Vine­yard project un­corked

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties - KATHY MCCORMICK CAL­GARY HER­ALD

It’s called “agri­tourism” — the lat­est buz­zword about peo­ple who va­ca­tion in ru­ral ar­eas such as farms or vine­yards.

Some re­sort and res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods have taken that cue and are help­ing peo­ple sat­isfy their de­sire to work, play or en­joy their hobby right where they live. Pepin Brook Vine­yard Es­tates is one ex­am­ple.

The lat­est mas­ter-planned com­mu­nity in Ab­bots­ford, B.C., com­bines full-own­er­ship res­i­den­tial de­vel- op­ment with an 11.7-hectare vine­yard. “Be­ing able to own your dream home on a vine­yard is an op­por­tu­nity of a life­time,” says Ewen Ste­wart, pres­i­dent of Azura Man­age­ment Corp., which is de­vel­op­ing the 40.5-hectare site. ”We wanted to of­fer a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence to liv­ing in Okana­gan wine coun­try, but with the added bonus of be­ing so much closer to Van­cou­ver.”

The de­vel­op­ment will not only ap­peal to in­vestors, but also to those looking to re­tire closer to the West Coast — less than an hour’s drive from Van­cou­ver, says Trent Black­well, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing for Azura.

“The de­vel­op­ment, it­self, is very unique and we’ve had some in­ter­est from Al­ber­tans al­ready,” he says.

Pepin Brook is about a 10-minute drive from Ab­bots­ford, where an in­ter­na­tional air­port of­fers daily WestJet flights to and from Cal­gary.

The city is also on the “wine route for the Fraser Val­ley — a well-es­tab­lished wine re­gion with more than 12 winer­ies,” says Black­well.

Pepin Brook Es­tate Win­ery will pro­duce five va­ri­eties of wine — Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewurz­traminer, Ga­may Noir and Mer­lot — un­der the apt name of “Back­yard Vine­yards.”

“The vine­yard is three years old and grapes start pro­duc­ing in their fourth year, so we’ll process them next year and the wine will be avail­able for pur­chase soon af­ter,” says Black­well.

The neigh­bour­hood is unique.

“This is not just a res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment,” says Ste­wart.

“It’s also a project that pro­motes agri-tourism in the Fraser Val­ley re­gion and we an­tic­i­pate that many vis­i­tors will be at­tracted to the idyl­lic life­style of Pepin Brook. It brings to­gether wine coun­try with city liv­ing.”

A bed and break­fast es­tab­lish­ment is also planned for the site.

As for homes, 235 sin­gle­fam­ily houses will be built by com­ple­tion.

The homes’ divi­sion of Azura, Vine­yard Es­tate Homes, is build­ing 75 homes in the sub­di­vi­sion at prices start­ing at $599,000.

The homes range from 1,501 to 2,947 square feet and more than 10 floor plans are avail­able.

Homes can also be cus­tom­ized. Home­own­ers, for ex­am­ple, will be given the op­tion to in­stall an eco-friendly geo­ther­mal heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tem.

The homes are wired with Telus fiberop­tic ca­bles and each new home­owner will re­ceive $2,000 worth of free ser­vices from Telus.

“We started sell­ing homes three weeks ago and we’ve al­ready sold 10 in that time,” says Black­well.

About 20 homes are cur­rently in var­i­ous stages of construction.

Morn­ingstar Homes, a Van­cou­ver-based builder, will con­struct the other “fam­i­lyfriendly ex­ec­u­tive” homes start­ing next year.

Th­ese will com­bine tra­di­tional crafts­man­ship with in­no­va­tive construction tech­nolo­gies.

The neigh­bour­hood of­fers panoramic views of the Fraser Val­ley, with Mount Baker as a back­drop.

Hik­ing and bik­ing trails, schools, trans­porta­tion links and a pro­posed eight-hectare shop­ping cen­tre are close by.

The com­mu­nity, it­self, al­ready has a 1. 2-hectare park­land site with am­ple pic­nic space and a sports court.

A show home is open, or you can get fur­ther in­for­ma­tion at www.pepin­brook.com.

Azura has been de­vel­op­ing both sin­gle-fam­ily and mul­ti­fam­ily homes for more than a quar­ter of a cen­tury.

It is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing La Casa Lake­side Cot­tage Re­sort on Lake Okana­gan, as well as The Cal­la­dine in Van­cou­ver.

La Casa will have 500 cot­tages and a com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion by com­ple­tion. It is ap­prox­i­mately half-done.

Cour­tesy, Peak Com­mu­ni­ca­tors

An artist’s ren­der­ing of an es­tate home at Pepin Brook Vine­yard Es­tates, the lat­est mas­ter-planned com­mu­nity in Ab­bots­ford, B.C.

Pho­tos cour­tesy, Peak Com­mu­ni­ca­tors

A large mas­ter suite within Pepin Brook Vine­yard Es­tates in Ab­bots­ford, B.C.

The open-con­cept kitchen in­cludes a match­ing floor and cab­i­nets.

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