Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We wanted to shine the spotlight on four incredible winemakers including: Nikki Callaway, Alison Moyes, Gina Fernades Harfman, and Severine Pinte.
Nikki Callaway, O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars- Lake Country, BC
Nikki possesses a keen interest in both viticulture and winemaking. Her passion for small-lot premium production combined with her attention to detail make her the perfect match for our state-of-the-art project and estate grown fruit.
Nikki completed a Masters in Enology from the prestigious Université de Bordeaux and gained viticulture and winemaking experience in various regions of France including Beaujolais, the Loire, and multiple appellations in Bordeaux (Margaux, Pessac-Leognan, Blaye and Cotes de Bourg).
Since then, Nikki has proven her talents through significant roles at major British Columbia wineries such as Mission Hill and Quails’ Gate. In 2011, a pinot noir she produced was awarded the ‘World’s Best Pinot Noir’ at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Nikki possesses a keen interest in both viticulture and winemaking. Her passion for small-lot premium production combined with her attention to detail make her the perfect match for our state-of-the-art project and estate grown fruit. We welcome her passion and commitment as the best winemakers are those who truly live and breathe this industry, and Nikki achieves this everyday.
Alison Moyes, Liquidity Wines – Okanagan Falls, BC
Originally from Southern Ontario, Alison moved to the east coast to attend Dalhousie University and pursue an interest in science, studying Microbiology. During this time, she had the opportunity to work at some of Halifax’s finest restaurants. After completing her degree, she began to explore her love of the food & beverage industry further, becoming a certified Sommelier responsible for the largest wine list in the Maritimes.
As her palate developed, she began to consider a career in winemaking and acquired a degree in Oenology & Viticulture from Brock University. Following several seasons working in the Niagara region, the Okanagan beckoned. Alison brings experience from two top wineries in the Okanagan, having worked under Pascal Madevon at Osoyoos Larose and as Winemaker for Stoneboat Vineyards for the past five years.
Her favourite grape? Of course Pinot Noir, a varietal Liquidity is known for! “Pinot has the potential for the extraordinary as well as for heartbreak,” says Alison. “As a winemaker, having the ability to work with the same fruit each year is an opportunity to constantly improve through a connection with the land.”
Gina Fernandes Harfman, Oliver Twist – Oliver, BC
Gina is owner, winemaker and leader of the team at Oliver Twist Estate Winery. She’s the fourth generation from her family to sink her hands into South Okanagan soil. She’s a proud mom to son Jaxson, born in 2011, and daughter Vida, born in 2015. The family lives on the winery’s 17-acre property.
Gina attended Fine Art school in Kelowna, airbrush courses in Las Vegas and was working airbrushing and pinstriping hot rods and motorcycles. She made her first wines with grapes from her father Ken Harfman’s vineyard for a family function in 2009.
“It was a Gewurtztraminer and a Merlot, and I custom pinstriped the labels,” says Harfman. “I had to make a lot of wine, knowing my family. And I loved doing it, so September 2009 I enrolled in Okanagan College to learn more about winemaking.”
In 2012 Harfman took over ownership of Oliver Twist when she was just 32 years old. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Gina is happy to accept a glass of any Oliver Twist wine any time, and her favourite wine to make is Rockabilly Red. “I feel like a mad scientist, trying all the different combinations and percentages of wines in the blend until I get it just right. She’s got to be a rockin’ wine every vintage to live up to her name!”
Severine Pinte, LaStella Winery – Osoyoos, BC
Severine Pinte came to LaStella in 2010 with 14 harvests of international wine making experience under her belt along with 8 years of vineyard management. Severine is a graduate of the illustrious ENSAM (Ecole National Superior Agronomic of Montpellier) where she acquired her Masters in viticulture and oenology, and her National Diploma of Oenology. After leaving ENSAM she apprenticed at the Cave de Tecou in the AOC Gaillac before coming for the first time to British Columbia to work for Domaine de Chaberton as an assistant winemaker. In 1999 she returned to France and worked a year in Bordeaux under the direction of Andre Lurton in Pessac-Leognan then returned to the Languedoc. For nine years Severine was head winemaker and viticultural council for ‘Le Vignoble des 2 terres’ in the Terrasse du Larzac terroir.
In the winter of 2003 she took leave for harvest at Frankland Estate winery in Western Australia and enjoyed learning a different take on her beloved Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux originated varieties. Curiosity and the pursuit of new challenges brought Severine to the Okanagan and she brought with her an astute understanding of wine and terroir. Her favorite quote is from Jean Hugel: “100% of the quality of a true wine is already in the grapes, not in the cellars where you can only lose quality.”
For her, the Okanagan, with its unique terroir and cool climate, has always been intriguing.We are delighted to have Severine leading our viticulture and winemaking team; she is the perfect candidate to craft world class wines in the South Okanagan.
*Biography for each winemaker was provided by the winery.