September 03, 2012

Osoyoos Band's Nk'Mip Winery

Osoyoos Indian Band’s Nk’Mip Winery Rakes in Awards, Pulls in Busloads of Visitors

By Jack McNeelThe verdant, grapevine-swathed hills roll off into the distance, drawing the eye to a backdrop of purple mountains. The table is set under a sun-filled, cloudless blue sky, and the award-winning wine swishes into the glass. You might think you’re in Italy, or at the very least, California.

Improbably, it is in a region that does not leap to mind when one thinks of wine country, and the venue is even more of a surprise: You are on traditional First Nations territory, that of the Osoyoos Indian Band, to be exact, in what is today known as British Columbia, Canada.

Visitors—from canoodling couples to busloads carrying 60 or 70 people at a time—descend daily upon this, the first aboriginal-owned winery in Canada, daily. Tourists arrive in droves, and on a summer day 400–600 people may come wine tasting. They sip, they tour, they shop—the tasting room sells related items as well as wine—and they learn about the culture from the First Nations décor, photos and captions describing the history of the Osoyoos people as well as the Nk’Mip Cellars.

The winery will be one of the stops in the upcoming Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, from September 28 through October 7, and the band’s Nk’Mip Conference Centre will host a formal, “Hollywood style” dinner during the O! Osoyoos Celebrates! Festival from September 14 through 16.
Comment:  For more on Native wine-making, see Yocha Dehe Wine and Olive Oil.

No comments: