Solvero Wines: The Start of Something Special

Posted on Sep 20, 2023

summerland bc winery

WInemaker Alison Moyes.

If the inaugural release of Solvero Wines is any indication of what’s to come from one of BC’s newest wineries, there is a very bright rising star in the Okanagan wine region. Our visit to the winery marks the first time we’ve been motivated to do so solely based on a sample being sent to us. That sample impressed us so much we immediately made plans to visit. What we discovered was a very personal, uber-focused approach to quality, quite literally built on steely determination, and anchored by an equally passionate and talented winemaker.

While their wines are just now being introduced to the market, the Solvero property was purchased by the Sartor family in 2014.

summerland bc winery

Matt Sartor [Source: Solvero WInes]

After completing the Viticulture program at Okanagan College and while assisting several vineyard properties in Summerland, Matt Sartor kept an eye out for the site he and his family wanted to invest their future in.

The search was dependent on finding the perfect place to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which ultimately led the Sartor family to purchase the Wildhorse Road property in the Summerland Valleys Sub-GI (Geographical Indication). Matt’s focus on those two grape varieties in particular has not only been with regard to location, but also includes extensive research on vine clones and rootstock. An impressive 7 clones of Pinot Noir have been planted along with 2 different clones of Chardonnay.

Winding our way along Garnet Valley Road part of the new ‘Bottleneck Drive‘, we were immediately struck by both the Valley’s beauty and the feeling of seclusion. While only a short distance from the main Highway (97), once you take the turn off at Jones Flat Road and head toward the winery, you’re quickly rewarded with a sense of serenity seemingly worlds away from anything else.

The property itself is beautiful, sitting at 600m elevation with sweeping panoramic views of the Garnet Valley. The estate vineyards rise up to 30 degrees from above the large 5 metre retaining wall that separates them from the brand-new winery building below.

summerland bc winery

Solvero uses French barrels for ageing.

The new winery building has taken 3 years to build with the original concept being to build into the side of the mountain. That proved a geotechnical impossibility and gave birth to the retaining wall but maintains the feeling that it’s part of the mountain itself. The only thing left to complete is the feature tasting room which will provide a front row seat to stunning views along with a staircase up to the vines.

While the tasting room is being finished, they’ve set up a very intimate spot on the crush pad for visitors interested in a tour and tasting, hosted by either Matt or Alison.

Summerland BC winery

Alison shows us the soil composition at the estate.

Unsurprisingly, the property is very challenging to farm, a specialized tractor with gator tracks given there’s so little topsoil. Equally unsurprising is hearing that it took 2 years to clear and plant the property. What is surprising is that Matt hand augured EVERY single plant hole himself. Did we mention it’s basically rock and bedrock with very little topsoil? If that doesn’t earn you instant credibility for dedication and fortitude, we’re not sure what would!

Summerland BC winery

Passionate and talented.

Behind the scenes at Solvero is winemaker Alison Moyes, a true artist in the world of winemaking. Her resume includes stints at some of British Columbia’s most renowned wineries (including Osoyoos Larose, Stoneboat Vineyards & Liquidity Wines), and the unique microclimate of Solvero’s estate vineyards provides an ideal canvas.

Alison’s journey into winemaking began with a fascination for the harmony between science and artistry inherent in crafting wine. She grew up in Ontario, then moved to Nova Scotia to attend Dalhousie University where she studied microbiology and yeast genetics. The perfect foray into winemaking though her interest in science wasn’t really related to wine at that time.

Summerland BC winery

The perfect canvas.

“I started working at a fine dining restaurant and was introduced to wine that way. The owner of the restaurant was a sommelier, and he offered a course for the employees. I just fell in love with it and ended up doing my somm certification and I worked in that capacity for a couple of years.”

When she decided it was time to combine the science element with the sensory and artistic side of winemaking, she attended Brock University for her enology & viticulture degree. After a couple of seasons in Ontario, she moved west to British Columbia in 2008 to work a couple of vintages with Osoyoos Larose. It was then she realized that BC was where she wanted to make wine.

Summerland BC winery

An excellent inaugural release.

At Solvero, Alison takes a hands-on approach, overseeing every aspect of the winemaking process. Alison’s philosophy centres on allowing the vineyard’s unique expression to shine through in each bottle and she believes in minimal intervention, allowing the grapes to tell their own story.

So how did Alison end up joining Solvero as its first winemaker in 2021? Alison has known Matt for many years and feels like she’s been a part of the Solvero journey from the beginning, “while I was the winemaker at Liquidity, I would always keep the Pinot Noir clones separate through the entire ageing process, so you had a true representation of what each clone was developing in terms of style. Matt would come taste the barrels and when he decided on the 7 clones to plant which he did in 2016, I kind of followed the project since then.”

Summerland BC winery

A very focused approach.

Matt and Alison’s philosophies appear to be in lockstep which is evident through Solvero’s impressive inaugural release. While the winery’s production was initially just 750 cases, this year it has increased to 2,000 cases thanks to both the new winery and their vineyards now reaching maturity, “This property has taken longer than an average property to establish. While we get excellent quality in the Pinot, the clusters are tiny with tiny berries, and we don’t get huge yields. We were averaging just 1 ton per acre up until this year, but we’ll get more this year which is why our overall production has increased. I don’t ever expect to hit 3 tons per acre, probably at full production 2-2.5 tons per acre would be a good expectation.”

Summerland BC winery

Something to be proud of.

Solvero is centred around 4 grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Gamay Noir. Alison tells us they plan to expand the portfolio to include a traditional method sparkling wine of 100% Pinot Noir and she’d also like to make a series of Pinot Noir red wines that reflect the different vineyards with different sub-GIs of Summerland, perhaps even the different clones.

She describes her winemaking as “gentle guiding in the right direction” and wants Solvero wines to be different vintage to vintage, authentically representing each year and the special place the grapes are grown. “I love Pinot and Chardonnay for their delicate nature and the fact that they’re challenging to work with. Despite the fact they can keep you up at night, when you get it right, it’s something really special and something to be proud of.”

We believe Solvero deserves to be very proud of what it’s accomplished so far. And judging by their impressive property, the new winery, and their first wines to market, it’s very clearly the start of something special.

Tasting Notes

Summerland BC winery

2022 Solvero Pinot Gris.

2022 Solvero Pinot Gris

Green/gold hue. Notes of melon, grapefruit and a nice streak of minerality. The medium body and medium+ acidity provide a really nice texture to this wine. The finish is long and shows some lovely floral notes.


2021 Solvero Chardonnay

Straw/gold in colour. We are instantly struck by the great minerality that comes through on the nose. This carries on to the palate where it is joined by notes of apple, hints of white peach and lemon confection. Medium+ acid and medium body this wine is both textured and focused. A terrific first vintage!


Summerland BC winery

2022 Solvero Rosé.

2022 Solvero Rosé

This medium copper/orange hued wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir using the maceration method. We get notes of strawberry, cranberry, apple skins and hints of orange zest on this wonderfully complex wine. Medium body with medium+ acidity, this is not just refreshing but would be a wonderful accompaniment to all sorts seafood dishes. A serious rosé!

Very Good/Excellent



2019 Solvero Pinot Noir

Summerland BC winery

2020 Solvero Pinot Noir.

Medium red in colour, we get notes of cherry, cranberry, earth and hints of vanilla. Medium acid and medium– in body, this strives for elegance over power. The finish is long and mineral infused.

Very Good/Excellent







summerland BC winery

Solvero Winery [source: Solvero Wines]

Solvero Wines

25585 Wildhorse Road

Summerland, BC

T: (250) 404-4109


*Visit by appointment only* Tuesday to Sunday 11am-4pm



    I love all the research he did before putting in the vineyard, tasting the clones and finding what was right. The winery is beautiful and that Crushpad for tastings looks heavenly!

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    • And to hand auger every single hole in that bedrock! A beautiful spot for a tasting that was very intimate with just the winemaker. The new tasting area looks equally special and love that they’ll have a staircase up to the vines. We’ll definitely back to see that once complete.

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