Small B.C. Winery Makes Big Night Splash


VANCOUVER — Nichol Vineyards of Naramata, B.C., made an impression on more than 500 guests gathered at the Vancouver Club for Vancouver magazine’s annual Big Night where Best-in-Category wines were paired with dishes from the publication’s Restaurant Award winners.

Vancouver magazine’s Sommelier of the Year, Kurtis Kolt, formerly the wine director at Salt Tasting Room in Vancouver’s Gastown, district revealed his “unsung hero” from this year’s competition: Nichol Vineyard’s 9-Mile Red.

Nichol Vineyards owner and winemaker, Ross Hackworth, aims to maintain a small estate winery, while striving to grow world-class wines. Since 2006, he has been at the helm creating premium, limited vintage wines. In 2010, Nichol Vineyards made a more public debut, by adding new blends and a new look, with the winning 9-Mile Red, serving as a perfect example.

The St. Laurent/Pinot Noir blend displays vanilla and plum, with crisp, vibrant dark cherry and earthiness. “It’s a fantastic example of how far B.C. has come”, says Kolt of his pick. “It’s cheery and accessible for the novice, yet serious and complex enough for the academic.”

For Hackworth, the attention is a bit overwhelming. “I am used to being in the vineyard and cellar, not the centre of attention [at] a huge food and wine event,” he says. “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.”

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