Sometimes it’s a smile or a chuckle and other times a full on belly laugh as drivers and cyclists on Naramata Road slow down to take in Hillside Winery & Bistro’s ever changing clever signs: Fresh local wine! U-pick, Love the wine you’re with! If you walk a mile in my shoes…you will be at a wine bar. When life gives you lemons – sell them to buy wine, Are you celebrating Canada Day…with red, white & ros-eh?… These funny signs serve a serious purpose. They reflect Hillside’s take that their award-winning, small case lot, passionately and expertly crafted wine is made for our enjoyment. “You had me at merlot!”
One of the first farmgate wineries in the Okanagan Valley, Hillside’s wooden tower is a Naramata Bench landmark making a tasting in the homey wine shop or meal at its Bistro headed by Executive Chef Brent Pillon a special experience. Wine aficionados and newbies alike can now take their tasting experience to the next level by booking a Single Vineyard tasting.  This tasting centers on a flight of Merlot, from three distinct vineyards – Hidden Valley, Gjoa’s, and Dickinson Vineyard – and explores the subtle similarities and differences inherent in each.
Leading the charge of these small-lot, terroir-driven wines is gifted winemaker Kathy Malone. “Kathy has a great understanding of the unique conditions of the Naramata Bench so it’s only natural that we focus on creating wine that expresses our local terroir,” says Jody Schwindt, sales & marketing manager. “With Kathy’s gentle touch and minimal intervention, our wine is showcasing these terroir differences and flavour complexity more and more.  It’s an exciting time for us. We are evolving and growing in one respect, but staying true to our roots at the same time.”  With a commitment to using only 100% Naramata Bench fruit, Hillside is truly able to share the discovery and development of this special sub-region with wine lovers.
Hillside wines are serious, but they strike a balance by creating a fun and approachable winery experience for all.
Look for Hillside’s special fall offering of their port-style fortified wine, Soireé. Only 860 bottles are produced and this special treat sells out quickly. Hillside Bistro’s legendary three-course Thanksgiving Dinner is planned for October 8-10th. Reservations are highly recommended. Check out hillsidewinery.ca to learn more.
You’ve just been #Hillsized!
~ Elaine Davidson

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