BECOME A MEMBER

Thousands of wines at your fingertips

Search database of wine reviews
Read about wines BEFORE they hit the stores
Match wines with foods

FREE MEMBERSHIP



GET TONY'S NEW EBOOK


TONY'S NOVELS
A gift for the literate wine-lover in your life – who may be you. Tony's murder mystery novels, set in the world of wine, are now available at a discount – autographed.

Find out more...

TUNE IN TO TONY
Listen to Tony

Listen to Tony talk about wine on 680 NEWS radio on Fridays at 10:48 am, on Saturdays at 2:48 am and 9:48 am, and on Sundays at 12:48 am and 1:48 pm.
Tony Aspler
Wine Reviews
Food & Wine Match
Personal Wine Cellar
Pocket Wine Cellar
Articles
Gourmet Recipes
Cocktails
Wine Primer
Links
More Tony Aspler
Tony's Books Tony's Books
Ontario Wine Awards
About Us About Us
Contact
Advertise

MEMBER LOGIN
E-mail Address or
Username
Password
 
Forget Password?
 

FREE MEMBERSHIP

POPULAR ARTICLES
All about sparkling wine Port wine 101 Pairing food and wine Pairing wine and cheese What wine to serve with chocolate Why we like to visit wine country A wine tour of Italy Germany and German wines Wine touring France: Cognac and Bordeaux Wine touring France: Burgundy A tour of California wine country

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 TONY'S BLOG

More Tony's Blog  

Nk'Mip Cellars – North America's First Aboriginal Winery (September 17, 2002)

September 13, British Columbia: To the sound of drums, Chief Clarence Louis of the Osoyoos Indian Band cut a ceremonial rope of green sage to open North America's first aboriginal owned and operated winery. Green sage is a sacred plant used in cleansing ceremonies. Nk'Mip comes from the local Salish dialect and means "place where the creek joins the lake."

The winery, with its 20-acre vineyard, is dramatically set in Canada's only desert region. The Santa-Fe-style building perches on an arid bench with rattlesnake-infested granite hills as a backdrop, overlooking Lake Osoyoos close to the Washington State border.

The Band entered into a $7-million joint venture with Canada's largest wine company, Vincor International, to produce four varietal wines – Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, all currently priced between $13.95 and $16.95 a bottle. The wines were made by Randy Picton, who spent six years as associate winemaker at BC's Cedar Creek Estate.

Nk'Mip Cellars' attractive labels feature the company logo – a turtle (a symbol of vision) painted as a pictograph on an arrowhead.

The 18,000-square-foot gravity-feed winery will produce 15,000 cases a year. For its first vintage in 2000, 3,300 cases were made.

Adjacent to the winery the Band have built a desert interpretive and heritage centre to help protect the remaining desert landscape and endangered species. A popular attraction for visitors is the snake pit, where the curious can get up close and personal with four-foot-long rattlers that are captured, marked with electronic tracing chips and returned to the wild.

The winery is the second phase of a $25-million project that will include an all-season RV park, a nine-hole golf course, a hotel and a conference hall on lakefront land adjoining the town of Osoyoos.

The Osoyoos Band has a history of viticulture dating back to 1968, when they first planted the Imkameep Vineyard. The 32,000-acre reservation that is home to the Band contains 25 per cent of all vineyard land planted in the Okanagan Valley.

The Nk'Mip Cellars 2000 wines:
Having tasted all four wines at the winery opening, I found that the Pinot Blanc 2000 was light and peachy with a grapefruit note, slightly sweet but quaffable. The Chardonnay, aged in French and American oak and stirred on the lees, had a somewhat dilute Chinese pear flavour. The reds were more successful. The Pinot Noir had a smoky, black cherry flavour with evident tannin and acidity. The Merlot, my favourite, showed a lovely nose of violets and blueberries, quite elegant, though it could have done with more extract.

 

 

 

More Tony's Blog  
 
ALL MATERIAL © TONY ASPLER   WEBSITE BY MEDIRESOURCE INC.
PRIVACY POLICY