Kathy Malone

January 1 2022- The Okanagan Reconnect Week Two


The Okanagan Reconnect Week Two – at Hillside,  Naramata Bench.

(Presented by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association)


It’s week two of our Okanagan Reconnect!

This week we are gathering at Hillside Winery and Bistro  on the Naramata Bench

FYI – Tasting Room Radio was conceived in a studio in a barn on The Bench in 2007.

So we’ve come full circle.

Our winery and food guests were asked to bring two wines to profile.


Rickard and Jill Richardson Branby – Sperling Vineyards  (East Bench Kelowna)

(Final interview from last weeks show)

Rickard & Jill Richardson Branby-Sperling

Sperlingvineyards.com  Sperling Organic 2018 Pinot Noir & Sperling Pet Nat

Jay Drysdale –  co-founder and winemaker Bella Wines

Celebrating 10 years of making fine wines.

Jay Drysdale and Josie

Bellawines.ca Estate Chardonnay made ancestral method and 2016 Reserve Eastside Trad Method

Master of Wine Marcus Ansems – co-founder and winemaker Daydreamer Wines

Master of Wine Marcus Ansems (Daydreamer)

Daydreamerwines.ca 2019 Amelia (Syrah/Viognier) & 2019 Orange Wine (100% Viognier)

Exec Chef Ned Bell and Sommelier Emily Walker – Naramatainn.ca

Chef Ned Bell

Emily brought L-ST Projects Ambient Chardonnay (Alyssa Hubert) & 2020 jocko a light Cab Franc (Kelsey Rufiange Echo Bay) BRAVO to both.  Thanks Emily.

Emily Walker

Penelope and Dylan Roche –  co-founders/winemakers of Roche Wines

Penelope and Dylan Roche – Roche Wines

www.rterroir.ca    2020 Pinot Gris Texture & Nuances (Bordeaux Blend) (such promise)

Kathy Malone – Chief Winemaker Hillside Winery  hillsidewinery.ca

Chef Evan Robertson. Kathy Malone Winemaker & Shelann Sleegers Wine Club Hillside Winery and Bistro

2020 Muscat Ottonel & 2015 Mosaic (Bordeaux Blend) History in a bottle

Evan Robertson – Exec Chef  Hillside Bistro/Shelann Sleegers – Wine Club Manager 


 Associate Producer Corey Wood has edited video versions of the interviews with Jay Drysdale, Marcus Ansems, Ned Bell, and Emily Walker. They can be found on YouTube https://youtu.be/uralP29wDOE





At Moon Curser

John Weber – Orofino

Bill Eggert – Fairview Cellars

Justin Hall – Nk’Mip Cellars

Chef Jeff van Geest – Miradoro


May 8th, 2021 – 2021 Spring Wine Releases  – Hillside and Roche (Naramata  Bench)


2021 Spring Wine Releases  – Hillside and Roche (Naramata  Bench)




Hillside Winery and Bistro       Kathy Malone – Chief Winemaker (Naramata Bench)

A dozen interviews.

That’s how many times I’ve talked to Kathy Malone for Tasting Room Radio.

She speaks on behalf of Hillside Winery and Bistro and been the spokesperson for  The Naramata Bench Wineries Assn.

hillside rose

Kathy is also Chairman of the BC Wine Council.

Trust me of this – she absolutely knows how to make memorable wines.

Kathy brings her new Hillside Spring Releases

(Above/Below means position of vineyard in relation to Naramata Road.  Kathy explains the nuances)

2020 Unoaked Pinot Gris.   Amazing mid-palate.  A winner.

2020 Gewürztraminer.  you can smell flowers and ripe fruit. Ginger and Guava on the palate.

2016  Merlot.  (Hidden Valley. Dickinson Vineyard)  (in pre-release)  (Below)

Coffee. Dark Chocolate. Ripe Cherry  $40.00

2018 Heritage Series Syrah 100% Hidden Valley Vineyard (above) $32.00

Coffee notes. Clove and dark fruit. Currents. Splendid.

2018 Howe Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. (above) $48.00

Black fruit and chocolate. The long hang time on vine  highlights beautiful flavours.

2015 Mosaic $54.00   Cab. Merlot. Can Franc. Petit Verdot. Malbec.  “Big Mo”

A fine balance of flavours and  discoveries in the mouth. Flying The Flagship of Naramata Bench.

Cellar up to 10 years.

Chef Evan Robertson Hillside Bistro

FYI – The 2020 Rose and the 2020 unoaked Pinot Gris are released.

Kathy introduces us to their wonderful new Chef Evan Robinson and his new menu.

The May fundraiser #HospitalityHustle campaign.$1 from every bottle of Muscat Ottonel.

Bistro Hours – Wed-Sun 5pm-9:30 pm Take out and meal kit Wed/Sun 1-8 pm

Heated outdoor patio dinner service

Tasting Room

Wed/Sun 10am-5pm


And check out Kathy Malone’s Virtual Tasting opportunities online.



Roche Winery – Penelope and Dylan Roche

Had Meg and I stayed on the Naramata Bench, Penelope and Dylan would have been our next-door neighbors.

They bring such wonderful spark to the valley.

Penelope grew up in the very heart of French wine country. Chateau Les Charmes – Haut Brion.  Dylan in North Vancouver.

I laugh every time I type that line. But there’s no shortchanging either one of them.

They trained in classrooms and cellars. Learned winemaking all over the World and then chose to make their stand in – the Okanagan Valley!

“Our strength is a combination of experience in vineyard management and winemaking and a precise appreciation of the link between the two”

Roche Vineyards Naramata Bench

Here are their Spring Releases:

 2019  Texture Pinot Gris. floral notes. Apple then lime in the mouth. Very engaging. $21.90

2018 Traditional Pinot Gris. Vanilla. Apple.. Beautiful mid-palate.  Pear and Lemon.  Loved this front to back. WoW. $28.90

2017 nuances entry level Bordeaux but waaaaay better than many. 58 Cab Franc/25 Merlot/17 Cab.  Herbs. Cassis.Blackberry  $32.90

2016 Chateau 41 Cab Franc/35 Cab/24 Merlot vanilla.black currant .pipe tobacco. tannins & acidity. Think cellar. 14 months. 50% New French of course. $49.99

Penelope and Dylan Roche

FYI – They are now open to “futures” on their wines.

The Black Book Wine Club is very popular. Do you like their wines?  Join the club.

Growing and farming under organic discipline.

Tasting Room open 11 am-5pm

For Pete’s sake- try the Chardonnay!


Roche has all the talent and smarts to be one of the wineries leading BC into the future.  For me, where they lead, I follow.


Stories we’re working on:

Cowichan Wine Festival

Tightrope Spring Releases

Clos du Soleil Spring Releases

Alderlea Spring Releases



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 years..like 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