penelope and dylan roche

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

Exec Chef Ned Bell and Sommelier Emily Walker –

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    2020 Pinot Gris Texture & Nuances (Bordeaux Blend) (such promise)

Kathy Malone – Chief Winemaker Hillside Winery

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




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 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