August 8th, 2020 – ZOOM  visits to HILLSIDE and HESTER CREEK  




THIS WEEK two of the leading wineries in BC.

One of the originals on the Naramata Bench and one of the leaders on The Golden Mile and  home of “The Judge.”

This week we spotlight Hillside Winery and Hester Creek Estate Winery!


Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside Winery (Naramata Bench)

Kathy Malone

In the early 1900s, this site was an apricot orchard.

In 1979, the property was purchased by Bohumir and Vera Klokocka who had recently immigrated to the Okanagan Valley from Czechoslovakia. In 1984 she and Bohumir pulled out the apricot trees and planted 3.5 acres of vineyards. The grapevines thrived in the gravelly soil and warm Okanagan sunshine and Vera’s dream took shape.

In 1989 Hillside, together with Lang Vineyards and Wild Goose, lobbied the Provincial Government to bring about the Farmgate Winery Policy that was instrumental in changing the B.C. Wine Industry.


Since  Kathy moved from Mission Hill to Hillside she has lead the winery to walls of awards and became the voice and face of the Naramata Bench Wineries.

The Hillside portfolio is a testament to Kathy’s skill and passion.

100% of Hillside wines are Naramata raised and grown.

Alert – some wines are marked either above or below the road or below the road. The road being the shoreline of the lake 1000’s of years ago.

2019 Unoaked Pinot Gris (Hillside series. Heritage PG) Splendid!

2018 Viognier (Heritage series)  White Texture

2017 Reserve Malbec.  (A first – the label says Naramata Bench Sub-GI)

Then comes three merlots which are part of their single vineyard program (also includes Cab and Gamay Noir)

2013 Gjoa’s Vineyard Merlot   (Joe-ah) A true beauty.  Below the road.

2014 Hidden Valley Merlot. Bowl-shaped vineyard behind the winery.

Elegant Balance. Above the road

2015 Dickinson Vineyard Merlot. On a bluff overlooking the lake. Below the road.  It’s a classic.

Hester Creek Estate Winery

Chef Adair Scott – Terrafina Restaurant

Winemaker Mark Hopley


Hester Creek on The Golden Mile. Kind of rolls off the tongue, right?

Hester Creek Estate has been growing and releasing wines for 50 years.

In 2018, they marked the 50th anniversary of their estate vineyards. As one of the oldest wine properties in the South Okanagan, they are graced with historic vineyards and a modern winery.

None of it would have been possible without the stubborn farming passion of original owner/winemaker Joe Busnardo. His original planting of Trebbiano is still bringing smiles to wine fans.

Joe sold and moved on to  Divino in the Cowichan Valley.

Hester Creek went on to become one of the finest wineries in Canada.

Our Zoom guests are Winemaker Marl Hopley and for the food pairings Terrafina chef Adair Scott.

We talk about two new releases.

2019 Character White – The Pinot Gris has stone fruit on the nose. The palate is treated to honey, melons, papaya, and pear. $16.00

2017 Judge. 

Equal parts Cab Franc, Cab, and Merlot. Also equal parts DeLish.$43.99

Your nose will love the anise, black fruit, and cherry.

Followed by tastes of plum, fig, and dark chocolate.

What a great wine.

Every year it surprises and seduces.

This, my friends is an icon wine..let this beauty rest for a couple of 5-8-10 years. The wait is well worth it.

Given that we’re only talking about two wines and because I had the winemaker and the chef handy I decided to pair foods with wine.  And then wines with food. This includes a speed round. Like a game show.

Great fun.




Sandra Oldfield presents  The Women of Wine.

Jeff Hundertmark  – Winemaker @ Mount Boucherie, Modern Wines. Rust Wine Co

A Zoom gathering with Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Creek and Gully Cider