Meet our sommelier
When it comes to wine and cider, Kyle Gartlan-Close, Nimmo Bay’s sommelier, strives to bring the very best B.C. wine and cider producers have to offer to the resort. He aims to keep his passion for farm to table beverages front and centre. The focus is on wines and ciders that will pair well with Nimmo Bay’s largely seafood and plant-based menus. Kyle is entering his fifth season at Nimmo Bay and has been working in the hospitality industry for the past 20 years. “Essentially I am tasting, talking and trying to discover new wines all year round,” he says. Throughout the spring and fall he travels across B.C. to visit wineries and cideries and it always on the lookout for new varieties.
When selecting a wine or a cider, Kyle places equal importance on the producers themselves and their farming practices. “What really excites me is first and foremost the farming and the people behind the wines,” he says.
“and when there is good stewardship of the land and real love, this almost without failure manifests as truly interesting and exciting wine in the glass.” – Kyle
Most of the B.C. wineries featured at Nimmo Bay are boutique in size, producing fewer than 5,000 cases. As a result, many of the wines are highly coveted.
Kyle shared his top 5 BC wine and cider picks for 2022. You’ll find the list below in no particular order. Get an expert’s opinion on why they are ones to watch (and try—if you can get your hands on a bottle that is!)
Nimmo Bay will be featuring the 2020 Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir.
“I am just floored by the redolent florals and crunchy perfumed cranberry, rhubarb and bright zingy pomegranate notes coming off this wine,” says Kyle. He especially likes the still wines they are putting out as well as the owners’ farming principles. He adds, “they farm the land adhering to principles of biodynamics and have a pretty great and exciting compost program that recycles all of the vineyard waste back to the vines.”
Similkameen Valley, B.C.
Nimmo Bay will be featuring a selection of their wines.
If it’s a long adventure you seek, a canoe offers more comfort and space for its passengers. You can pack a tent and food for a few days and paddle to hidden campsites along the coast or lakeshore. You’ll get even more exercise if you need to “What I love about the project is they are fully into regenerative farming and basically utilizing the agricultural land to farm all sorts of beautiful products that feed the soul and nourish the body. They additionally use these awesome Qvevri inert clay vessels for fermenting the wines, an age-old technique began in early vinification in Georgian wines,” says Kyle. Also worth noting are the lower alcohol red blends from this winery, which he adds are “loaded with all sorts of fresh orchard fruit characteristics, as well as some of the deeper blackberry and blue fruit notes perfect enjoyed slightly chilled down on a summer night.”
Nimmo Bay will be featuring their can-conditioned ciders, including the Cherry Cider.
“They have done all sorts of cool projects since their inception, most recently a can-conditioned cherry cider,” says Kyle. They used cherries from a family farmer whose crops were affected during the 2021 heat dome B.C. experienced last summer. “The result is a crunchy, cherry blaster loaded with acidity, texture and a dark brooding deepness on the finish.”
4. Bella Wines
Nimmo Bay will be featuring a special collaboration exclusive to Nimmo Bay.
“We have worked with a variety of their different bubbles over the years and for this season collaborated on a magnum of ancestral sparkling based off of chardonnay & gamay noir—one from their home vineyard and one from a small neighbouring vineyard,” says Kyle. “Think acacia blossoms, zingy lime zest, honey crisp apples and huckleberries. Only 80 magnums of this beauty were ever made.” Bella Wines works with grapes that have been sustainably harvested and strive for minimal use of sulphur when bottling.
Nimmo Bay will be featuring the 2020 Amelia Syrah.
“This wine for me is a distinctly balanced tightrope walk between the gamey and brooding style of Australia, and the nuanced elegant styles of the Rhone Valley,” says Kyle. “This is the product of Marcus Ansems MW, who is trained in viticulture and oenology.” Which means he is trained in the cultivation and harvesting of grapes, and an expert in the science of wine and techniques for making wine. Marcus also recently achieved the highest honour of becoming a Master of Wine, of which there are only five in Canada. The family-run winery focuses on making fine wines using small batch processing as sustainably as possible.
All photos not specified: by Jeremy Koreski