Randy Picton – Senior Winemaker:
Randy joined Nk’Mip Cellars just in time to oversee our first harvest.
He left an established and successful Okanagan winery to become part of a new, state-of-the-art winery inspired by a rich and enduring culture. As an exceptionally talented and innovative winemaker, Randy is totally committed to the challenge of producing world-class, award-winning wines. Randy’s dedication to the craft of winemaking begins in the field with careful and continuous attention to every variable from cropping levels and fruit exposure to meticulous monitoring of irrigation and precise timing of the harvest.
“My approach is to focus on every detail in the vineyard in order to bring the best possible grapes to the winery. The vineyard is expressed in the bottle.”
Randy’s skill and passion are evident in the Qwam Qwmt series of reserve wines that has met with broad acclaim, including numerous “Best of Class,” Platinum, Double Gold and Gold awards from various international competitions.
Justin Hall – Assistant Winemaker:
Following graduation from high school, Justin approached Randy Picton for a job at Nk’Mip cellars. He was awarded the glamorous task of cleaning equipment and hoses and became drawn to the idea of capturing a culture in a bottle of fine wine.
He took on night classes at Okanagan University College, earning his certificates in the Winery Assistant and Viticulture programs.
To learn the intricacies of a large winery and the many roles and responsibilities that go into the wine-making process, Justin travelled to West Australia to work the crush at Goundrey winery.
Justin returned to Nk’Mip Cellars after earning a post-graduate diploma in Enology and Viticulture from New Zealand’s Lincoln University, and assumed responsibility as Assistant Winemaker.
A proud member of the Osoyoos Indian band, Justin works with Randy Picton to craft the award-winning wines of Nk’Mip Cellars.
“This is the job I was born to do,” says Justin who hopes someday to study cool-climate viticulture and oenology in New Zealand, and further his ambition to become a chief winemaker.
Aaron Crey – Cellar Supervisor:
A member of the Cheam Indian Band, Aaron has followed a varied career path to Nk’Mip Cellars; from working on salmon rehabilitation projects for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to running the desk at the Nk’Mip Resort. A love of people and seeing them happy has brought him to his dream job.
Aaron assists with winemaking and maintains the cellars under the guidance of winemaker Randy Picton.
Since joining Nk’Mip Cellars, he’s acquired an impressive skill set: completing the Winery Assistant and Viticulture certificate programs at Okanagan University College and the graduate diploma program at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Crey owes his worldly palate to frequent travels to wine regions in France and Italy.
“I’m really happy working here. In the summer I like to take a break from the cellar to pour wines in the wine shop. lt feels good to hear first-hand how much people love our wines.”
Pronounced “in-ka-meep,” North America’s first aboriginal owned and operated winery overlooks Osoyoos Lake in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Using grapes from the Osoyoos Indian Band’s Inkameep Vineyard, winemaker Randy Picton and assistant winemaker Justin Hall produce wines in three tiers: Winemaker’s Series, Qwam Qwmt and Mer’r’iym tiers. The award-winning portfolio includes favourites such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Merlot, Syrah, Meritage and Riesling Icewine.
THE LAND BRINGS SIMPLE PLEASURES TO LIFE.
At Nk’Mip Cellars, we are the dedicated guardians of a proud legacy. As the first Aboriginal-owned winery in North America, we are inspired to express our culture in everything we do. Our Winery itself is a bold celebration and strong reflection of our commitment to authenticity and deep respect for our colourful past. We extend an invitation to discover, not only the international award-wining wines we produce, but also the relentless spirit and remarkable history that inspire them.
EVERY SIP TAKES YOU BACK.
The Osoyoos Indian Band, devoted to hard work, innovation, and responding to the challenges of nature, registered under the Indian Act as a reserve in 1877. The centuries-old home of the Osoyoos Indian Reserve is 32,000 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape. Surrounded by time-weathered mountains and dotted by magnificent mirrored lakes, it reaches from Vernon to Tonasket and from Rock Creek to Princeton, with settlements including Osoyoos, Keremeos, Penticton and Kelowna owing their names to the Aboriginal language.
Here in the hottest and driest part of Canada, over 500 Osoyoos Band members secure and share a legacy of hard work and a passionate respect for nature. The word Nk’Mip translates to “Bottomland” in English, being located at the southern end of the Osoyoos reservation.Today, the Nk’Mip Cellars are one of many business, health, social, educational and municipal initiatives that have earned the Band financial independence and high employment.
WE’RE INSPIRED TO CAPTURE TIME IN A BOTTLE.
Our Team represents a timeless culture. On behalf of over 500 Band members, we welcome the opportunity to represent our love of land in a way that preserves the authenticity of the past while offering simple pleasures to the present.
2015 was the fourth consecutive year that Nk’Mip Cellars placed in the Top 10 Wineries of the Year category at the InterVin International Wine Awards competition.
2014 NK’MIP CELLARS WINEMAKERS DREAMCATCHER
– Gold & Best Value, Intervin Wine Awards –
2012 NK’MIP CELLARS QWAM QWMT CABERNET SAUVIGNON
– Gold, Intervene Wine Awards –
2013 NK’MIP CELLARS QWAM QWMT CHARDONNAY
– Gold, BC Wine Awards –
2011 NK’MIP CELLARS QWAM QWMT CHARDONNAY
– Gold, Wine Press Northwest –
2012 NK’MIP CELLARS QWAM QWMT CHARDONNAY
– Best Canadian White over £15, Decanter World Wine Awards –
2012 NK’MIP CELLARS QWAM QWMT RIESLING ICEWINE
– 100 pts, John Schreiner –