Dreams of owning a winery could take root in your own backyard.
It’s no secret that some parts of Canada have optimal conditions for grape growing. Be it the dry, sun-soaked climate of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, or the fertile soil that the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., sits upon, these regions are a well-known pilgrimage for oenophiles.
Some tourists might not want to leave, and they don’t have to. Homebuyers looking to elevate their appreciation for wine can do so on a smaller scale, within a supportive community, by purchasing a property with a vineyard.
Given one’s level of commitment to winemaking may vary, if pruning vines is unappealing, there are options to lease the grapes, or contract out the labour.
Regardless of what shape the investment takes, the thought of sitting outside, with a glass of cabernet franc that came from your own backyard brings a certain kind of satisfaction.
Here are four homes for sale across Canada with vineyards.
245 Swick Rd.
Asking price: $9,288,800
This waterfront estate offers the opportunity for the next homeowner to try their hand at winemaking with 1.25 acres of old-vine chardonnay and merlot grapes planted on-site.
The private vineyard, located on Okanagan Lake in world-class wine country, would yield about 130 cases a year.
Richard Deacon, real estate agent with Engel & Volkers Okanagan, said the current owner is happy to pass on what he knows about the craft, while knowledgeable neighbours at Cedar Creek Estate, Martin’s Lane and Summerhill Pyramid wineries are a short distance away.
“These smaller vineyards on estate properties are a labour of love,” Mr. Deacon said.
The size of this vineyard is manageable he said, and the site includes wine processing equipment.
The 5.4-acre site, listed at $9,288,800, has three buildings. Constructed in 1989, the main house is 7,874 square feet, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms and there is also a two-bedroom cottage and a boathouse that includes a studio apartment.
The property, which also features a saltwater pool and sandy beach, is a rarity when you consider the privacy, overall size and lake frontage – in combination with the vineyard, Mr. Deacon said.
8949 122nd Ave.
Asking price: $3,500,000
Situated along the Golden Mile, this southern Okanagan home rests in Canada’s only desert climate, surrounded by mountains and close to Osoyoos Lake.
The property is 4.65 acres. The on-site vineyard has 2.5 acres of organic sémillon, sauvignon blanc and muscadelle white grape vines, with room for another acre of planting.
“It would be perfect for someone [who’s] always dreamed to be a winemaker, or they could lease back the vineyard to the current owners, as well,” said Marnie Perrier, a sales representative with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
And if the homebuyer wants to grow their wine business, the property is zoned to accommodate a storefront. In addition, the current homeowner is willing to share what they’ve learned about cultivating grapes, though wine processing tools aren’t available on-site.
There’s also a turnkey opportunity for a bed and breakfast, complete with furniture, linens, etc. Ms. Perrier said the hospitality business is well established in the area.
Each of the seven bedrooms in the 5,334 square foot home has an ensuite bathroom. “They’re big, deep bathtubs – it’s very luxurious,” she said.
The home was built in 2006.
1385 Larkin Rd.
Asking price: $3,800,000
Eight of the 10 acres of this Niagara-on-the-Lake property are bursting with riesling, cabernet franc and merlot grapes.
Located on Larkin Road, less than 10 minutes from the historic downtown, the two-storey, brick home is 2,500 square feet and includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an eat-in kitchen, fireplace and large dining room.
The farm is home to ducks, sheep and chickens as well Frogpond Organic Farm and Winery, a name inspired by the private, on-site pond.
The property also features a barn with production tanks as well as a boutique wine shop.
Peter Fischer, a broker with Engels & Volkers Niagara, said everything is operational should the homebuyer wants to keep the wine business going. And, of course, the current owner would assist in the transition.
If you look out from the kitchen, Mr. Fischer said, the true vastness and beauty of the property is in full view. He described the land, a popular spot for bicycle tours, as peaceful and “engulfed in nature.”
Upper Falmouth, N.S.
602 Sangster Bridge Rd.
Asking price: $3,100,000
The Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia is another renowned area for winemaking in Canada. This working vineyard is teeming with old-world charm and a dozen grape varieties, including pinot noir, muscat, riesling and chardonnay, spanning 32 acres.
This Sangster Bridge Road property is less than an hour from Halifax, Wolfville and Windsor, and is 49 acres in total.
The centrepiece is a fully restored, New England Planter house from 1763. The building is more than 6,800 square feet, has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and five fireplaces. Among the many unique features of the structure is the finished basement, lined with the original, 18th-century stones.
“It’s a quintessential family estate,” said Richard Matheson of Country Real Estate Brokers, noting all the craftsmanship that went into the repairs.
Currently operating as Johnston Vineyards, a family business, Mr. Matheson said the property could be transformed into a winery.
Other structures on the property include a two-storey workshop, three-car garage and a vineyard building, which is a restored community hall.
The south-facing, elevated property looks across the Martock ski hill and Avalon River in the distance, Mr. Matheson said, adding, “It’s like a work of art.”
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