Wine News — 20 November 2012

North America’s first aboriginal winery declared #1 on the west coast at the Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards

(OKANAGAN VALLEY, BC) Nk’Mip Cellars made a spectacular finish at the 2012 Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards bringing in no less than 14 medals, garnering them the extremely prestigious title of the number one winery in British Columbia and the second top winery in all of Canada. Four of their top tier wines were bestowed with gold medals, with ten others taking home silver and bronze.

“Our goal is to create wines that showcase our remarkable terroir,” says Nk’Mip Senior Winemaker Randy Picton. “We have a strong team in both the vineyards and the cellar that are all committed to the success of Nk’Mip and it is gratifying to be recognized for this effort. We strive for balance not only in our wines but also throughout our portfolio – being awarded a medal for every wine entered into this competition is rewarding and lets us know we are on the right track.”

Sam Baptiste’s careful attention to premium viticulture practices at Inkameep Vineyards, established in 1968, contributes heavily to the Nk’Mip Cellars brand success by ensuring each vine is scrutinized and that only the best grapes make it into the winery during crush.

The Osoyoos Indian Band has been led since 1985 by Chief Clarence Louie. A strong supporter of native and economic independence, he takes great pride in developing members of The Band.  Nk’Mip Assistant Winemaker Justin Hall is an example of a Band member who, through Louie’s influence, has advanced into a meaningful role within the community. Under the tutelage of Randy Picton at Nk’Mip Cellars, Justin’s work is a testament to the importance of preserving the brand’s heritage and legacy.


Nk’Mip Cellars 2009 Mer’r'iym Meritage
Nk’Mip Cellars 2009 Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon
Nk’Mip Cellars 2009 Qwam Qwmt Merlot
Nk’Mip Cellars 2010 Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir

Nk’Mip Cellars 2008 Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon
Nk’Mip Cellars 2008 Qwam Qwmt Syrah
Nk’Mip Cellars 2009 Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir
Nk’Mip Cellars 2009 Qwam Qwmt Syrah
Nk’Mip Cellars 2010 Riesling
Nk’Mip Cellars 2011 Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine

Nk’Mip Cellars 2008 Qwam Qwmt Meritage
Nk’Mip Cellars 2008 Qwam Qwmt Merlot
Nk’Mip Cellars 2009 Qwam Qwmt Meritage
Nk’Mip Cellars 2010 Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay

NK’Mip Cellars (pronounced “in-ka-meep”) is North America’s first aboriginal owned and operated winery. Overlooking the shores of Osoyoos Lake, the winery sits on natural desert land surrounded by the stunning contrast of vineyards. Using grapes grown onsite and from the Osoyoos Indian Band’s own Inkameep Vineyard, winemaker Randy Picton produces quality wines in three tiers: NK’Mip Cellars, a reserve tier named Qwam Qwmt (pronounced kw-em kw-empt) meaning achieving excellence as well, the winery produces a top tier Meritage named in honor of the perfect union of varietals – Mer’r'iym. Wines in all tiers receiving constant acclaim include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Merlot, Syrah, Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling Icewine. The winery is open year-round with seasonal patio food service. Special events and traditional native celebrations are held throughout the season.

The Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards are held annually, and have grown dramatically since they began in 2001. Each year, Canada’s leading wine experts evaluate over 1,000 wines from across the country, and present awards in nearly two dozen categories. Full results are published in the December/January Wine Access issue and online at and the Canadian Wine Annual.


About Author

(0) Readers Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>