Ancient Hill for Baco Noir and Jazz

View from the Ancient Hill Estate Winery Patio

Ancient Hill Estate Winery is located on a hillside just east of and above Kelowna International Airport. Richard and Jitske Kamphuys are the owners. The name ‘Ancient Hill’ was chosen as an acknowledgement of the natural forces that created the terroir of the vineyard. Around 25,000 years ago, the site was covered by glaciers. These eventually started melting and in the process deposited large amounts of sand and gravel. Gradually, a massive glacial lake called ‘Lake Penticton’ was formed.

We live close to the winery and have visited on a number of occasions to have a picnic lunch while listening to the live music.  Nothing better than sipping wine, listening to jazz and watching the planes take off and land from YLW!  Looks like their next Jazz weekend will be on Father’s Day, June 18th.

Ancient Hill Vineyard

In 2005, the 16-acre vineyard was planted. The varieties planted were: Baco Noir, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Zweigelt, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. All varieties were selected because they would grow and ripen well at Ancient Hill.  The single largest block is Baco Noir¹.

Vintage 2015

Richard Kamphuys provided the following comments. “The hot 2015 Summer produced higher sugar levels in the grapes and therefore higher alcohol levels in the finished wine. But because everything ripened nicely, with plenty of flavours, the wines are well balanced. Expect to release of Ancient Hill Pinot Gris 2015 in June of 2017. The 2015 Gewurztraminer  will release the Fall of 2017.

The Wines

Ancient Hill Baco Noir 2013 –  A superb wine. The wine is a gorgeous bold red colour, has ripe flavours of blueberry and plum with a hint of mocha and a spicy sweetness on the otherwise dry finish.

Ancient Hill Zweigelt Rosé 2014 – Zweigelt 74%, Gewurztraminer 12%, Baco Noir 7%, Pinot Noir 7%. 500 Cases produced. 13% Alcohol. This is one of my favourite Okanagan Valley Rosé with weight towards the heavier end of the rosé spectrum. What strikes you first is the vibrant crimson colour. On the palate, there is spice, strawberry, cranberry, citrus and floral aromas. Soft and refreshing in the mouth with a red cherry finish.

Ancient Hill Pinot Noir 2014. Lighter bodied and delicately oaked. Unique to the microclimate of Ancient Hill.  Delicate aromas of violets and cherry, with spicy overtones and well-rounded tannins. The Pinot Noir pairs well with lamb, turkey dinners and soft cheeses.
For their full portfolio of Ancient Hill’s BC wine please visit the winery site here.

When in Kelowna, you must take the opportunity to try their Baco Noir. The only other BC wineries selling 100% Baco Noir is Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

Reference: 1. In praise of Baco Noir