Gold Hill for award winning Big Reds

The Gold Hill Winery was opened in 2009 by the founders, brothers Sant and Gurbachan Gill.  However, their story begins 8,000 years ago when agriculture first blossomed in the Indus Valley, a fertile strip in the Punjab of Northwest India. Fruit growing conditions in the Indus Valley are very similar to the Southern Okanagan region: a magical combination of temperature, elevation, soil and airflow.

Sant and Gurbachan chose their prime vineyard on the slopes of a hill along the Golden Mile, between Oliver and Osoyoos. They called it Gold Hill because of its location along this famous stretch and because they wanted to produce the very best wine possible, the Gold standard, a moniker which challenges their wine-making year after year.

The Winemaker

Philip Soo has been making wines for over 25 years.  He worked for Peller Estates for 13 years prior to becoming a consultant winemaker.  Philip graduated with BSc. of Microbiology at UBC in 1991 and BCIT Food Engineering Diploma in 1992.

Vintage 2016 & 2017

Navi Gill provided the following comments. “2016 was a bit of challenging year as the summer was hot and dry but the real challenge came from a cool wet Fall which did not allow the grapes to fully develop the flavours we came to expect from previous years. The season for red grapes was cut short by about 1 to 2 weeks because of early frost and cold weather. In that same token, previous years have been very exceptional. The upcoming vintage for 2017 is looking very challenging as well as the wet cool spring delayed bud break and some vineyards experienced flooding with other properties in the valley.  The combined excess moisture and sudden hot weather is generating humid conditions in the vineyard which is keeping the viticultural teams on their toes to spot infection and pests.”

Wines

Gold Hill Merlot 2013 Soft and silky red with notes of cherry, vanilla, plum, jam and blackberries, this medium to full-bodied wine has soft tannins and a tobacco and cocoa finish. Aged in French Oak barrels for 18 months. This wine was a Double Gold winner at the 2017 All Canadian Wine Championship.

Gold Hill Meritage 2014  The Bordeaux blend uses the four royal varietals of Bordeaux. The wine is a big, robust blend with complex flavours and aromas of spice, floral, black currant, cherry, anise and hints of cocoa and vanilla. This full-bodied red has firm, but soft tannins with a smooth and creamy finish and long-lingering notes of tobacco, vanilla and berries.  This wine was a Gold winner at the 2017 All Canadian Wine Championship.

Gold Hill Syrah 2013 This full-bodied Syrah is a rich and complex red wine with nuances of lavender, spice, anise and vanilla and delicate hints of raspberry, cherry and pepper notes. Aged in French Oak barrels for 18 months.  Pairs well with grilled meats or medium-rare cuts, including beef, lamb, ribs or duck, as well as goat cheese and sheep cheese. This wine was also Double Gold winner at the 2017 All Canadian Wine Championship.

For the full portfolio of Gold Hill wines please visit their website here.

Future Plans

Navi provided this future plan information. “Our focus has mainly been on the Bordeaux varietals and Chardonnay as we believe these grapes have done exceptionally well over our experience in farming over 30 years in the Okanagan. Our focus on Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay as our main varietals have helped establish Gold Hill as is and we are continuing to advocate for these varietals. We produce roughly 5,000 cases a year and farm on 65 acres allocating only 25% of our grape growing to the winery. We have started to experiment with new varieties over the years and the most exciting varietal we have growing now is Tempranillo. “
Source:  Wine tasting notes and Photos courtesy of Gold Hill Winery