Great wines, panoramic views of a beautiful rural setting and an eclectic, antique-filled tasting room are all hallmarks of Ancient Hill Estate Winery.  Architect Robert Mackenzie’s design features slate, stone and reclaimed fir, reflecting proprietors’ Richard and Jitske Kamphuys’ attachment to the environment.  The elegant graphic on their labels, linking earth, air and water also embodies their wines’ affinity to the terroir. Now into its second full year of operation, the winery has already garnered numerous awards.

The 2009 Gewürztraminer ($16.99), a Gold Medal winner (BC), shows typical spicy, tropical fruit and floral notes on the nose and palate.  The 2010 Pinot Gris ($17.99) won a Bronze Medal (Canadian); peach/apricot notes, dry and well-balanced, with a lovely clean finish.  The winery’s ‘summer sipping’ portfolio will be expanded this year with the release of a rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes.

Building on their success with cool climate white grape varieties, Ancient Hill also takes advantage of red varieties that are well-suited to the Okanagan.  Their 2009 Pinot Noir was a finalist in last year’s Okanagan Wine Festival.  2009 was an excellent year for reds, and this beautifully balanced, elegant  Pinot Noir ($21.99) shows excellent varietal characteristics.  For a hearty red blend, try the 2010 Lazerus ($16.99) which is predominantly Zweigelt, with Lemberger, Pinot Noir and Baco Noir blended in to yield a great food wine with peppery notes and a long finish.  If you’re in the market for a blockbuster red, the 2010 Baco Noir ($24.99) has to be your choice.  Flavours of cherry, plum and blackberry are balanced with nicely integrated tannins.  Sure to be a favourite with barbequed meats this summer!

Ancient Hill provides a beautiful patio and picnic area where you can enjoy a glass or bottle of their fine wines, as well as a private tasting room for small functions.  A beautiful venue for a wedding or other special event!

~ Allison Fader

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