Gold Hill Winery Announces New Team Member

Gold Hill Winery owners and brothers Gurbachan and Sant Gill are excited to announce that Val Tait, co-owner of 2house Winery, will be joining their team as winemaker and viticulturalist. Together they will continue to raise the bar in British Columbia’s premium wine scene.

The Gill family has been farming in the Okanagan Valley for almost 40 years providing the highest quality varietals to B.C.’s top wineries. Recognized in the industry as among the best growers in the province, they took the next logical step when 10 years ago they began their own small wine production. Since then, Gold Hill Winery has matured into the award-winning producer that it is today. With production of 3,500 cases, a new winemaking facility, and a growing loyal following, the timing couldn’t be better to enlist viticulture and winemaking expert Val Tait.

“I’ve been working with the Gill brothers for over 15 years. I helped plant their first vineyards and have been consulting on clone selection and vineyard best practices ever since,” says Tait. “Working with them has given me the highest respect for their integrity. They have expanded now to 75 acres, producing, in my opinion, some of the best fruit in Canada.” 

Tait says she looks forward to joining their team to work together to take the vineyards and wines to the next level of a premium brand. 

“I am very pleased to be working with them in this capacity,” she says.

For almost two decades Tait worked with and purchased fruit from the Gill vineyards for clients, giving her an intimate knowledge of the vineyard blocks. 

Val trained in Molecular Genetics and Plant Biochemistry at SFU and then went on to earn a degree in Enology and Viticulture from UC Davis, Napa, California. She has been a hands-on viticulturist in the Okanagan Valley for three decades and winemaker for two decades. 

Now she is in very familiar territory as she begins preparing for the upcoming growing season by evaluating each block. She states, “I prefer to let the fruit speak for itself as we continue to evolve and elevate the wine program at Gold Hill.” 

A sentiment seconded by Navi, Gurbachan’s sonwho has been involved with growing fruit all his life and now is leading the day-day-operations of the winery, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the project. Keen to learn more and already a solid journeyman in the winery, he adds, “Our terroir is very unique, especially when it comes to Cabernet Franc, which is our focus. We are able to produce fruit closer in ripeness to Napa, rather than the herbaceous style of the Loire. Gold Hill’s vision has been to make wines that can compete on the world stage and to continue to raise the profile of the Okanagan Valley.” 

Navi continues, “Farming for nearly 40 years our family has gained a great wealth of knowledge on the terroir, including the ‘micro’ and ‘meso’ climates of the Okanagan. With vineyards ranging from the Osoyoos border to West Kelowna, we are painstakingly selecting only the best vineyard sites in the Okanagan. Along with selecting the right vineyards has been our decisions regarding varietal clones.  The clones and the site selection need to be optimal for the terroir of the site, both of which have contributed to the success at Gold Hill.  

Gold Hill focuses on single vineyard, single varietal, small lot parcels for both their red and white wines. Their popular “Grand Vin” cuvée, comprised of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot from the home block, being the notable exception.

Moving forward, the goal at Gold Hill is to increase their current output to 8,000 cases over five years. 

Visit them online at www.goldhillwinery.com  / Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @goldhillwinery.

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