Seven years after leaving the restaurant trade behind them and going out on a limb to purchase 5 acres on the Naramata Bench, Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn have turned their labour of love, JoieFarm, into one of Canada’s most iconic wineries.
Three things about your neighbourhood (Naramata) that make you want to live there: The pastoral, green, rolling hills of the Naramata Bench; watching huge hawks and eagles hunting overhead, and the our ability to walk for hours without seeing a soul.
The best thing about your job: H. Working outside all year round. M. The variety, and continuing to be a part of the Vancouver restaurant community after 22 years while still being able to go to bed by 10pm.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Extremely marbled rib eye steaks.
Sport you gave up: H. Figure Skating. M. Golf.
Default drink of choice: Bubbles of any kind – we don’t discriminate – except for sparkling Shiraz.
Drink you’ll never have again: Sparkling Shiraz.
Favourite book as a child: H. Blueberries for Sal. M. Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The one place you’d move to: Portland, OR.
Favourite wine varietal: Riesling vs. Pinot Noir vs Sangiovese…it’s hard to decide, so we drink them all.
The person you can imitate: Our dogs Lily and Prince
Beer of choice: Crannog Red Branch Ale (on tap out of our beer fridge).
Bartender who could sell you anything: Mark Brand – can’t wait for The Diamond.
Book you’re reading: H. Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini. M. The Gamble – Thomas E. Ricks.
Last place traveled: NYC.
Biggest fear: Hitting a tank valve in the winery.
Saddest thing about Vancouver: H. The lack of bars and cafés, seaside. M. The lack of an evident, coordinated homelessness strategy for Vancouver between the different levels of government.
Cliche that you use too often: “If it floats, flys or fucks…. Rent it….”
Dead film actor you wish was still making pictures: Marcello Mastroianni.
Best sneaker in the world: Campers, in general.
Place in BC that you love escaping to: Sooke Harbour House.
Your paternal grandfather’s personal story: H. Raised on Manitoba Prairie, became a mechanical engineer and worked for Stelco in Hamilton. M. Born and raised on the Battery in St Johns, Newfoundland; owned the Signal Hill Grocery; moved to BC to open a supermarket in Kelowna with the founder of Overwaitea.
Dumbest purchase ever: Synthetic corks.
What are you proud of: That we had the nuts to go and do something that scared the pants off of us for the first few years and are on the path to creating the wines that we had always hoped we would.
The thing you’re addicted to: H. lunch at Rangoli. M. NFL, NBA & NHL drafts.
The thing that makes you the angriest: People who harm children and animals.
Most challenging thing about living in Vancouver: Gross lack of efficient public transit, hopefully soon to be rectified.
Favourite restaurant in Vancouver: Rangoli vs. Nuba vs. Shanghai River.
Your nickname growing up: H. Sally. M. Gunga Dinn.
Talent you wish you possessed: A better singing voice.
The trend you wish you never followed, but did: Died my hair platinum (both of us, as it turns out).
Musical instrument you long to play: Trumpet!
Foreign politician you most admire: Barack Obama.
The game you’re best at: M. Crib. H. Giving Michael the gears.
Somewhere within an hour of Vancouver that few may have heard about but is worth checking out: Belcarra.
The number of fist fights you’ve been in: H. One. M. Three.
The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: H. Watching Michael haul our entire 2005 vintage down a mountain, in the ice and snow, on a trailer with a one ton truck.
Three things of no monetary value that you will keep until you die: H. soft baby blanket, my chef knife, my sanity.
BC chef that you admire most: Vikram Vij.
The thing you’re ashamed of: Only speaking two languages, poorly.
Best concert experience ever: Peaches vs Rich Hope vs Extra Action Marching Band (SF).
How you waste time at work: Playing with the dogs.
The thing you wished people cared more about: What they eat.
The dish you’re most proud of: H. Braised Rabbit with spaetzle. M. Timpano.
The thing that makes you the most nervous: Making wine – it keeps us honest.
Town you were born in: H. Etobicoke. M. Victoria.
Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: MASH and South Park.
First memory: H. St. Lawrence Market. M. Can’t remember.
Quality you admire most in yourself: H. Disciplined. M. I genuinely like people, as a rule.
Album that first made you love music: H. The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. M. Quincy Jones’ The Dude.
Default junk food of choice: H. Grilled cheese sandwiches with ketchup. M. Hot wings.
The career path you considered but never followed: H. Medical school M. Golf Pro.
The one country that you have no interest in ever visiting: Afghanistan.
Your top three films of all time: H. Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Big Lebowski, Little Miss Sunshine. M. The Big Lebowski, The Big Night and La Dolce Vita.
The first three things you do every morning: Coffee, stretch, pet & talk with dogs.
Biggest hope: That we have a healthy family.
Luckiest moment of your life:. H. Meeting Michael. M. Meeting Heidi.
That was the 47th interview of what will eventually amount to 500 profiles of people who have made life in BC that much more interesting. At the rate we’re going it’ll take three years, at which time we’ll probably just start shooting for 1,000.