Ask The Wine Ladies…Can you tell me about NK’Mip Cellars in British Columbia?
Dear Wine Ladies,
I heard that there is a winery in British Columbia that is actually owned and operated by an Indian Band. This is pretty cool! I’d love to know more! How are the wines and do they make any icewine…my new found passion! Is it possible to purchase any of these wines on line?
Absolutely! The winery you are referring to is called NK’Mip Cellars (pronounced in-ka-meep). It is located in the Osoyoos region in the South Okanagan. It’s actually North America’s first aboriginal-owned and operated winery producing VQA wines. The Indian Band owns 230 acres at the Inkameep Vineyard. Some of the vines dating back to 1968. Forty of these acres are currently being managed by NK’Mip Cellars producing a variety of wines including Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah.
Many of the wines, under the direction of head winemaker Randy Picton.
Randy Picton has been honoured with multiple gold, silver and bronze awards from both domestic and international competitions. Do they make any icewine? Indeed they do. In fact with quite an impressive track record. The Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt 2007 Riesling Icewine was awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. A Gold at the Okanagan Wine Festival and Best of Category at Vancouver Magazine International Wine Competition. The list of awards going back several years is pretty impressive.
The newer line NK’Mip Qwam Qwmt, is a reserve line of wines that have also garnered a lot of attention and been recognized with multiple awards. Apart from the winemaking duties of Mr. Picton, he is also involved in training some of the youth of the Osoyoos Indian Band. Training in both the area of winemaking and in the day-to-day operations of running a winery. In fact, a number of the young band members have enrolled at the Okanagan University College taking the winery Assistant Certification Course.
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