Liber the wine god

You can’t go wrong naming a winery Liber after the Roman god of wine, viticulture, fertility and freedom.

As such, Nicole and Mike Dowell are going with the Liber Farm label for their new winery along the Similkameen River in Cawston.

The Dowells bought the 14-acre vineyard in March 2016, but grapes have been grown organically on the property since 2007.

The vineyards are on east to west slopes and overlook the river, which provides a nice breeze to cool an otherwise hot site, resulting in complex flavours and high natural acidity to balance the resulting wines.

The first six Liber Farm vintages have just been released.

The Dowells are particularly proud of the 2016 rose ($22), which they call a grown-up pink made in the dry French style of Provence, and the 2016 Everyday Chardonnay ($18), an unoaked version perfect for the summer that lets the minerality and fruit shine.

There’s also Hello Sunshine 2016 ($19), a blend of Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer; a classic white Bordeaux blend in the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon ($22); 2015 Let Me Be Franc Cabernet Franc ($23); and 2015 Signature Red ($25), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Liber’s consulting winemaker and viticulturist is French-born Pascal Madevon, who’s also made wine for Culmina in Oliver, Osoyoos Larose and the French wineries Chateau La Tour Carnet, Chateau Tour Blance and Chateau Laffitte Carcasset.

Wines can be purchased at the winery at 156 Sumac Rd., open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, online at LiberFarm.com or at select private stores like Save On Foods Penticton, Cask & Barrel in West Kelowna and Urban Liquor in Kelowna.

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