As one of British Columbia’s first farm gate wineries, Hillside Winery & Bistro continues to be an industry leader. With a vineyard originally planted on the Naramata Bench site in 1984 – young by most standards but quite old for BC – winemaker Kathy Malone focuses on local terroir.
“Our region and vines being so young, we are recognizing terroir differences and flavour complexity in the wines more and more as the vines come ‘of age’,” she says. “By respecting and showcasing the fruit of these vines I want to give our wine drinkers the chance to share in the discovery and development of this special region.”
Kathy’s emphasis on minimal intervention leads to wines that impress consumers and judges alike. Whites, reds and blends are all getting attention, most recently at the 2014 All Canadian Wine Fest, where the 2013 Gewürztraminer earned a Gold Medal and the 2011 Syrah and 2009 Mosaic (Bordeaux blend) each brought home Silver Medals.
Visitors don’t need to take the judges’ word, though. One of Naramata’s most popular tasting rooms offers a warm welcome and delicious samples. It is a must-stop before continuing on to the popular Bistro, which opens with a splash on March 28th. Make your reservations now! Easter Brunch, a great favourite, will be served up on April 5th, featuring the always-popular Eggs Benedict and many other favourites from Executive Chef Rob Cordonier’s kitchen.
Wine and oyster lovers alert: On May 2nd and 9th, Hillside is presenting a feast of oysters to celebrate the release of the new Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. From 3-6 p.m. on both days oysters will be served for only $10 per half dozen. The regular menu is also available. The good times continue with Roll Out the Barrel at The Cellar Door from 2-4 p.m. on May 9th. Kathy Malone will be on hand to open up a barrel of unreleased wine and offer tastings. Ever wonder about winemaking and don’t know whom to ask? Take the opportunity to chat with one of the region’s most esteemed winemakers!
On Mother’s Day, May 10th, gather the family together to give Mom a treat that shows how much you all care. Start with a tasting of award-winning wines in the wine shop, then move on to the Bistro for a brunch she won’t forget. This is one of the most popular of Hillside’s many events—make your reservations today!
~ Lorne Eckersley