Photo: Winemaker Alison Moyes
Wines, which opened in 2012, has raised the visitor wine experience among the
Okanagan Falls wineries with a wine shop that includes one of the most elegant
restaurants in wine country.
the winery is turning it up another notch by offering private VIP tastings of
its recently released reserve wines.
that happens to be out of your budget, the experience at the regular tasting
bar is very good, in part because the talent and focus of winemaker Alison
Noir is my baby,” she told me last year. “Pinot Noir is where my heart is.”
Noir winemakers are like that. Grant Stanley, who is now at 50th
Parallel Estate Winery, once told me that he thinks of Pinot Noir 80% of the
time. Yet his other wines taste like they get his full attention as well. The
same is true of Alison’s wines at Liquidity.
“I was born and
grew up in Ontario, in Scarborough where I went to high school. I moved to Nova
Scotia when I was 18 to go to Dalhousie to study microbiology,” Alison told me
in an interview. “While I was doing that, I was working at a restaurant. The
owner was opening up a new high end wine bar. He was doing sommelier training
and offered a course for the staff. I
was a part of that and I just fell in love with it. He saw I had potential and
he helped me through my sommelier certification in Halifax. Upon finishing, I
would be the new sommelier at his wine bar. I managed that program for two
years and then my science background called to me.”
She went to Brock
University to study winemaking. She came to the Okanagan in 2008, working with
Osoyoos Larose on what was supposed to be a temporary work term. But as soon as
she finished her thesis at Brock, she returned to the Okanagan as the winemaker
at Stoneboat Vineyards in 2010.
“I had fallen in
love with the Okanagan,” she said. “It is an amazing grape growing region.
Ontario has a lot of fantastic wines as well but it seems like a lot more work
to achieve it.”
Stoneboat has Pinot Noir in its portfolio but
Liquidity, which she joined in 2015, has a more ambitious Pinot Noir focus.
That includes estate Pinot Noir, reserve Pinot Noir and a super-reserve called
winemaking approach is remarkably detailed. A typical example emerges from the
production notes for the winery’s 2015 Viognier. “Harvested on September
29th and September 14th respectively, a combination of Viognier fruit from our
Allendale Vineyard and from the Similkameen Valley was almost entirely whole
cluster pressed and cool fermented in stainless steel. Several small 300L
stainless steel fermentations were performed in this way. The remaining 6% of
the fruit was crushed and partially skin fermented, before pressing off and
completing fermentation. The finished wine was racked off and carefully
blended, selecting only the most premium lots for this wine.”
production notes for all of the other Liquidity wines, including the Pinot Noir,
show equally detail-oriented winemaking.
are notes on the current Liquidity wines.
Liquidity Pinot Gris 2015 ($18 for
1,078 cases). This is a juicy, refreshing wine with peaches and pears both on
the nose and on the palate. 90.
Liquidity White Blend 2015
($18 for 616 cases). This
wine is a blend of
Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. The wine delivers aromas
and flavours of tropical fruits along with melons and ripe pears. 90.
Liquidity Viognier 2015 ($25 for
565 cases). This wine begins with tropical aromatics, leading to aromas and
flavours of apricots and peaches. The texture is generous. 91.
Liquidity Chardonnay Estate
2014 ($26 for 374 cases). This was fermented in barrel, primarily
with wild yeast, and aged in barrel for 11 months. The oak is very well integrated,
adding a hint of toast to the core of citrus, pineapple and peach flavours. 91.
Liquidity Pinot Noir
Estate 2014 ($26 for 910 cases). This wine was made with five
clones that were harvested and fermented separately before being blended. There
are aromas of raspberry and cherry leading to a medley of dark berry flavours
finished with a hint of spicy oak. 90.
Liquidity Pinot Noir Reserve 2014 ($42). A selection of the best barrels, this wine
has rich flavours of cherry, plum and pomegranate set against smoky forest
floor aromas. The texture is silky. 92.
Liquidity Pinot Noir Equity
2014. ($56 for 95 cases). This is not just the best barrels but
also the two best clones (115 and 667). The wine begins with aromas of lilacs
and cherries. There are rich flavours of strawberry, cherry and cassis. The
texture is velvet. This wine has been aged 11 months in oak (30% new). The wine
is profound and elegant. 95