Desert Hills, the renowned Oliver winery owned and operated by the Toor family (The brothers Toor, Dave & Randy working on the new deck in photo), will thrill loyal fans with their expanded tasting room and patio. Brothers Randy, Dave and Jessie Toor, have been preparing for their grand re-opening this April.
Upon entering the open-concept wine shop, eyes will immediately be drawn to the elegant quartz-topped U-shaped bar. The tasting bar’s increased size and accessible shape will enable the Toors to greet more of their visitors simultaneously, helping avoid long line-ups (oh, to be victims of such success!)
Behind the bar, a larger shelf will hold their many awards and accolades. “The old one couldn’t even fit all our awards. We were just waiting for it to fall down from all the weight!” laughs winemaker George Phiniotis.
Doors will lead from the tasting room to their revamped patio. A new lunch licence enables guests to enjoy a selection of deli items, with potential East Indian dishes in the future. Relax and enjoy a glass!
2013 Gewürztraminer $22.90
Consistently one of Desert Hill’s top sellers, fans will be delighted that the sold-out varietal is available again. With great aromatics and flavours, try with seared scallops, Asian fusion or butter chicken.
2013 Chardonnay (un-oaked) $17.90
This Chardonnay boasts wonderful fruity aromas, a silky texture and a perfect balance of sweetness to acidity. “I only had the very best grapes to work with,” exudes Phiniotis. Despite never touching an oak stave, this regal wine exhibits “some buttery soft qualities…lots of warm flavours, with Cali-chard kind of notes coming through”.
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $29.90
Bottled last year, released this spring, this delicious red is typical of the Desert Hills style: full-bodied, rich with big Cab flavours – a perfect accompaniment for steak. Phiniotis says, “if you lay it down for 5 years, it will compete with the world’s best.”
~ Sarah Willard