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Wine tasting at NK’MiP Cellars

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Nestled in the desert outside Osoyoos is North America’s First Aboriginal-Owned and Operated Winery. NK'MIP (pronounced in-ka-meep) Cellars is the perfect place to wander and taste-test delightful award-winning wines. Perched on the top of a gentle slope covered with vines and right at the Spirit Ridge Resort and Spa, this winery has a great view out over the lake, a fantastic patio where you can dine and enjoy the view, but most of all a great selection of wines to taste. For many years – since 1968 – the Osoyoos band had been growing grapes but it was not until 2002 that they opened their own winery in partnership with Vincor. Since opening in 2002, NK'MIP Cellars has received more than 50 international wine awards and was ranked #4 in the Top Wineries of Canada by Wine Access Magazine 2011.

Tours here can range from simple tastings to full winery tours where you can explore the entire winery from the crushing of the grapes to the large room full of huge tanks and back to the beautifully decorated tasting room. Designed by Penticton-based architect Robert Mackenzie, NK’MIP Cellars are a perfect backdrop to native art.

But the real reason to come here is the wine – my personal favourites were:

  1. The Syrah, which is a medium bodied wine with a complexity of flavours including cedar, spice, blueberries and pepper. It has a nice mellow vanilla finish.
  2. The 2010 Mer’r’iym (pronounced mur’-eem’) meaning the marriage and it truly is a perfect marriage of different varietals – perhaps one of the best wines and most complex wines I have tasted anywhere. This is truly a world class wine.
  3. For my final favourite – the Qwam Qwmt 2012 Riesling Ice-wine. I am not normally a big fan of ice-wine, but this was like liquid gold on my tongue. With hints of butterscotch, apple and perhaps a citrus overtone this is truly a beautiful ice-wine. Harvested at -13° Celsius with a Brix of 41.6 from NK’MIP Vineyard’s highly prized 32-year-old Riesling block-pure and focused, this wine has a truly adventurous background for such a smooth drink.


When you visit Osoyoos make sure to visit this vineyard and finish with the ice-wine when you do the tasting – it will be worth the drive from Vancouver.