Hillside made a brilliant tactical decision to focus on Naramata fruit about seven or eight years ago, long before anyone in the Okanagan was seriously talking about sub-regions.
Winemaker Kathy Malone proposed the idea after experiencing the commonality of flavours among Naramata wines when tasted against the rest of the Okanagan. Coining the term "locavin" a clear nod to the "locavore” food movement, she set out, with the support of owner Duncan McCowan, to revamp Hillside into a producer of 100 percent Naramata grown fruit.
The change did not come without risk. With no fallback position on outside fruit to bolster the harvest, every vineyard must be farmed to perfection to tell its story. The good news is the resulting stories are so juicy, the winery has upgraded its merlot program, releasing three, individual single vineyard merlots that illustrate its commitment to the Naramata Bench.
Hillside’s forward thinking has put them in a prime position to take advantage of any future announcement (thought to be only matter of time) on a Naramata sub-appellation. As it is, you can experience these wines now and have them served alongside numerous dishes whose ingredients originate on the Naramata Bench at the spectacularly sited Bistro inside the winery. It’s a great place to while away an afternoon or a sunset and watch the folks of Naramation pass, walk cycle or drive by on their way to the future.
To learn more Hillside Winery & Bistro