Take in a breath-catching sunset view of Lake Okanagan from British Columbia’s first fully Indigenous-owned winery — where the ancient Okanagan Syilx culture merges with the region's thriving wine scene, courtesy of visionaries Robert and Bernice Louie.
Sit down to a meal at the onsite Red Fox Club restaurant that features an ever-evolving, Indigenous-inspired menu. Enjoy delicious fare that includes items like bison chili, fresh fry bread and Haida Wild salmon fritters and meet Chef Andrea Callan, who makes every effort to source ingredients locally, whether they’re sustainably raised game meats or fresh, foraged greens.
"When guests come, they experience a sense of place and culture,” says spokesman Ryan Widdup. "They can feel it.”
Savour wine like the 2016 Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin Red Blend — named in honour of the owners' youngest son, Trenton, and featuring notes of cloves, sweet plums and vanilla. Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin, a First Nations name that has been in the Syilx culture for thousands of years, translates into “a mystical high-country stag with large antlers."
Simo, which means “connected to the land,” is the company’s flagship wine and it’s named for owner Robert Louie. The sparkling wine “La'p Cheet" is named for daughter, Cassandra, and means “the shimmer of light on a river spillway.”
Widdup says Indigenous World Winery’s history is rooted in a people who have lived in this region for millennia. Robert Louie, former chief of the Westbank First Nation, developed the concept for the winery with his wife, Bernice, in 2011. The couple share a strong passion for nature, the land, and the rich history and traditions of the Syilx people.
“Robert and Bernice have created a comfortable, Indigenous-inspired gathering place where visitors can come together for food and drink,” says Widdup. “I encourage people to experience for themselves this inspiring marriage of traditional and modern cultures."