Hillside Winery and Bistro is the complete package. It has history. In 1989 Hillside joined Wild Goose and Lang Vineyards as the one of the first farm gate wineries in the province. It has location. The distinctive wood structure rises above Naramata Road to afford views that have to be seen to be believed. And the Kettle Valley Trail runs just behind the property. It has food. In the Bistro, Chef Rob Cordonier creates magic, with a strong focus on fresh, local ingredients. And, of course, it has wine.  In the winery, Kathy Malone uses a deft, gentle hand to turn grapes into fine wines, using an increasingly single vineyard approach to bring out the expression of the Hillside vineyards’ terroir.

Visitors to the tasting room will enjoy the chance to sample wines that include new releases like 2010 Syrah, a nicely balanced red with great tannins and a hint of potter’s clay with flavours of raspberries, blackberries and minerals. The 2010 Merlot Malbec is made from  Naramata-grown grapes, a perfect match with lamb ragout, suggests sales and marketing manager Lisa Baxter-Burke. The 2010 Viognier is proving to be popular, as is the tasty 2010 Late Harvest Kerner.

With the coming of fall many events are planned, including live local music on four sundays in September.

During October’s Fall Wine Festival, Oktoberfest will be celebrated in the Bistro. An Oktoberfest platter will be featured from 5-9 p.m., October 4-11 (locally brewed beer will also be available!). Guests are invited to the popular Graze Among the Grapes winemaker’s dinner, which starts with a reception in the courtyard featuring Hillside’s award-winning Rosé and canapes  A vineyard walk is followed by a wine-paired dinner. Make your reservations now! And don’t forget about the popular Thanksgiving turkey dinner on October 13-14, or Hallowe’en at Hillside, the winery’s 3rd annual party.

~ Lorne Eckersley