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Grape Escapes

Mix business with pleasure at these wineries specializing in corporate events

By Jennifer Walker

Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa
Osoyoos, BC
Located in the South Okanagan, the wine region of British Columbia known as the Napa Valley of the North, Spirit Ridge Vineyard is ideal for corporate events. The vineyard’s desert landscape overlooks Osoyoos Lake, which has a private beach for guests. The 10,000-sq.-ft. full-service conference centre includes boardrooms, banquet rooms and a theatre. Spirit Ridge also features on-site catering, and a variety of teambuilding activities including golfing, bike tours, rooftop yoga, helicopter tours, mountain rappelling and, of course, wine tasting tours. spiritridge.ca

Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Kelowna, BC
The 80-acre Summerhill Winery, overlooking Lake Okanagan, produces 100 per cent organic wines. Unique to Summerhill is its four-storey pyramid—a replica of the Great Pyramid of Egypt and used as a cellar where wines are kept for thirty days to clarify. The belief is the chamber brings out the best qualities of the awardwinning vintages. Meeting venues include a ballroom for up to 250 guests and the more intimate Sunset Veranda, which seats 50. Tastings, tours and catered snack breaks are available. summerhill.bc.ca

Trius Winery at Hillebrand
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Trius provides a stylish setting for corporate events. Venues include the Vineyard Pavilion (a private room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Niagara Escarpment), the Trius Red Barrel Cellar (an intimate candlelit dining spot) and the Trius Red Room (featuring luxe red velvet banquettes, sparkling chandeliers and a central tasting bar). There are a number of teambuilding opportunities, including “Unleash Your Inner Winemaker,” where teams compete to create their own Bordeaux-style wines. triuswines.com

Stratus Vineyards
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont.
With the distinction of being Canada’s first building granted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, Stratus is committed to producing their wines in an environmentally responsible way. That includes buildings constructed with mostly recycled materials, a herbicide-free vineyard and bicycle racks that encourage employees to bike to work. The vineyard sits on 62 acres in a microclimate that is among the warmest in the region. There is a boutique space, two tasting rooms and a stylish boardroom available for corporate functions. Activities include tastings, tours and meals featuring gourmet local fare. stratuswines.com

Old Orchard Inn & Spa
Wolfville, NS
While not a vineyard, the Old Orchard Inn does feature a variety of meeting spaces and is in close proximity to nine award-winning vineyards—a great group activity. Meeting rooms range in size from 20-person capacity to over 500. The rustic inn is situated on a hill with a sundeck that overlooks the stunning Annapolis Valley. The Eau Spa is the perfect way to end a day of meetings and offers a menu of treatments from massages to facials. oldorchardinn.com

L’Orpailleur Vineyard
Dunham, Que.
Located an hour outside of Montreal in the beautiful Dunham Valley, l’Orpailleur Vineyard offers corporate events in a rustic yet sophisticated setting. It boasts five meeting rooms of various configurations—from conference style to theatre seating. Teambuilding events include workshops presented by on-site trainer and entrepreneur Yolaine Benôit on topics such as “Delegating and knowing when to let go.” Activities also include tours that teach how to properly pair food with wine and a grape harvesting teambuilding event. orpailleur.ca

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