Hillside Estate Winery & Bistro

left: Hillside Tasting Room Manager Charlotte Sherriff with the 2011 Muscat Ottonel. right Hillside confit duck leg grilled cheese with summer beet salad. Photos by Anya Levykh


The tower at Hillside Estate Winery & Bistro is the first thing you notice as you drive up Naramata Road. It’s a stunning sight, designed—along with the rest of the building—by noted architect Robert Mackenzie, in 1997. Mackenzie then went on to design the wineries at Burrowing Owl, Red Rooster, Cedar Creek and Nk’Mip. The building at Hillside takes its looks from an old-fashioned gristmill, but the classic tower, which stands 72 feet tall, is not just for looks. It serves a more modern and multi-functional purpose as a ventilation shaft for the wine cellar below.


As for the bistro, it has two levels of patios, both of which overlook Okanagan Lake and the lower vineyards of the Naramata. It’s a beautiful spot, made even more appealing by the food, brought to imaginative life by EC Robert Cordonier (he was named Best Chef in the Okanagan in this magazine’s Exceptional Eats awards, and the title is well-deserved).


On a recent lunch visit we tried the signature confit duck leg grilled cheese sandwich with camembert, housemade cherry relish and caramelized onions. It might just possibly be the best grilled cheese I’ve ever tried. Paired with Hillside’s truly excellent Cabernet Franc, you have a meal worthy of the outstanding view.


Hillside Winery President Duncan McCowan standing next to the old-fashioned crush, now used only for the late-harvest KVR

Hillside’s wine portfolio is well-focused, and in addition to the aforementioned Cabernet Franc, they produce a highly popular Gewürztraminer that flies off the tasting room shelves. It was the Muscat Ottonel, however, that really tickled my fancy. Its floral aromas and hints of spice make it a perfect partner for spicier Asian dishes (think Thai) or summer seafood plates. It’s one of the best Riesling replacements I’ve come across.


1350 Naramata Road | 888.923.9463 | www.hillsidewinery.ca

Wine Shop Hours: 10am-7pm daily

Bistro Hours: Open for lunch and dinner daily from 11am



Written By:

Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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