The wineries and vineyards on the Naramata Bench are owned and operated by an eclectic bunch of oenophiles and expert winemakers, each winery with a story as unique as the terroir.

Hillside Winery and Bistro is no exception. The original vines were planted by Vera Klokocka, a BC wine pioneer. Vera envisioned the slopes of the Naramata Bench producing vibrant vines and exceptional wines. In an effort to support all wineries on the Bench, she helped initiate the Farmgate Winery Policy, and was the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon. Today those vines are 35 years old, the oldest Cab Sav in the valley, and producing beautiful fruit.

Vera’s dream lives on under the hands of Kathy Malone. Kathy combines strategy, science, and the art of élevage to produce quality wines. With 35 years of winemaking experience, her skill, care and patience at each stage bring the noble traits of the wine to the fullest potential.

Today, the wines, vines and community-focused minds at Hillside would make Vera proud. Hillside has won an impressive amount of silver and gold awards over the years. This year, the 2010 Mosaic won Gold from the NorthWest Wine Summit, and Silver from the All Canadian Wine Championships. The Mosaic is a beautifully balanced, classic Bordeaux blend, 100% sourced from Naramata Bench fruit, it also happens to be a favorite of President, Duncan McCowan.

To showcase the unique micro-terroirs, the microclimate, and the diversity of varietals grown on the Bench, Hillside has launched a single vineyard series with three Merlots and a Cabernet Sauvignon, and there’s talk of a single barrel Cabernet Sauvignon from Vera’s first-planted row!

Hillside’s small lot wines are sold only through the winery, but what better reason to visit this beautiful location and discover the unique qualities of the small lot wines and the outstanding cuisine at the Bistro.

As the wine season draws to a close, the fun at Hillside carries on. The Wine Club offers members access to pre-releases and exclusive small lot wines and events, including the notorious Pick-Up-Parties where music, elegant appies and tantalizing tastings are thoroughly enjoyed by all.

For more information on upcoming events and the Wine Club, visit the website at hillsidewinery.ca

~ Henrietta Poirier

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