hillside winery

July 2nd, 2022- Checking in with The Neighbourhood!!


Checking in with The Neighbourhood!!



 Tasting Room Radio has been celebrating Canadian wine and food for 15 years.

We could not have stayed the course and grown without  the support of our segment sponsors

Thus, each year we make a point of making a feature fuss about our neighbors.

Thing is, we’d be doing feature stories on them anyway because they’re all winners.

When we decided to have a sponsor for each segment we had one bottom line

“if we have to talk about someone for a year,  let’s make sure we like them!  As great people and as singular artisans”!

 We are honored to welcome our in show  neighbors into the feature spotlight (in the order in which they became available)

Jason Parkes CustomsJason Parkes  (Founder) and Develyn Barker (Dreamer and Doer)  West Kelowna, BC

Jason Parkes and crew

Their story just keeps on growing.

Came on board as The Hatch Winery. Well named, as they released well-crafted and accessible wines but they also “hatched” a series of new labels,  all heading in different wonderful directions.

The Hatch, Gobsmacked Series, Hobo Series.

Then came Black Swift, Crown and Thieves, The Hatching Post, Truck 59 Cider House, and SmokeShow BBQ plus  wines such as  Screaming Frenzy, 14 house beers, The Angel Share rooftop restaurant, The Broken Hearts Club speakeasy (house band is Proper Man, also home to Hangover Church, etc)

They have created their own JPC Wine Trail – a 5-hour adventure you will talk about and might even remember.

…And the wines? Bigger and better every season!  Beautifully crafted and pushing the boundaries – much like the people who make them!

JPC is one of the great success stories in BC wine. Best of all, they did it their way!  Rock on!

(there is no known photo of Jason Parkes but he did send this message “wine is just yeast poop”




Unsworth Vineyards – Dan Wright (Winemaker) Christle Pope (Manager) Karen Newington (Tasting Room Manager)  Cowichan Valley, Van Island

Mere minutes from our home in Mill Bay, it’s also top of mind when we think, “it’s time for wine and dine”

The Turyk Family has created a beautiful destination is perhaps the most gorgeous small farming valley in the area.

Dan Wright

The bonus is , the wines are outstanding and the restaurant is hugely popular.

They have just received a Silver Medal and  91 points for their 2019 Pinot Noir from Decanter Magazine. A first for Vancouver Island winemaking.

The new owners have their own family roots deep into the history of Napa and Sonoma. One of the first decisions was to let the Unsworth team carry on making better and better wines and the second was to start production on a new vineyard outside Duncan.

The future looks very bright for Unsworth Vineyards – so we have much to talk about!


Moon Curser Vineyards – Beata and Chris Tolley (Owners/Founders) Osoyoos, BC

At the very bottom of the Okanagan Valley is Osoyoos. It’s right up against the US border and surrounded by some of the very best vineyards in Canada.

One of them is Moon Curser. It’s the winemaking passion of Beata and Chris Tolley. It’s also their home.

Well, it was,  until they just had to move off-site to get a break from the daily weight of farming. It’s a hard road,  no whining is allowed.

Chris Tolley

In wine circles, they’re famous for the amazing varietals they make – several are the only ones being made in Canada.

However, what they do make are wines judged to be as good as anything in Canada.  That’s how they were named The WineAlign  Best Small Winery in Canada in 2019.

We’ll be talking Arneis, Viognier, Roussanne Marsanne, Carmenere, Dolcetto, Malbec, Syrah, Contraband Syrah, Border Vines, Tannat, Tempranillo and Touriga National.

Beata Tolley

There’s more. Next time we’ll talk about their bubble program featuring Eclipse, Moonlit and their Heist Rose.

Four of those wines can only be found through their wine club. Giddy Up!


Hillside Estate Winery  – Kathy Malone  (Senior Winemaker)  – Executive Chef Evan Robertson (The Bistro at Hillside)  Naramata Bench, BC

Kathy Malone


That describes Kathy and Evan, and the rest of the team at Hillside and especially Hillside Estate itself.

A much-honored winery with an atmosphere that comes from being one of the first three wineries in the area and always being a benchmark for Naramata Wines.

Hillside made a commitment years ago to only use grapes farmed on the Naramata Bench.

This conversation was important. To get caught up with Kathy’s latest releases, growing conditions in 2021, and then what dishes Chef Evan recommends from his menu to pair with each wine.

We talk  Cab Franc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Ottonel, Viognier, Syrah,   Merlot – Hidden Valley Vineyard

From the kitchen,  Evan teases us with Tomato Capresse, Panzanella Salad, House-made fresh pasta, Gnocchi, 50oz Northern Gold Beef Tomahawk.





Clos du Soleil

Fort Berens

Bill Jones  Shroom Master


Sperling Vineyards




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