Hillside Estates White Soiree Celebration

In the fall of 2018, Hillside held their annual White Soiree evening enjoying the “fruits” of our labour. This year, Hillside was show casing the Gjoa’s Vineyard Merlot and the Gjoa’s Vineyard Reserve Viognier. It was a gorgeous evening and we trooped up the hill on the KVR trail with some amazing friends to celebrate in style. Kathy Malone was a fantastic toastmaster, and shared some great stories and even sang us a song to kick off the evening.

the whitesoireegang.jpg

Chickadee Whisperer

One of our favorite guests, Lisa, through a lot of patience and perseverance was able to get the Chickadees that hang out by the blue spruce next to the Verasion room deck, to eat sunflower seeds out of her hand. She is now known as the Chickadee Whisperer or Cool Chick for short. This happened a few years ago down on the Vineyard Suite patio as well but darn, I can’t find the photo.

One of our favorite birds, the sweet tiny chickadee.


2016 Reserve Viognier Released

2016 Reserve Viognier comes out with a bang!


Naramata Bench terroir and a long hang-time have created a wine with refined aromatic intensity. Think of this as a “summer chardonnay”. Our Viognier has intriguing fragrances of spring blossoms and honeysuckle, with hints of Chai spice.


After a warm early start to the growing season, moderate heat through the rest of the season resulted in the viognier grapes developing fine aromatic intensity. Handled gently to preserve the delicate aromatics, the fruit was de-stemmed and given brief skin contact before draining off skins and cold settling. A portion (29%) was barrel fermented in 1st (14.5%) and 2nd fill French oak barrels, while the balance was allowed a long slow fermentation in stainless steel. After 5 months in oak with frequent lees stirring, creating a rich silky palate, the wine was racked and blended. Finished dry.

DOUBLE GOLD & BEST OF CATEGORY | All Canadian Wine Championship

All Canadian Wine Championships 2017 Results


Double Gold

Hillside Winery, BC     2016 Viognier $21.00


Ruby Blues Winery, BC     2016 Viognier $25.00

Oliver Twist Estate Winery, BC    2016 Viognier $22.00


Blasted Church Wines, BC         2016 Mixed Blessings $22.00

Red Rooster Winery, BC    2016 Rare Bird Series Viognier $22.00

Gold Hill Winery, BC     2014 Viognier $18.99


Perseus Winery, BC       2016 Viognier $18.99

Lang Vineyards, BC     2016 Viognier $21.99

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, BC     2015 Reserve Limited Edition Viognier $19.99

Other awards:

SILVER /National Wine Awards of Canada Wine Align 2017

Bronze/San Francisco International Wine Competition

Michael Pinkus, On the road with the grape guy review

This Viognier ticked all the boxes for me; first there’s a freshness of fruit, namely lemon, white peach and tropical notes giving it both freshness and fruitiness – but there’s also some lanolin that balances out the fruity nature of this wine – plus it has an excellent length of finish and acidity that brings it all together.
Price: $22.00 - Rating: ****


Hillside Merlot Gjoa Vineyard 2011

Bronze, NorthWest Wine Summit

Anthony Gismondi Review:

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada  The Gjoa Vineyard sits just below the winery along the lower Naramata Bench and was first planted in 1995. The mature vineyard fruit neatly meshes with Hillside winemaker Kathy Malone’s philosophy to make “bench” only wines. The nose is fresh with red fruit plum aromas and mocha coffee undercurrent. Similar flavours spill on to the palate with a long, spicy, mineral undercurrent and now mostly silky tannins. Ready to drink with roast beef. Its aged 13 months in barrels; new (14%) American and older French oak.TASTED: 11 AUGUST 2017TASTED BY: ANTHONY GISMONDIPRICES: BC 30.00 winery direct PRODUCER: HILLSIDE WINERYDISTRIBUTORS: LONE TREE CELLARS



John Schreiner on wine:

Hillside Merlot 2011 Gjoa’s Vineyard ($24.99). This is a remarkably complex Merlot, especially since 2011 was a cooler vintage. The flavours here certainly are ripe, with a core of sweet cassis flavours and with polished tannins. 92 score



Osprey Platform

Gjoa and I have been talking about it for a while and this summer we finally erected a 45' osprey pole in the hopes of attracting a pair of Osprey.  No takers yet but if you know of a nice pair of osprey looking for a good home to raise their family please send them our way.  No references needed.  The platform is in a quite peaceful location on the NW corner of our vineyard and includes a perch with a beautiful view overlooking Lake Okanagan.

Unlike humans, Osprey breed for life and return to the same nest year after year and sometimes over multiple generations.  Some nests have recorded over 70 yrs of continual use.  We missed the 2017 breeding season but we are keeping our fingers crossed for next spring.  We'll keep you posted... 



Oh Deer,


We had some unexpected visitors in the Vineyard the other day.  We spotted a deer down by our barn but the binoculars soon revealed she wasn't alone.  She was busy licking two newborns who were stuggling to take their first steps.   Gjoa and I went down to open our "escape route" that our friend Mike had built into our deer fence for such occasions. 
By the time we wondered down there, careful not to spook our guests Mom had wondered off to find food and she left us two little surpises behind.  This is normal behaviour for deer as the fawns are well camoflaged and have no scent to attract predators. 
We were careful not to disturb them and Mom was back later that evening to feed the twins. All three were on their way the next day and we wish them well.