Nestled on the hill, right off Naramata Road, Hillside Winery and its modern farmhouse are a landmark in the South Okanagan. Ever since rows of vineyards replaced rows of apricot trees in 1983, the winery has fostered a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
The original vision of Hillside’s founder Vera Klokocka was to produce wine solely from Naramata grapes. With the help of winemaker Kathy Malone, that vision has now come to life.
“We are one of the original wineries in the area, so people are familiar with our story and our wines,” said Jody Schwindt, Hillside’s sales and marketing manager. “What people probably don’t know is that we have made a strategic move to produce wine with 100 per cent Naramata-grown grapes.”
About the Terroir
“The Naramata region has a special quality: its soil, geography and growing conditions are unique,” said Schwindt. “We really wanted to showcase our region and express Naramata fruit to its fullest.”
In fact, in 2019, the Naramata Bench region was officially categorized as a sub-geographical indication (sub-GI), solidifying its place on the map in the international wine community.
100% Naramata Bench
Hillside started to transition their profile of wines to only contain Naramata fruit in 2008. Today their wines are 100 per cent from the Naramata Bench, and this move has been complemented with a recent brand and packaging refresh.
With their elegant new labels, one can identify three tiers of Hillside wine, including their heritage and single vineyard series.
“With our new branding, we feel we have elevated our experience to match our wine,” said Schwindt.
Hillside is adhering to all COVID-19 protocols and ensuring guests and staff are safely able to enjoy their experience. By moving to seated tastings and reservations only, the winery is able to distance guests, all while providing the same enjoyable wine.
“Our intimate seated tasting has allowed us to take wine tasting to the next level and provide a more educational experience,” said Schwindt. “We’ve included an aroma kit with the tasting, so guests can really see how our terroir influences certain aromas, and therefore our wine.”
Order Online or Visit in Person
If you are unable to make it to the winery, Hillside has implemented free direct shipping for all wine orders, so you can taste in the comfort of your own home. If you’re planning on ordering before Christmas, Hillside recently released their 2008 Kerner ice wine. With only 42 cases, this fantastic dessert wine would make a beautiful gift for any wine lover.
Hillside Winery is open for tastings from noon to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. The Bistro is open Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 7 pm. Reservations are required. The winery will close December 20, with plans to reopen in March 2021.