Job-seekers are keen to work at a new $30-million West Kelowna winery when it opens May 1.

Employment applications have flooded in at Grizzli Winery, a Tuscany-inspired winery that covers 60,000 square feet near the corner of Boucherie and Hudson roads.

“We’ll be hiring across every department — administration, vineyard, production and retail sales,” winery representative Shirley Cao said Monday. “We’ll be conducting on-site interviews just as soon as a bit more work is finished on the building.”

The target opening for the winery — which includes four tasting rooms, a retail store and a 150-seat restaurant — is just before the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.

“The schedule is very tight, but we believe we can make it,” Cao said.

“We’re also hoping to have a tour of the building for some of our friends and tourism partners in mid-April,” she said.

John Chang, the owner of Grizzli Winery, is currently on a business trip in China but will be back for the planned tour. Chang, who immigrated to Canada from Taiwan in 1995, also owns LuLu Island Winery in Richmond.

LuLu Winery produces about half of B.C.’s icewine and exports 70 per cent of its product to Asia.

Chang told The Vancouver Sun in January that the winery’s income grew by 15 per cent in 2014 and 14 per cent last year.

He’s aiming for a 25 per cent growth rate this year, he told the newspaper, in large part because of the new West Kelowna winery, expected to draw many busloads of tourists every day, and the planned introduction of a new product, ice brandy.

Grizzli Winery’s rustic look, with prominent stone and wood elements, is inspired by wineries in the Tuscany region of Italy, Chang says in a company press release.

“We wanted the winery’s architecture and landscape design to provide an experience that would enhance visitors’ experience and appreciation of our award-winning wines through tastings and education,” Chang said.

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