GOODS: Little Naramata Winery “Nichol Vineyard” Makes Impression At Big Night

February 7, 2011 

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Nichol Vineyard is located on Smethurst Road in beautiful Naramata, BC | 250.496.5962 | nicholvineyard.com

The GOODS from Nichol Vineyard

Vancouver, BC | Nichol Vineyards of Naramata BC made a big impression on more than 500 Vancouverites on Friday, as they were featured as the “unsung hero” at Vancouver magazine’s Big Night. At the annual foodie event, Vancouver magazine pairs Best-in-Category wines from their Wine Awards with winning restaurants from their Restaurant Awards for a delectable evening of food and wine hosted at the prestigious Vancouver Club. The event is always a hot ticket in the city, as it features the who’s who of Vancouver’s vibrant culinary scene.

Vancouver magazine’s Sommelier of the Year, Kurtis Kolt, revealed and sampled his favourite “unsung hero” from this year’s competition, Nichol Vineyard’s 9 MILE RED. Read all about it after the jump…

L-R: Nicole and Ross Hackworth of Nichol Vineyards with Sommelier of the Year Kurtis Kolt at Big Night

Collectors know that Nichol Vineyard has been in Naramata using 100% Naramata Village fruit since 1993. They gravitate to the small lot portfolio, which includes Canada’s oldest Syrah.

The vineyards sit on a pocket of land tucked against steep, heat-radiating red granite cliffs, and are perfectly situated under the former Kettle Valley Railway and above the deep blue Okanagan Lake. Owner and winemaker Ross Hackworth’s focus is to maintain a small estate winery, striving to grow world-class wines; the recognition Ross has been receiving is testament to the work he is doing at the tiny Naramata winery.

Since 2006 he has been at the helm creating premium, limited vintage wines. Now, after nearly two decades of existing under the radar and being known mainly by collectors, in 2010 Nichol Vineyards stepped out of the shadows to make a more public debut. Under Hackworth’s skilled and watchful eye, Nichol is adding delicious new blends and a new look. In particular, was the release of 9 MILE RED.

Named ’9 Mile’ for Naramata Village’s original name, and a nod to owner Ross Hackworth’s family’s home town, the 9 Mile Red St. Laurent/Pinot Noir blend displays vanilla and plum, with crisp, vibrant dark cherry and earthiness. It pairs well with BBQ chicken, Asian flavours, or can even be tried with sablefish.

The “unsung hero” is a new feature to Big Night, and Kurtis Kolt selected the blend as his pick for a few reasons. “It is a fantastic example of how far BC has come”, he says.”It’s cheery and accessible for the novice, yet serious and complex enough for the academic,” he continues. “I love that it gives St. Laurent a nice little spotlight, the fact that it’s made from 100% Estate fruit, and that it’s made by fantastic people who do things right.” He notes an almost personal connection to the wine. “Having spent half of my year in Naramata, and it was my “Sommelier Of The Year” year, this wine, the people and place it comes from all mean a lot to me.”

For Nichol Vineyards owner Ross Hackworth, the attention is a bit overwhelming. “I am used to being in the vineyard and cellar, not the centre of attention for a huge food and wine event,” he shares. “But I am thrilled that we have been singled out and that more people will learn of what we are doing at Nichol as a result.”

About Nichol Vineyard

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Village Grown, World Class, True to Our Roots

Nichol Vineyard, known among Canadian wine lovers in the know, has been operating in Naramata Village in British Columbia using 100% Naramata fruit since 1993.

Owner and winemaker Ross Hackworth’s focus is to maintain a small estate winery, striving to grow world-class wines. The recognition Ross has been receiving for his wines is testament to the work he is doing at the tiny Naramata winery. Since 2006 he has been at the helm creating premium, limited vintage wines, carrying on the tradition of the winery’s original owners and namesake, Alex and Kathleen Nichol.

The vineyards sit on a pocket of land tucked against steep, heat-radiating red granite cliffs, and are perfectly situated: under the former Kettle Valley Railway and above the deep blue Okanagan Lake. This site offers the ideal place to grow grapes that produce wines with intense fruit and bright acidity.

Looking west across from the vineyard and over Okanagan Lake, you can see the shores of Summerland and the landmark Giant’s Head Mountain. The soils at Nichol Vineyard were created during the prehistoric time when volcanic activity and glaciation provided the till, granite, bedrock and silt, which all come together to create a unique, rugged site that generates fine wines.