At Hillside Winery, located on the Naramata Bench, 2012 has all the hallmarks for yet another successful year. When you combine Winemaker Kathy Malone’s great wines with inspired local dishes prepared by Executive Chef Rob Cordonier, you have something very special. Seldom do you meet two individuals, who are so passionate about what they do and yet are able to understand and appreciate each other’s talents and skills. Rob has top class culinary credentials, having previously worked at some of Vancouver and Whistler’s finest restaurants and has also cooked for celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Uma Thurman.

Rob creates delicious, seasonal, and local fare to complement Kathy’s wines. I was lucky to see a draft of the forthcoming menu, and there were many that made my mouth just water. Rob sources as much produce as he possibly can from local area and he currently uses up to 50 growers and suppliers. Rob goes to incredible lengths to find the ideal food and wine pairing. He regularly meets with Kathy to discuss and taste, the “soul of each wine”, essentially breaking down every subtlety and nuance in the glass. This insight allows Rob to be extremely creative and imaginative with his dishes. He is also one of very few chefs in the area employing the “Ocean Wise” program. So at the Bistro, not only will you have a great overall dining experience but when you order any seafood you know you will be helping the environment too.

The Bistro features a striking 65 seat dining area, with both indoor and outdoor patios. Reservations are not required but recommended.The Bistro and Tasting Room will re-open on Saturday, March 31st. Spring also marks the unveiling of Hillside’s new wine label the first sighting will be on bottles of their 2011 Muscat Ottonel.

~ Mike Lee