Ancient Hill Estate Winery, Kelowna

4.7
#17 of 53 in Wineries in Kelowna
Richard and Jitske Kamphuys are the owners of Ancient Hill Estate Winery.

Tiring of big city life in the Netherlands, we decided to ‘go west’ and seek out a lifestyle more in tune with nature. In 1992 we ended up in Kelowna and decided to make it our home.

Buying a property that had an orchard on it, we set about to try our hand at orcharding. The same property had been a vineyard in the 1940’s and early 1950’s, but had been converted to an orchard after a severe winter killed off most of the vines. When it became clear that the returns from orcharding were too volatile, the decision was made to replant a vineyard on the property and eventually build a winery.

The Rittich brothers, after whom a local road is named, were one of the viticulture pioneers of the Okanagan. In the 1930’s they imported various vinifera varieties from Europe, with the goal of seeing which ones would grow well in the Okanagan. Based on their trials, various vineyards were planted in the 1940’s. The hillside across from the Kelowna Airport, the current location of Ancient Hill Estate Winery, was one of their test areas. Several abandoned vines, part of the vineyard planted in the 1940’s, still survive on the property to this day.

In 2005, the vineyard at Ancient Hill 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. In fact, Lemberger was the number one choice of the Rittich brothers. An excellent red grape variety, currently neglected in the Okanagan due to its unfortunate name.

In 2008, Robert Mackenzie, the well-known architect from Penticton, was asked to design a winery building that fit the name and concept of Ancient Hill. The result is superb. And in 2009, accomplished consulting winemaker Christine Leroux took on the task of creating Ancient Hill’s first vintage. The results are equally superb.

The name ‘Ancient Hill’ was chosen as an acknowledgement of the natural forces that created the terroir of our vineyard. Around 25,000 years ago, the site of Ancient Hill 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. About 10,000 years ago, the site of Ancient Hill was under water, being a part of the shores of ‘Lake Penticton’.

Our logo symbolizes the interconnectedness of the various elements of Nature that are needed to create wine. Earth, Air and Water are inextricably combined. They provide the platform for the eternal circle of life to play out. In our case, the growth of the grape vine and the fruit it produces.
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Tours to Ancient Hill Estate Winery

Ancient Hill Estate Winery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
129 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I stopped here for a wine tasting and a bit of lunch on their patio. The lunch was amazing. The staff were so friendly and helpful. On our way out we visited the gift shop and...  more »
  • Met the owner Richard, absolutely amazing experience, tour and tasting. Breathe taking views and warm environment. The Baco nior and the gewurztraminer are a perfect red and white.  more »
  • Me and my friend stopped by here yesterday and we had the best experience ever! They weren’t really open but they still brought us in and let us try what wines they had open! The owners are the...  more »
Google
  • Lovely experience and great wines. When my friend brought me to this winery the first time i thought it's just of the many wineries in the area. But it turned out that their wines are really good. Today I opened a bottle of Gewurztraminer from there and I am very happy with the taste. I also liked their tasting room and the garden. The staff was super friendly and welcoming.
  • We just had the most wonderful and memorable morning at Ancient Hills Winery. We loved this place from the time we drove up to this welcoming garden. The tasting room is beautiful and we loved every wine we tasted. The staff are so lovely and warm. We loved sitting out on the patio enjoying our wine, cheese and crackers while we took in the breathtaking views of the valley. We could have easily spent the entire day here drinking wine and chatting away. One of our most memorable visits to a winery for sure!!!
  • Last time I came was wonderful. We had 2 tastings and with the purchase of the wine the testing was waved. The staff was awesome and warming. Had a really nice time. This second time was not so good. Felt like everything said about the wine was memorized from the menu. Also didn’t feel really welcoming as last time. Had 2 tastings and got a bottle of wine. At the end had a surprise that I had to pay for one of the 2 + the bottle which I feel ridiculous. The bottle was around $17 + 1 tasting ($4 the other was waived) and taxes. The bottle is like double of the price of the $4 tasting for 2 people, so I was like what happened since first time I came. Don’t feel like coming back for the 3rd time.
  • Went to purchase some wine and try the wine tasting. The service was wonderful and both the ladies there were exceptionally friendly and helpful. The wines were wonderful in flavour and the view is quite stunning. Great place to go for a little get together with friends or family.
  • Lovely experience. It was my first time going to a wine tasting and the employee was very friendly explaining the process and information on each of the wines. The seating area behind the building has a wonderful view of the valley. They allow dogs in a specific picnic area just not in the building. And you can bring a picnic to pair with a glass of wine if you don’t feel like purchasing a cheese and cracker board. 😄 can’t wait to visit again next year.

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