Kathy Malone

Kathy Malone

Hillside Winery (Winemaker)

Kathy Malone, Winemaker at Hillside Winery in Penticton, was raised in the mountains of Vermont but moved with her parents to Victoria, British Columbia (BC), in 1973. She started university there as an English honors major, then traveled for two years. Upon returning, she focused on the sciences as part of a co-op program. The winemaker who interviewed her for a work term within this program, and who later became her first mentor, provided an introduction to wine appreciation and fine wine. “I love science!” In high school and college, I did not know that winemaking was a scientific career.”

Using her science background, Kathy accepted a position as a lab technician at Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna in 1985. She continued working there in various winemaking-related positions until 2008, when she was appointed to the lead winemaking post at Hillside Winery. Kathy said, “I had total confidence in the winemaking part of the position. The chief winemaker during most of my time at Mission Hill had been a terrific boss and good mentor.” Kathy is very active in the BC wine industry, having served on the BC Wine Grape Council, among other roles. She uses her “Winemaker's Blog Series” to share information she gathers on such topics as Sustainability and Resilience.

Hillside has a uniquely designed winery that allows the wine to ferment and age in many small batches to maintain the varietal character and integrity of each type of grape and vineyard. Kathy’s 2021 Heritage Viognier recently received a prestigious British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Awards platinum medal, and her 2022 Gewürztraminer a gold award. Hillside is also noted for Mosaic, its signature red, a classic blend of Bordeaux varieties sourced from prime vineyard blocks along the Naramata Bench.

Updated 06/23