Liquidity winemaker Alison Moyes is bullish on 2020. In fact, she says this vintage may well be one of the best yet.
Moyes suggests, “The overall quality is phenomenal! I couldn’t be happier. What was really great this year was through the month of September we had mid-20s, sunny weather and cooler nights.” The longer, more gradual ripening led to flavour development that came with much lower sugars, such as in Pinot Noir— “the most intense flavour extraction I’ve ever had—at 21 and a half to 22 brix, which is incredible.”
As a region, “Okanagan Falls is unique,” says Moyes.
“It’s the border between the north Okanagan and south. It’s also the narrowest part of the valley, which creates a bit of a wind tunnel through the region. That adds a cooling effect,” she explains. The stratified soils, glacial till and different blocks (even within the vineyards) mean wineries can grow a range of grape varieties. Those winds play a critical role in cooling and drying, which really help when it comes to keeping Pinot Noir and Chardonnay healthy.
This year Moyes will make three Pinot Noirs—an estate, an estate reserve and an inaugural single vineyard wine from Liquidity’s Naramata property. “The estate will be more delicate, red fruit and floral, while the estate reserve (from old stock) is a little earthier, not as extracted with more dark fruit than the estate,” says Moyes. “The single vineyard wine will have more intensity of flavour and extraction, with darker fruit and spicier notes.”
When it comes to Chardonnay Moyes says she likes balanced use of oak and barrel fermenting for quality and texture. “That said, the goal is to have the fruit be the focal point; to be able taste the wine and not be aware of the oak. It’s 100 percent barrel fermented, with lees stirring daily, neutral barrels and a small percentage of new oak, for that nuttiness.
Moyes says she’s looking forward to some cool special events planned at the winery this winter—including Saturday ‘pop-up’ markets with local artisans and farmers to go along with tastings. But, for now, “Vintage is my favourite time of year,” she exclaims. “It’s when it all happens. We work hard but we love what we do—and that’s what translates into great wine. And, for sure, 2020 will be a year to remember!”
@ Vitis Magazine