One of the Okanagan’s newest wineries, Ancient Hill is a charmer built on the hills overlooking Kelowna International Airport. Designed by Penticton Architect Robert Mackenzie, the handsome facility houses a well-equipped winery on the first level and an inviting cellar and patio above. Featuring warm wood decor and sweeping views of the valley and airport below, the focus is on old world panache. Despite the unique location, 10 km north of Kelowna centre, the vineyard has a long history of grape growing, which dates back to the 1930s. After a stint as an apple orchard, owners Richard and Jitske Kamphuys decided to convert the site back to a vineyard, planting 27,000 vines across from the Kelowna airport in 2005. “The west-facing site catches the sun from 8 am to sunset, just right for the correct varieties,” Richard explains.
Try these impressive Ancient Hill wines this summer:
2009 Lazerus $19.95
Is a dark, spicy, fruit-driven blend of Lemberger and Zweigelt. Enticing nose reveals nuances of black cherry, sage, black pepper, tobacco and licorice. Silky, spicy, lively palate shows essences of black cherry, blackcurrant, plum, chili pepper, cinnamon and anise.
2009 Gewürztraminer $18.95
Is a different take on the famous Alsatian grape. A big, bold fruit and spice bomb, it boasts aromatic aromas of rose petal, tropical fruit, apricot, ginger spice and honey, followed by concentrated, viscous flavours of lychee, apricot, white pepper, honey and almond, refreshed by a note of softness on the finish.
2009 Pinot Noir $21.95
Is a lovely Pinot Noir with an abundance of complexity and elegance. Flavours reveal cherry, strawberry, cola, truffle, pepper, smoke and vanilla cushioned by sweet, silky tannins.
2009 Pinot Gris $17.95
Prefers roast pork and spicy Asian cuisine. Subtle nose reveals nuances of candied apple, melon and vanilla. Rich, round, creamy palate shows spicy flavours suggesting apple, pear, white pepper, almond and caramel.
~ Michael Botner