April 13th, 2024-2024 Spring Releases from Hillside Estate Winery and Bartier Bros

2024 Spring Releases from Hillside Estate Winery and Bartier Bros




It’s a very busy time in the BC wine world.

Firstly, April is BC Wine Month.  Vineyards are being examined to see what the deep freeze damage was and plans are being made to replant vineyards lost. Perhaps with entirely new varietals. Our second guest, Okanagan wine veteran Michael Bartier reveals his plan to replace the 17 vineyards he lost to the freeze.

To quote Michael “ I’ve stopped grieving”.  (more on Michael shortly)


Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside Vineyard and winery/Exec Chef Evan Robertson Hillside Bistro (Naramata)

Hillside Winery Merlot Malbec and Heritage Series Cabernet Franc For Now and Later – MyWinePal

(Kathy Malone – Winemaker/Hillside Winery)

We start with Kathy Malone,  Winemaker at Hillside Estate Winery Naramata Bench.  Hillside was the third winery on The Bench so those vines have found their place in the deep soils. Hillside staff  are celebrating their 40th anniversary!


Hillside Winery – Scout Magazine

(Hillside Winery – Naramata Bench)

Kathy is joined by Hillside Bistro Executive Chef Evan Robertson. Chef pairs his new Spring menu  with the wines we taste and talk about. Such as:


2022 Heritage Muscat Ottonel – The Heritage series is dedicated to their history and the land, showing all the flavours and styles of the Naramata Bench. The graceful and thoroughly pleasing Ottonel never fails to surprise and find new fans. $26

2022 Heritage Pinot Gris.  Only the best vineyard blocks  are selected. Fermented in Tokay Hungarian Oak. 5 months of lees stirring. The wine and barrels are a perfect match. A top shelf white. Citrus notes, tropical fruit on the nose – full bodied due to 71% barrel fermentation.  $35

2023  Un-oaked Pinot Gris. White peach , granny smith and melon. Beautiful clean finish. A blend of four vineyards, all from Naramata Bench. $25

2022 Heritage Viognier.  The 2021 won an exclusive Platinum Award from Lt. Governors awards. The 2022 was a much cooler growing season. They created layers of texture with 24% fermentation in French Oak and time on lees in a concrete jarred. This is fine winemaking. Find this one.  $28

2020 Gamay Founders Block. Thanks to founder Vera Klokocka. She ignored  the advice given 40 years ago and hedged her bets by using “own roots” vines. That alone protects the vineyard from cold but today allows Hillside to regrow vines from the roots up. The roots seem to be able to take the deep freeze of  past years.

This Gamay is from the oldest Gamay vineyards in Canada. “cru” style Gamay spent 8 months in French Oak – one third new. $45

2021 Heritage Syrah. Syrah took a big hit these past two winters. Hillside still doesn’t know if they survived. The warm 2021 season created one of the best vintages from this block in years. From the Hidden Valley Vineyard. Planted in 2007, the year Tasting Room Radio started.  Syrah fans will love this release. $36

2017 Mosaic   The flagship wine of Hillside. The 2017 blend is 33% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 18% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot. Finished in 43% New French oak. Gloriously good. $70




Michael Bartier – co-founder of Bartier Bros Vineyard and Winery. (Black Sage/Osoyoos)

Bartier Bros Winery | Don and Michael

(The Bartier Bros – Don & Michael)

Michael has become one of BC’s wine leaders. Working his  winemaking way through Hawthorne Mountain, Road 13, Township 7, Okanagan Crush Pad, Michael now has his own vineyards and winery. Yes, there is another  brother – Calgary based Don.

Michael also consults many other vineyards.

Over the 17 years of Tasting Room Radio, Michael has become a mentor to me and the audiences through our interviews.

I was looking forward to talking to Michael about his 2024 Spring releases but also wanted his opinions on “the freeze damage”  of the past two winters.

He’s lost 17 vineyards. Seventeen!

In this interview he admits  “I stopped grieving”. I also wanted to hear his comments on the current Alberta/BC wine war.


Michael and I tasted and talked about these 2024 Spring releases….


2022 Riesling  To quote John Schreiner “Every wine Michael creates is meant to showcase the purity of the fruit.”   This is a beautiful wine. Outstanding nose and palate. Intense, crisp, stays complete through the finish. $22

2023 Rose.  All day. Every day. Perfect wine for the season ahead and then some $19

2023 Sauvignon Blanc From the Members Club. Wonderful blend of citrus and tropical flavours. A favourite $25

2022 Pinot Noir  Also from the members club $40  Rich and ripe  dark fruit with a whiff of dill on the nose. Well constructed tannins with scenes of  a  balance of fruit and minerality and a long delicious third act. Bravo!

2021  Granite  A brand new red blend.  53% Syrah. 32% Merlot. 12% Cab Franc 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.  From vineyards in Cawston, Golden Mile and Black Sage Terrace. 19 months in neutral French Oak before blending and bottling. 14.5 Alc.   $29.99


Piquette Rose – 4X355 ml Cans. Delicious. Perfect summer fun. Originally the wine workers drink. Made much better these days.

Piquette White – 4X355ml Cans. Easy to drink. Perfect for camping and backyard. Both $15.99




French Door

Anthony Buchannan

Painted Rock