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Haynes House land to become new winery
The new owners of the property that was home to this community’s most historic landmark are going to do everything they can to honour the Haynes family name as part of their new family winery.
It was announced last week that the landmark building known as Haynes House had been sold.
The family that purchased the 1,900 square foot house and 14 acres of adjacent property is the Dhaliwal family from Oliver.
Harbens and Harkesh Dhaliwal have owned and operated a 12-acre former orchard near Oliver – which they have since converted to a vineyard – since the 1980s. They also own another vineyard in Creston and travel back and forth between Creston and Oliver on a regular basis.
Their oldest son Ricky Dhaliwal, 25, is the family spokesperson and project manager responsible for converting the historic building into a sparking new winery.
“It has been a dream in our family to own our own winery … and we’re finally making that dream come true,” said Dhaliwal. “We saw that this property was for sale about two years ago and never thought much about it.
“But last fall while driving back home from Creston, my parents saw it was for sale and they decided to pay a visit to the owner … a guy named Rod Mitchell.”
Negotiations to purchase the Haynes residence and adjacent property took several months and the deal was finalized in early December, said Dhaliwal.
The Mitchell family had owned the property for more than 20 years after purchasing it from retired Osoyoos teacher and historian George Fraser and his wife.
Fraser’s grandfather, also named George, purchased the Haynes property back in 1917 and lived at the residence for many years.
His son Doug and Doug’s wife Dorothy took over ownership back in 1945, meaning three generations of the Fraser clan lived at the Haynes residence between 1917 and the early 1990s.
When his parents originally showed interest in purchasing the Haynes property, their plan was to upgrade the residence and hopefully use it as the tasting room for their new winery.
But those plans quickly evaporated after a structural engineer was hired to look at the building, said Dhaliwal.
“We were told that it would cost much more to renovate the building than to tear down the existing structure and build a new building from scratch,” he said. “My parents really wanted to renovate, but it became apparent pretty quickly that just wasn’t feasible.”
While tearing down the interior of the Haynes residence over the past two weeks, Dhaliwal said he and his crew have taken every step possible to keep numerous items intact so they can be turned over to the Osoyoos Museum.
This includes many original windows and doors and several pieces of furniture.
“My family thought trying to preserve the history of this place was the right thing to do,” he said. “My family has lived in this area since the 1980s and we know how important the Haynes property is to the people of Osoyoos, so we’ve done what we can to turn over as much as we can to the museum.”
Several key pieces inside the residence, including several large logs, are going to be restored and used as part of the design in the tasting room for the new winery, he said.
His family also plans on getting in touch with the remaining members of the Haynes family and seeing if they would be amenable to using the family name as part of the new winery, he said.
“We would love to be able to do something like naming our tasting room with the Haynes name involved,” he said. “We want to meet with members of the Haynes family and see what they would be agreeable to.”
His family is also considering naming one of its higher end varieties of wine using the Haynes name, he said.
Construction on the manufacturing plant for the new winery should begin within the next month or two and design drawings to begin construction on the tasting room facility will hopefully be completed by the fall so construction can begin in the spring of 2017, he said.
“Our hope is we can have the full winery up and running by fall of 2017,” he said.
With most of the interior of the Haynes residence not gutted, the plan is to bring in construction equipment and tear down the building before the end of March, he said.
“We’re lucky enough to own our own equipment, so I’ll be in charge of taking down the building in the next couple of weeks,” said Dhaliwal, who completed a viticulture course at Okanagan College in Penticton last year to prepare for building the new winery.
Jason Parks has been hired as the winery’s chief winemaker and will be responsible for operating the manufacturing plant once it’s operational this fall, he said.
His family is very excited about becoming the South Okanagan’s latest winery and being able to open the facility on one of the region’s most historic sites can only help business, he said.
“There’s no doubt we’ll be using the history of this place when we’re marketing our winery,” he said. “We want to keep the Haynes name as part of what we do once the winery opens. That’s very important to my family.”