With crisp features of fresh fruit such as peach, melon and green apple tingling on your tongue, Hillside Winery’s Un-Oaked 2014 Pinot Gris delivers spring in your glass. Along with other releases, it is testament to the dividends of Hillside’s winemaking philosophy in using only the best grapes available and working with Mother Nature to guide the wine through natural phases rather than over manipulating it. The Gewürztraminer, too, heralds warmer weather with fragrances of honeysuckle, tropical fruits and ginger sure to enhance scallops, Spot Prawns and spicy dishes. Watch for the signature Muscat Ottonel to be released during the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival. Think picnics and Thai food with notes of citrus, apricot, spice and everything nice like a floral bouquet. Another spring release, the rosé is bright with notes of wild flowers, cherries and field berries on the palate – a perfect patio sipper.
The Pinot Noir is an ambassador for the Okanagan’s quality in this varietal. It is juicy,  with raspberry and strawberry and a lingering complexity of herbs and spice. Since 2006, the signature Mosaic is comprised entirely of Naramata Bench fruit and usually a Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Absent from the Mosaic 2010 is the Cabernet Franc after winemaker Kathy Malone deemed that variety shy of Hillside’s standards that year.
Such unwavering dedication to the bounty of the Naramata Bench is evident in the wines and the Bistro’s cuisine and Hillside’s staff. When asked about any changes to the core team, Lisa Baxter-Burke, sales and marketing manager, proudly pointed out that after working there seven years she is still the newbie. She smiles, “We are all excited by our only new addition – Chef Rob Cordonier and wife Melissa’s baby boy, Everett Robson Cordonier.” Spring brings renewal and with the releases in wine, there’s a new menu. As the Bistro opens for lunch and dinner, seven days per week, Chef Cordonier and Brent Pillon, Chef De Cuisine unveiled a refreshed slate of locally-inspired dishes. Each of the thoughtful farm-to-table plates are designed to complement Hillside’s superb wines and to assist you in your choice, the chefs have provided a suggested pairing for each. New Dad, Chef Cordonier has gone big for Father’s Day in offering a Rib-eye Dinner for $39.99. That new Mosaic would be a perfect fit.
~ Roslyne Buchanan