Winemaker Heidi Noble: JoieFarm
Stirring the pot comes naturally to Heidi Noble. A graduate of the Stratford Chef School, her career included stints at some of Canada’s top restaurants. Looking for a change, Heidi moved out of the kitchen in 2000 and enrolled in a sommelier program. After several visits to the Okanagan with her new beau, Michael Dinn (a sommelier who worked front of house in a number of Vancouver restaurants), she fell in love again with the “sheer beauty and bounty of the region.”
In short order, they married, went to work for wine import agencies and purchased a five-acre property with an orchard in Naramata. While holding down full-time jobs and commuting to the Okanagan on weekends, they renovated the farm house and opened an epicurean retreat in the summer of 2003.
When their dream of launching a state of the art wine and food centre bogged down in red tape, the duo moved to plan B, planting vines and launching a winery in 2004. To train, they mentored at established wineries that agreed to make their first few vintages. Putting their focus exclusively on winemaking, they built their own winery in 2007. With Michael as natural born salesman and logistics expert, and Heidi in charge of winemaking and grape growing and contracting, JoieFarm now produces just under 10,000 cases and can’t keep up with demand.