Seaside Magazine November 2020 Issue

Page 62


Sipping Some History in the South Okanagan

by Tania Tomaszewska

I was lucky to spend this late summer and harvest season based in Osoyoos – Canada’s one true desert. Spectacular sweeping vistas and some great drops greet you in the South Okanagan. Long hot sunny days, cool nights, ubiquitous sage, mixed glacial soils and wide open spaces filled with acres of vines and fruit orchards abound. Your tasting experience there can also take you through aspects of local human history and our interaction with the land. Here are just a few itinerary ideas to explore some human geography during your next journey (actual or virtual) to this northern tip of the Sonoran Desert.

NK' Mip Cellars The first Indigenous-owned and operated winery in North America, NK'Mip Cellars is located on 32,000 acres of ancestral sacred land of the Okanagan (Syilx) People. Perched on the west-facing Osoyoos Lake Bench, it has a pueblo style winery and vibrant estate vines for you to wander. A partnership between the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) and Arterra Wines Canada, NK'Mip (pronounced EN-ka-meep) Cellars produces a broad portfolio from the almost 1500 acres the OIB has under production (including their highly regarded Inkameep vineyards near Oliver which the Band established in 1968). The passionate respect for guardianship of land and legacy is paramount. "The land teaches us the power of patience and the pleasure of sharing." Be sure to check out the detailed information about the Band's history and business when visiting the tasting room. My recent favourites: Dreamcatcher (an aromatic off-dry white blend); Qwam Qwmt (meaning "achieving excellence") Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (made under the hand of winemaker and OIB member, Jason Hall). Photo above courtesy Spirit Ridge Resort; photos at left courtesy NK'Mip Cellars. 54 SEASIDEMAGAZINE.CA | NOVEMBER 2020

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