on May 30, 2022, on the land of the Tranquille on the Lake proposed development, and attended by some of the region’s wine industry, tourism, and community leaders.
According to Kirk Seggie, Manager, Grape Supply & Business Development with Andrew Peller Ltd., the company is excited, and is now looking forward to working with Ignition on the viticultural opportunities the site has to offer.
“The consistent population growth and the willingness of the Kamloops restaurants and residents to support local businesses is a key factor in our interest. Having the vineyards and winery integrated with Tranquille’s residential development is a win-win for vintners and residents,” said Seggie, adding, “The four pioneer wineries in the Thompson Valley (Harper’s Trail Estate Winery, Monte Creek Winery, Sagewood Winery, and Privato Vineyard and Winery) have shown that award winning wines are possible, and we feel that the opportunity to grow premium vinifera grapes on the Tranquille site is not to be missed.”
To this, Dan Fritz, Ignition’s President and Founder, and Developer of the proposed Tranquille development added, “One of the things that attracted me to the Tranquille property was its agricultural history and potential to establish quality vineyards on the property’s southerly sloping, mineral rich, but gravelly soil. Only time will tell, but if the fruit we grow in partnership with Andrew Peller Ltd. is good enough to make a truly distinctive wine, it is hard to imagine a more fulfilling experience.”
With the MOU signed, Andrew Peller Ltd. will start microclimate data collection and micro-soil analysis to understand when the region gets frost free days, how many growing degree days it gets, and most importantly, to find out how cold it gets in the winter months. These processes will help determine which grapes will be best suited for the land, “to give the best results,” said Tim McLeod, Project Manager with Ignition.
Once these questions are answered based on robust two-year data collection, Andrew Peller Ltd. will make recommendations to Ignition and move forward with 5-acre parcels of agreed-to varietals, with an expected planting date of spring 2025.
“The history of Tranquille has always been that people living here got their food from this land. We are now on the cusp of restoring Tranquille and bringing it back to life, all while respecting the land to build a vibrant community. A huge part of this is to bring back the ability of the farm to produce food and a livelihood for people,” said McLeod, adding, “The Andrew Peller Ltd. announcement is the most significant regarding the return of real agriculture to the Tranquille Farm in 37 years.”
McLeod also noted that this project was possible due to the encouragement of wine industry legend John Vielvoye, who “came out with his due diligence in the form of climate and soil studies and laid down the groundwork to bringing in a company like Andrew Peller Ltd. to Kamloops.”
Trish Morelli of the Kamloops Wineries Association, who was also present and spoke at the event, said that knowing the values and aspirations of both companies, she couldn’t think of a better partnership.
“A highly respected industry leader in wine and business, Andrew Peller Ltd. will bring the knowledge, expertise, and commitment to succeed in this exciting Thompson Valley wine project. This is incredibly exciting news for BC wine and most certainly for our local wine industry here in Kamloops,” said Morelli. “This development will have a significant impact on wine, viticulture and wine tourism in the Kamloops-Thompson Valley and signals an important next step in the growth and expansion of premium wine in the area.”
Monica Dickinson, CEO of Tourism Kamloops, agreed, and said, “To have the sophistication and credibility of Andrew Peller Ltd. investing in Kamloops and the Kamloops wine industry is a ‘next-level’ development. We believe the wine sector in Kamloops has the propensity to drive incremental and new visitation to the area and this announcement certainly compliments our already established wine industry and wine experience.”
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