Monday, March 8th, 2021, is International Women’s Day—a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. To that end, we want to raise a glass to women in wine—women like Alison Moyes, winemaker at Liquidity Wines, located in Okanagan Falls, B.C. We chatted with Alison about her work, and got her recommendation for the ideal wine to cheers with for IWD! —Vita Daily
Hi Alison! Why and how did you become a winemaker, and when did you join Liquidity?
I decided to become a winemaker after years studying microbiology and then training and working as a sommelier. I believe that winemaking is equal parts science and artistry, which drew me to it as a career path. I completed a degree in oenology and viticulture at Brock University before moving out to B.C. to follow that dream. I joined Liquidity in 2015 after seven vintages working my way up as a cellar-hand, assistant winemaker and winemaker.
What does your day-to-day as Liquidity’s winemaker look like?
One of the best things about this job is that each season, and indeed each day, is different. During the growing season in the spring and summer, I’m spending a lot of my time in the vineyards walking the rows and having discussions with the viticulture team. Currently, we’re preparing for bottling, which means completing the wine blends which I find to be one of the most creative parts of the process. The grape harvest is where it all really happens though—from September to November I live and breathe the winery as the grapes are harvested, crushed, pressed and fermented. All year, my role is very hands-on regardless of what’s happening.
We hear you have a special love of Pinot Noir (as evidenced in Liquidity’s acclaimed Pinot Noir Estate!); why, and what does making a winning Pinot involve?
I love making Pinot Noir, but the joy is in the challenge! I’m lucky to have six different Pinot Noir clones to work with, all bringing different layers of complexity to the finished wine. Making a great Pinot Noir is very labour intensive, produced all in small batches and by hand, and requires great attention to detail and a whole lot of patience. When done well, the reward is an incredibly nuanced wine, with subtleties that evolve over time.
Monday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day—a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In this context, when you hear the term “women in wine” what does it mean to you?
The great progress I’ve seen in the past decade is what comes to mind when I hear “women in wine”. When I started out in the industry there were only a handful of talented female role models in the types of positions I hoped to achieve myself. Today, I can think of a great number of women who I respect, admire and consider to be colleagues, not only in production but finance, business, sales and marketing as well. Although not entirely balanced across all job descriptions, the representation has certainly become more diverse in the world of B.C. wine.
Are there any special challenges, or benefits, to being a woman in wine?
Occasionally I meet people (both men and women) that are surprised to see a woman in the position of Winemaker. I hope that it is through these interactions that I may be helping to change the “face” of what it means to be a winemaker from what has historically been quite male dominated.
In your opinion, what is the perfect Liquidity wine with which to raise a glass to women on March 8th?
Pinot Noir is our quintessential grape, my personal favourite, and a great reflection of the work I’m most proud of. I highly recommend the Pinot Noir Estate, or its white wine counterpart, our Chardonnay Estate. Cheers to all the amazing and hardworking women in the B.C. wine industry!