Business

Winery and Chamber host open house

Ben and Tersia De Jager hosted an open house at the Columbia Gardens Winery on Tuesday to show off the renovations to the guest house on the property. Above, Ben is serving up some of the fruits of their labour to guests who came to see the new guest house and take the tour. The De Jager
Ben and Tersia De Jager hosted an open house at the Columbia Gardens Winery on Tuesday to show off the renovations to the guest house on the property. Above, Ben is serving up some of the fruits of their labour to guests who came to see the new guest house and take the tour. The De Jager's are celebrating the first anniversary of owning the winery.
— image credit: Liz Bevan

The Columbia Gardens Winery hosted an open house on Tuesday evening to showcase the hard work owners Ben and Tersia De Jager have put into their winery and guest house since purchasing the property a year ago.

Tersia De Jager says she was delighted with the turnout at the open house.

“I think it went great,” she said. “The people's reaction was really positive and we had a great evening.”

The renovations took almost a year, and the De Jager's made it to their deadline with two days to spare.

“It is such a huge relief (to be finished),” she said. “We are just so grateful that we managed to get this done in the target that we set out. We really wanted to do it in the first year and it is actually pretty awesome because (Thursday) is our first anniversary date.”

The renovations to the guest house included hanging original photographs, and decorating the house with up cycled items such as old doors, pallets and wrought iron.

“We used everything old and unconventional for a rustic, vintage ambience and a soft-toned pallet to create a romantic atmosphere,” wrote De Jager in a handout from the open house. “Old wooden doors became vanities and we turned pallets into kitchenettes and barn doors.”

The guest house is available to rent for weddings, get-togethers, or just a night among the rows of grapes.

The open house was put on in a partnership with The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce and De Jager says she couldn't ask for more from the local organization.

“I think it is only positive,” she said of her relationship with the chamber. “We only have great things to say about Norm and his office. They have a great attitude towards the winery and they recognize as us being a tourist destination. The value that the winery has to Trail, they see that. It's great to work with them.”

Norm Casler, the executive director of the chamber, says the winery is a prime example of the goals the organization has set out for the business community in Trail.

“(The chamber) is an opportunity for businesses to get to know other businesses,” he said. “With the open house (Tuesday), however many people were there, every one of those people will go and tell other people about what they experienced there.”

The chamber also has a hand in increasing the foot traffic to winery through their Visitor's Information Centre.

“In the case of the Columbia Gardens Winery, in terms of tourism, having a winery is good for our community,” said Casler. “We have people that come into the visitor's centre (run by the chamber) and they say, 'What is there to do around here?' and we have a list of nearly 101 things to do. The winery is one of the top.”

For more info on the Columbia Gardens Winery, visit their website at www.cgwinery.com or call 367-7493.

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