Thursday, 31 May 2012

Westside Wine Trail

Today we are off to the Westside with only 6 more wineries to go! The Westside is diverse worlds of wine handcrafted by families.


At the MT. Boucherie Family Estate Winery all of the wines here are made entirely from the grapes grown in the family vineyards here in West Kelowna, Okanagan Falls and Cawston. With over 300 acres, Mt. Boucherie is the largest family owned and operated vineyard and estate winery in BC.  Last year, 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of producing award winning BC wines for Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery.

Volcanic Hills Estate Winery is located at the foot of a once active volcano the beauty is what lies in the dirt, pure gold for growing grapes! The wines are erupting with flavor and this new winery is already winning medals for their wines.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

East Kelowna Wine Trail part 3

Our final winery on the East Kelowna wine trail is House of Rose Winery. House of Rose wines boast some of the most unique names in the wine industry. Be prepared to enjoy a true farm-gate wine tasting experience in the rustic charm of an authentic grape picker's cabin or feel free to wander the beautiful grounds. Relax in the picnic area while sharing some wine and cheese.

East Kelowna Wine Trail part 2

Today it is off to The Vibrant Vine. Experience different and bold at the Vibrant Vine, here they pair their white wines with cool music. Who would have thought that Riesling went so well with Cat Stevens. The psychedelic packaging of the wine is an artful kaleidoscope of color and complements the wines vibrant flavors.

Camelot Vineyards Estate Winery. Welcome knights, fair maidens, squires and damsels to a themed winery like no other. As you enter the gates and walk past the Excalibur embedded stone. Plan to explore a world of chivalry, magic, romance and of course great wine. Camelot has a popular Medieval fair in August that would be a fun time I am sure.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

East Kelowna Wine Trail

Today we are taking in the East Kelowna wine trail.

Our first winery is The View Winery & Vineyards. They say The View Winery is a world of intriguing contradictions. You will find a winery housed in a rustic 1922 fruit packinghouse producing the Okanagan's most provocative brand of wine. The wines are mouth watering! The label is exciting, a stiletto heel in the neck of a wine bottle identifies the Red Shoe Label.

SpierHead Winery is the second winery of the day. To get there you drive along a winding country road, turn into a McIntosh apple orchard, pass by acres of vines and then park beside a pumpkin patch now you have reached SpierHead Winery. SpierHead is one of only 12 BC wineries producing a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine. If you would like you can linger over wine, cheese and bread in the picnic area.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Lakeshore Wine Trails Part 2

Today we are off to St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery. The vineyard was originally planted in 1928 however in 2003 a horrible wildfire tore through Kelowna and St. Hubertus burning sections of the vineyard and the winery to the ground. Owners Andy and Leo replanted and rebuilt. The winery sits on lakeview property with some great wines, waiting for you to come try out.

Our last winery on this trail is CedarCreek Estate Winery. CedarCreek Estate Winery is just down the road from St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery. The location is spectacular alone! CedarCreek has placed among Canada's top five wineries, five times in six years. Another must stop in your tour.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Lakeshore Wine Trails

The Lakeshore Wine Trail is one of sophistication and elegance in serene surroundings.

Our first winery is Tantalus Vineyards. This winery has spectacular lake views, a historic vineyard and new state of the art LEED winery makes visiting Tantalus a one of the kind experience. The tasting of the wines are done in a stunning gallery style tasting room, surrounded by works of art from some of Canada's most highly acclaimed artists.

Off to Summerhill Pyramid Winery next.

One of  BC's most visited winery. Summerhill is a family owned and operated winery. The Cipes family has been busy crafting Summerhill into what is now Canada's largest certified organic winery. Be prepared to be blown away with Summerhill's award winning wines, gorgeous lake views and the unique precision crafted Pyramid.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tips to Help Pay off the Mortgage Faster

Here are a few tips to help you pay off your mortgage faster and save you thousands of dollars.

If you are making monthly mortgage payments switch to bi-weekly mortgage payments you are then making 26 bi-weekly payments instead of 12 monthly payments. You are accelerating your payments and paying down your mortgage faster. By doing it this way it adds up to one extra payment a year every year.

Make annual lump sum mortgage payments on the principle. Many mortgages allow you to make a lump sum payment once very 12 months or at renewal time., which is applied directly to the principal. This will shave years off your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars in interest payments.

If you come into a large sum of money through an inheritance or bonus consider making a prepayment, which can shave years off your mortgage.

If you double up on your payments once per year for 25 years, on a $250,000.00 25 year mortgage at 5% you can save over $30,000.00 and shave 3 or more years from your amortization term. So just imagine what you could save if you could double up 2 or 3 times a year!! That mortgage would be paid off in no time.

Speak to your mortgage specialist to see what will work to help you save thousands in interest and shave years of the mortgage.

Scenic Sip part 2

As we head along the scenic route in Lake Country we arrive at our next destination another winery....what a good day we are having!! It is Ex Nihilo Vineyards. The landscape it beautiful sitting on a southwestern facing slope overlooking the the beautiful Okanagan Lake. Word has it in 2008 Ex Nihilo landed a partnership with the Rolling Stones. I just wish they would come to Kelowna and play!!

This is our 4th and final winery on our Scenic Sip through Lake Country. It is Gray Monk Estate Winery. Owned by the Heiss family they introduced the Pinot Gris grape to Canada and helped create the province's VQA designation. Grey Monk is a stately winery surround by over 50 acres of vines. Don't miss the outstanding wine, food and views at the award winning Grapevine Restaurant.

This concludes our scenic sip tour, all these wineries are located within 10-45 minutes of Kelowna. Our next stop will be the Lakeshore Wine Route.

The Scenic Sip

Today's wineries are located in Lake Country a beautiful drive just outside of Kelowna. You will travel along the scenic back roads of fertile farmland and horse ranches to arrive at this new and enchanting European style winery. Ancient Hill Winery is full of old world charm.  Once here you are welcomed into a nouveau-rustic tasting room where wood is king and the wine noble. The wine is made entirely from grapes grown on the estate's vineyards.

Arrowleaf Cellars is a picnic paradise nestled on a hillside with the vineyards sloping down to the lake. Arrowleaf Cellars is family owned and crafts award winning wines from this grape laden landscape. After your tasting, you can enjoy the great view while having a picnic with your family or friends and a glass of your favorite Arrowleaf wine!! Can it get any better than that?

Kelowna's Wine Trails

The trail is a good one! Over the next week or so I will take you on the trails of Kelowna's wineries. The Okanagan is the heart of BC's wine country, but if you dig deeper you will discover that Kelowna is the birthplace for BC wine.

In 1932, BC's first commercial winery was established by the Capozzi, Bennett and Casorso families. Today it is one of Canada's finest wineries, the Calona Vineyards Winery. Located right in the heart of Kelowna at 1125 Richter Street.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Aspiring Pilots can Fly Free Next Month

Kids can fly up front with professional pilots in June. The Kelowna Airport is inviting children to sign up for the annual aviation event on June 9th. The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association are giving children the chance to fly in the front seat of an aircraft from take off to landing.

This free event is suited to aspiring pilots and young people longing to fly in the cockpit. The kids will get a close up look at an aircraft, a short on the ground school session and a flight in the front seat.

Come out and make a day of it bring your sun screen and lawn chairs, buy a pancake breakfast or a burger from the Mission Lions Club.

Check in is 8:45 am with flights beginning at 9:30 am. To register visit www.kelownaflyingclub.com

Monday, 7 May 2012

Best Time to Buy is Now


Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Several housing experts are predicting that this year will be the last chance for bargain hunters to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market. With home prices down and mortgage rates at historic lows this means homes have never been more affordable.  But it won't stay this way for much longer. Experts predict the market is expect to flatten out in the third quarter and start increasing next year. Good news for sellers!!

Prospective home buyers who've been sitting on the fence don't have to worry if they aren't quite ready to make the leap. Analysts are predicting that the initial price gains will be modest at least, in most markets but, one has to worry with the economy turning around will that lead to higher interest rates.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Home Design and Maintenance

Revamping Your Home D├ęcor without spending a King’s ransom:


Paint is the classic makeover potion. Instead of repainting a whole room, just paint one wall in a focal color or paint a contrasting rectangle over a sofa to use as a “gallery” space. You can also paint the insides of bookshelves in an unexpected color or paint your ceiling a lighter version of the wall color.
Update your window dressings. IKEA and other home stores have reams of ready made draperies you can hem to the right size (or leave to puddle on the floor), or you can make your own from sheets or lengths of designer outlet fabric. Hang from an attractive new curtain rod.

Spring Maintenance Tips for Inside the Home:

Try out your air conditioning system. If you wait until the first hot day to check your AC and it doesn't work, you will have a long, hot wait before the repairman can get to it.
Check and clean the clothes dryer vent and stove hood.
If you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run much more efficiently with clean coils.
Remember to inspect/replace your HVAC filter monthly. Clean everything, top to bottom. Use non-toxic soaps for better indoor air quality.

In Canada, RE/MAX continues to be a strong corporate contributor to Children's Miracle Network with $3.7million in 2010. With funds contributed by national sponsors like RE/MAX, affiliated hospitals are able to provide needed medical care and equipment for more than 2.6 million Canadian children each year.

HIGGINS REPORT ON THE MARKET.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board
reported MLS® Total Residential Unit Sales were up
8.08% in the month of April with 321 sales in comparison
to the 297 which occurred in 2011. Year-To-
Date however total residential sales were up only
marginally at 3.43% with 1087 this year in comparison
to 1051 in 2011.
April was a strong month for apartment style
unit sales which were up 23.53% last month over
previous year with 63 sales reported in 2012 vs. 51
last year. Year-To-Date apartment sales are up
18.09% with 235 units sold this year in comparison
to the 199 sold last year. This is a great news for our
strata/condominium market as we currently have
913 apartment units on the market representing
15.5 months of inventory based on 2012 monthly
YTD unit sales levels.
Similarly OMREB’s average residential sale price
held its own for the month of April coming in at
$482,093 which is up only .21% from 2011’s April
average of $481,077. Year-To-Date however averages
are down 3.39% for Residential properties
coming in at $452,859 this year vs. $468,732. When
we factor in all types of Residential Real Estate the
Average Sale Price drops 2.36% from last year to
$384,484 vs. $393,764. The length of time listings
are on the market has been extended over last year
with 2012 YTD Days to Sell coming in at 102 vs. 96 in
2011.
At RE/MAX Offices within the Central Okanagan
things are looking up with our Average Unit Sales
Up 10% over last year, our Average Residential Total
Sale Price is up to $398,195 which is higher than the
OMREB Average and our YTD Days to Sell is down to
88 Days which is the lowest reported for all major
brokerage firms and 31% lower than the average of
our competitors!
Home market values depend on a variety of
factors such as location, inventory, condition and
completion.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Go Fish!

May kicks off the sixth annual Go Fish program. Where youngsters under the age of  16 can fish at local parks every weekend for the month of May from 10 am. until 3pm. Kids can fish for rainbow trout without a fishing licence and are allowed to keep one fish from each day. The ponds will be stocked with the trout reared locally at the Summerland Trout Hatchery. Equipment will be provided by the Regional Parks but supplies are limited so please bring your own equipment if you can.

The grand opening activities will be held on Saturday May 5th at the Hall Road Pond in Mission Creek Regional Park and on Sunday May 6th at Shannon Lake Regional Park where festivities will include a barbecue and other refreshments.

 Expert fishermen will be on hand for both Saturday and Sunday. Brings the kids and let them try their hand at fishing. I know my wife loves fishing....but she never catches anything!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Hopice Hike

Sunday May 6th is the 10th Annual Hospice Hike, to be held at Mission Creek Regional Park. The hike signals the start of National Hospice Palliative Care Week.

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association has raised close to 100,000 over the past 10 years and is hoping to raise another 30,000 from the 2012 hike. So come out and help support them.

The day kicks off with a warm up at 10:45 am with the walk getting under way at 11 am. the walk is a two, four or six km walk or hike. A lunch will be provided as well as entertainment and prizes.

"We are urging everyone to take a few minutes to walk to celebrate a life lived, enjoy the moments and help support the Central Okanagan Hospice Association" says Roy Sinden COHA 's VP and Chair of the Hike for Hospice.

Registration forms are provided by calling the COHA office at 250.763.5511

The COHA is committed to community outreach and to meeting the needs of the terminally ill and their families by providing compassionate care and supportive assistance through resources, trained volunteers and professional counseling.

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