Vineyard project uncorked
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.
An artist’s rendering of an estate home at Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates, the latest master-planned community in Abbotsford, B.C.
A large master suite within Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates in Abbotsford, B.C.
The open-concept kitchen includes a matching floor and cabinets.