August 17, 2017

Fly-In Winery Hits Turbulence


B.C.’s first fly-in winery is having neighbour problems even though it hasn’t yet welcomed any aircraft-borne customers. La Stella Winery has started construction on a 75-metre dock on Osoyoos Lake that the winery hopes will be used by floatplanes and boats full of wine lovers. The dock was approved by provincial authorities in 2015 but construction didn’t start until this summer. Neighbours say they’re afraid of noise and danger of collision between boats and people swimming or paddling in the lake. Provincial officials said their only concerns were environmental and they determined the dock wasn’t going to hurt the lake or its inhabitants.

“It’s up against a bunch of residential properties, the area is used by families, you go out there on any summer day and you will see people out there with floaties and paddle boards,” neighbour Mike Greig told Castanet. Local government authorities side with the neighbours but the lake is provincial jurisdiction and there is nothing municipal officials can do. Winery spokesman Brad Elenko said he doubts there will be much floatplane traffic and that pilots and boat operators are responsible for safe operation of their craft.