By Jack McNeel
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.