BC has a favourable climate for aromatic white grapes, such as Gewurztraminer and Viognier. I received a sample of Hillside Winery‘s Heritage Series wines to review, with two of them being from these aromatic varieties. Their Heritage series wines are meant to showcase the nuanced flavours and elegant styles of the Naramata Bench.
I see a label refresh for the winery which looks quite nice. There are actually two different labels in the refresh for their Heritage Series. Both still feature their winery on the label, with one showing a shiny golden winery building, while the other is a peekaboo cutout of the winery, so you can see the wine bottle and wine behind it. Which do you prefer?
In case you have not visited Hillside Winery, they are located on the Naramata Bench, north of Penticton. There is both the winery, vineyard, and Bistro.
My Tasting Notes
Hillside Winery Heritage Series Gewurztraminer 2019 (BC $21) – has a bright, medium-plus intensity Bosc pear skin colour. A pronounced nose with a mix of honey, ripe pears, and pineapple, with a lesser amount of peach and floral aromas. The aromas stay pronounced with decanting, and you can add ginger. This wine is slightly off-dry with medium acidic, but medium plus body and flavour intensity. A thicker, round mouthfeel with a lively acidic prickle that plays on your tongue. A mix of peaches, tropical fruit and sweet species to start, and then you get some apple, green fruit, and floral toward the finish. No change in flavours with decanting, other than the ginger flavour becomes more pronounced. On the finish, medium length, you get a mix of tart and peppery flavours, ginger, dried apricots, and tropical fruit. An expressive wine. Open and drink.
Rating: A dry, full-bodied wine with lots of tropical fruit on the nose and palate, along with floral and some stone fruits. A thick and round mouthfeel.
Hillside Winery Heritage Series Viognier 2019 (BC $28) – a wine that has a medium-minus intensity Bosc pear skin. You may see a pinkish tinge colour in my photo, but it is not visible when I view it with my eyes directly, so it has to be a photographic aberration. It has a lighter intensity nose, with aromas of minty + gingerbread spices (winemaker notes say chai spice, and I agree), pears and tropical fruit, with some white flowers. With decanting the wine gets more floral aromas. It is dry, medium bodied, and is silky smooth on the palate; low acid. Flavours of pears, stone fruit, tropical fruit, and salty minerality, a touch of honey, and also some grape stem. With decanting these flavours persist, but are more muted. I also picked up nutmeg. It has a medium minus length finishing with steeliness, stone fruits and the grape stem. I wish the length was a little bit longer, but still nice. Better to enjoy as soon as it is opened.
Rating: A Viognier with unique aromas of chai spice, along with pears and tropical fruits. Silky smooth with stone fruits, tropical fruits, salty minerality and some grape stem on the palate.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can order their wines online through the Hillside Winery website. The Gewurztraminer is available at Everything Wine. These two wines may be available at other private wine shops, but you need to ask.