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NkMip Cellars (Osoyoos)

Nk’Mip (pronounced Inkameep) Cellars is a joint project between the Osoyoos Indian Band and Vincor International and enjoys the prestige that comes with being North America’s first Aboriginally owned and operated winery. The winery site looks over Lake Osoyoos and is located in what remains of the Pocket Desert- the only desert in Canada.

The winery building’s design is influenced by aboriginal culture and the desert locale, and the interior decor features works by local band artisans as well as numerous displays that recount the evolution of the winery and vineyards.

Visitors may enjoy lunch on the winery’s front patio while taking in the view of intermingling desert and vineyards on the shores of Lake Osoyoos.

Recently completed as part of the Nk’Mip development project, is Sonora Dunes, a nine-hole golf course, and Nk’mip Campground/RV Park. Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa is soon to be completed along with a Desert and Heritage Centre. Visitors may also explore the Pocket Desert. Wines aside, the buildings and amenities alone demonstrate the great commercial presence of this winery and make for an interesting visit.

Wines:

Wines produced at Nk’Mip Cellars are soured from the Osoyoos Indian Band’s own vineyards and vineyards leased from other wineries. The cellar capacity currently stands at 18,000 cases. The wine selection is two-tiered with reserves belonging to the Qwam Qwmt (“achieving excellence”) series.

Nk’Mip currently produces:

2004 Pinot Blanc
2004 Riesling
2004 Chardonnay
2004 Pinot Noir
2003 Merlot2004 Chardonnay (Qwam Qwmt)
2003 Merlot (Qwam Qwmt)
2004 Pinot Noir (Qwam Qwmt)
2003 Meritage (Qwam Qwmt)
2004 Riesling Icewine (Qwam Qwmt)

Notes on Tastings:

The tasting room at Nk’Mip is spacious, and has two tasting bars. During busier months be prepared for some line-ups. Visitors may also browse some of the displays and local artwork, clothing, and other accessories for sale while they wait. Tastings are $2.00 each for wines from the Qwam Qwmt series.

Last Word:

The events at Nk'Mip are well worth planning ahead for - especially the Traditional Salmon Feast.

Published by Carolyn Coles & Tim Martiniuk, founders of the Okanagan Wine Guide. http://www.okanaganwineguide.com/nkmipcellars.html

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