Liber Farms, named after the Roman god of wine, viticulture, fertility and freedom, is one of the oldest organic farms in B.C. dating back to the 1960’s. Located on the sloping riverbanks of the Similkameen River (Cawston), 7 acres of the 25-acre farm and winery are planted in Gala, Ambrosia, Fuji and Honey Crisp and has been farmed organically since the planting.
The winery tasting room is located on their property just north of Osoyoos along Hwy 97. Liber Farms and Winery is owned by Nicole and Mike Dowell who purchased the Similkameen River property in 2016. A wine tour in the Okanagan in 2005 followed by a 2006 wine tour in California sparked their interest in wine. “We vacationed in the Okanagan every year from that point forward,” Mike says. “And we purchased a seasonal property in Naramata, so we got exposure to a lot of wineries up there.”
Changes in their personal lives, including a strong interest in organic food, led them to begin looking for a winery or an orchard in wine country. “I remember being stuck in traffic, driving to work in the snow and saying, enough is enough,” Mike says. *1
We instantly fell in love with this spot. The valleys open all around us, and the vineyard exposure is perfect. In the morning, the sun gently warms our back as we prepare for the day. It shines long and tenaciously through the late day, shimmering off the river to warm and excite our vines. Overnight, the cool river provides the vineyard with a much-needed refreshing rest. We create wines from these very special organic estate grapes or with fruit from our partner vineyards. Wines are gently aged in stainless steel or French Oak to allow the quality of the fruit to show through.
"We create wines from our very special organic estate grapes and from our partner vineyards. Wines are gently aged in stainless steel or French Oak to allow the quality of the fruit to shine through.”
One of their first moves was to recruit Pascal Madevon, a top-notch French-trained winemaker who worked at Osoyoos Larose Winery and Culmina Family Estate before setting up a consulting practice last year.
*1 John Schriener's Blog