Barbara and I could not longer wait. Confined by Covid protocols we need to escape our apartment. My favourite activity would be, of course, to visit a winery. On a previous visit to their picnic grounds(early 2020) winemaker Liam Berti had invited us to join him for a some wine tasting. It was long past time we took him up on this invite.
In 2018 Diamond Estates (Ontario)operating as Lakeview Wine Co purchased Backyard Vineyards. The winery has seen steady improves. Every time we visit we notice a new touch that makes the experience all that more enjoyable.
The son of a fighter pilot, winemaker Liam Berti was born in England and spent time in Germany before moving to Northern Ontario, where he grew up
Liam is a University of Ottawa journalism graduate who has since worked for BayToday as the City Council and North Bay Battalion reporter. He has also worked with the CBC and Northern Ontario Business as a freelance reporter and worked as a social media marketing specialist, in the non-profit sector.
He was also a pretty good hockey player.
Having a successful career in the media industry Liam and his girlfriend decided they need to look t head, what would their future be. Liam realized wine was his true passion he wanted to be a winemaker. They chose British Columbia to begin their new adventure in life.
He worked as assistant manager under James Cambridge for three seasons before been promoted to winemaker. A very good decision by the winery.
Upon arrival at the winery we were greeted by Liam before entering the building. It was a cold windy day Liam seated us by the fire. Liam has a amazing personality perfect for the hospitality industry.
Cheese & Charcuterie Classic
The winery also has a reputation for serving some of the best Cheese & Charcuterie plates. They also produce some of the Fraser Valley's best wines.
Our tasting experience was very relaxing and included some really good conversation with Liam. The first offering was the Sparkling wine Reserved Blanc de Noir. It had a beautiful strawberry colour with a nice aroma and lovely strawberry flavours and hints of apple.
Liam remembered that I was a Bacchus fan. He produced their past vintage and the current vintage still in the tank. The wines were exceptional. One big problem the Bacchus is all sold out and the current vintage yet to be bottled. We will return for the Bacchus release!
As the tasting continued, the more relaxed I became and soon forgot I was suppose to record the wines. Oops. Among the very good wines we tasted was the 2019 Pint Gris and the 2019 Social Viognier.
For the reds the 2018 Reserved Cabernet Franc was exceptional displaying on the nose Strawberry, raspberry, cloves, black licorice and on the palate blackberry, black cherry, dark plum, finishing with hints of black pepper spice.
Even a tiny bit better was 2018 Social Syrah and the Reserve 2017 both outstanding wine. The two wines had nice berry flavours The Social provided an aroma with hints of Strawberry where the Reserve had hints of raspberry, mocha. On the palate the social had black berries, red licorice and hints of coconut the reserve more mixed fruit flavours. I gave a slight nod to the reserve.
To top of the most enjoyable tasting experience was the Backyard Porch wine, a fortified wine. It definitely had the wow factor.
Heated out door facilities
Concerned about Covid safety. There is not need. The winery is well prepared for your visit, being extremely careful. There are both inside and outside facilities.
Thank you Backyard. Thank you Liam a most enjoyable afternoon. Judging by the wines you made the right choice to become a winemaker!