CedarCreek Estate Winery has rattled the wine world once again. On July 1st, 2015 CedarCreek’s 2012 Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir was awarded the Trophy for ‘Best Red Wine in Canada’ at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards, in London, UK. That same day, the winery also announced the appointment of internationally acclaimed winemaker Alexis Moore, a preeminent wine figure from New Zealand.
“I’m excited to hear you got Alexis,” exclaims Lynn Penner-Ash of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in Oregon. “What an incredible winemaker,” says Lynn, who herself was one of Oregon’s first female winemakers and today a leading winemaker and consultant on winery design.
“I never thought I’d leave New Zealand,” says Alexis Moore. “After ten years of successfully establishing roots in the wine world, New Zealand had definitely become my home,” she confirms . “My great love is Pinot Noir and aromatic whites,” continues Moore, whose very first vintage of Pinot Noir went on to claim 5 Gold Medals at reputable international wine competitions including Mondial des Pinots in Switzerland. “That moment when Darryl Brooker called me to convey the incredible opportunity to build the Okanagan Valley into one of the five great Pinot Noir regions in the world was something I just couldn’t say no to.”
Ironically Alexis Moore is Canadian and originally from Nova Scotia. Alexis’ winemaking experience transcends international borders having first honed her skills in the vineyards of Provence in France. This led to positions at such notable US producers as Flowers Winery in Sonoma and Oregon’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. With 16 harvests under her belt, Alexis’ return to Canada comes from her most recent role with Gladstone Vineyard in New Zealand, where she earned international acclaim for crafting exceptional Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Alexis completed her degree in Viticulture and Oenology at New Zealand’s prestigious Lincoln University which created the first cool climate wine production and education program. “I honestly believe that great winemaking starts in the vineyard, in fact, for the first three years of my winemaking career, I worked in vineyards.” proclaims Moore.”I couldn’t believe it, but one of the bonuses of working at CedarCreek is that all of our grapes are Estate grown. And nothing is more fulfilling for me as a winemaker than getting the chance to walk every row and learn about every inch of our Estate Vineyards, first-hand with Darryl Brooker, who knows every intimate detail of this land and whose Single Vineyard Block program is something I am in absolute admiration of.”
“A relentless perfectionist is how I perceive Alexis,” says Darryl Brooker, CedarCreek’s ex-winemaker, who was recently appointed as Chief Winemaker at Mission Hill Family Estate. “CedarCreek means so much to me. I have put my life in to building CedarCreek over the past five years and as I moved on within VMF Estates, I was not prepared to let go unless I found the right person who could take CedarCreek further. Alexis’ passion for cool climate viticulture, respect for sense of place in winemaking, and her outstanding wines that I tasted when I visited New Zealand were some of the things that convinced me she was the perfect fit for CedarCreek.”
“Alexis is passionate and intellectual,” states Proprietor Anthony von Mandl. “It was critical to find someone who embodied the purity of CedarCreek to ensure that we can carry on what Darryl has started here, all the way from the vineyard to the bottle. Alexis comes with an open mind, her sincerity is reflected in her wine and in her philosophy. And the fact that she is actually Canadian provides an extraordinary and very positive twist in the next chapter of CedarCreek’s proud history as one of the first eight pioneering wineries in British Columbia. Indeed what is New Zealand’s loss is most definitely British Columbia’s gain.”
This new appointment comes shortly after the announcement that Darryl Brooker will transition into the Chief Winemaker role at Mission Hill Family Estate.