Wineries celebrate landmark anniversaries | Economic news

There are many milestone anniversaries this summer at BC wineries.

Nk’Mip Cellars in Osoyoos celebrates 20 years, as does Blasted Church in Okanagan Falls and Blue Grouse Winery on Vancouver Island celebrates 10 years.

Nk’Mip

When Nk’Mip opened in 2002, it was the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America.

Justin Hall, a proud member of the Osoyoos Indian Band, is also the first Chief Native Winemaker.

The winery honored itself and Hall on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 and kicked off a 20th anniversary summer.

All summer long, Nk’Mip shares snippets of history, birthday information, photos and special offers on his Instagram.

The winery has also developed a $113 “Bring the Nk’Mip Cellars Experience Home” kit with local Indigenous chef Heat Laliberte that people can order online at Great EstatesOkanagan.com.

The kit includes a $40 gift card to Save-On Foods so you can pick up the salmon and ingredients for an Aboriginal feast (recipes included) to pair with both

bottles of wine, also in the kit—Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay and Qwam Qwmt Syrah.

The winery points out that although it is only 20 years old, the true beginnings are much older and rooted in the long-standing agriculture and spirituality of the land of Osoyoos.

Former Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Sam Baptiste helped plant the first vines at Inkameep Vineyard in 1968 while still in high school.

Today, Baptiste is the General Manager of the 360-acre Inkameep Vineyard.

In fact, 12% of all grapes grown in British Columbia are grown on Osoyoos Indian Band land.

In the Sylix language, Nk’Mip means “low land,” a reference to the vineyard at the southern, or bottom, end of the Osoyoos Indian Band’s 32,000-acre reservation.

Since its opening 20 years ago, Nk’Mip has doubled the quantity of wine it sells annually with a current volume of 22,000 or 264,000 bottles.

Blasted church

Blasted Church Winery in Okanagan Falls is still finalizing details for its 20th anniversary party to be held in August.

But the winery knows the party will include wine, food and live music around its large pool.

In the meantime, you can book wine and food tastings on the pool deck and at “The House,” the winery’s new guest experience space.

By the way, the cellar is named after the church that used to be on the property and was dynamited with a small charge of dynamite to loosen the nails that held it together so it could be more easily taken down and moved .

Check BlastedChurch.com.

blue grouse

Blue Grouse Winery in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island was actually founded in 1989 by the Kiltz family.

However, Paul and Cristina Brunner bought the property in 2012, so this summer marks their 10th anniversary as owners.

With winemaker Bailey Williamson, the winery grew in size and reputation, with Blue Grouse cool climate wines being sold across the province.

The cellar invites people to check BlueGrouse.ca for a selection of specials throughout the summer, including $10 glasses of sparkling wine, a

flat $10 delivery charge for all online purchases and a ‘Bubble Bar’ pop-up on the mezzanine in August.

Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover and Canadian wine researcher. Email: [email protected]

Elisha A. Tilghman