California Winemaker Visits Cary


Story by Jamie Buning.

Cary, NC – A couple of weeks ago, Sip…A Wine Store in Cary hosted a wine tasting featuring Californian wines by LIOCO. It’s always nice to try something new and when a wine store invites the winemaker in for a tasting, you are in for a special treat.

One of LIOCO’s founders, Matt Licklider, was there to talk about the wine and the company.

The company’s goals, according to Licklider, are “to make wine that speaks of a specific place and a specific vintage because real wine is an agricultural product that should reflect its environs and be unique from year to year.”

Pedigreed Growers

Both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are from pedigreed growers and are naturally-fermented. LIOCO’s Chardonnay is fermented in stainless-steel tanks, thus it is un-oaked. (Take note Chardonnay haters!)  Their Pinot Noir is gently treated with low wood impact. The winemakers also strive to create wine with a distinctly Californian blend of “under-dog” varietals including Old-Vine Carignan, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Mourvedre.

The tasting featured seven different wines: three Chardonnays, three Pinot Noirs, and one red blend. My favorite Chardonnay was the 2011 from Sonoma County which Sip’s owner, April Schlanger, says is popular with her customers. This wine is actually fermented in neutral oak barrels rather than the usual stainless-steel, and has a citrus/lemon flavor. The price is very reasonable at $24.99 per bottle.

Owner of LIOCO wine distributor, Matt Licklider

Owner of LIOCO wine distributor, Matt Licklider

Russian River Chardonnay

Licklider’s favorite wine to drink in the summer is their 2011 Chardonnay Russian River Valley. He recommends this wine because it is refreshing and crisp with high acidity. A good meal to eat with this Chardonnay is grilled fish especially if it is topped with butter, lemon, and fresh herbs.

If you are more of a red wine drinker, Sip stocks several of the company’s Pinot Noirs. I preferred the 2011 Pinot from the Klindt Vineyard because it was more complex than the others with flavors and aromas of raspberries and rose petals. The price of this wine is $62.99 per bottle, since Klindt Vineyard has a smaller grape yield.

Whether you prefer Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or any other wine, know that when you drink a LIOCO wine, you are drinking a natural wine made with grapes from California’s premier vineyards.


Food on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Sip…A Wine Store, home of organic wines and beers and locally crafted gift items. The store also offers wine tastings and classes.