We’re the Gill family, and Gold Hill Winery is our pride and joy.
We opened Gold Hill in 2009, but our story begins 8,000 years ago when agriculture first blossomed in the Indus Valley, a fertile strip in the Punjab of Northwest India. Growing conditions in the Indus Valley, particularly for fruit, were much like our Southern Okanagan region: a magical combination of temperature, elevation, soil and airflow.
Our founders, brothers Sant and Gurbachan Gill, are farmers from the Indus Valley region. Our ancestors have always been farmers, as far back as our knowledge reaches. Growing fruit is in our bones.
The Gold Hill Story
Sant moved to B.C. as a 20-year-old. He headed straight for the Golden Mile fruit belt and began growing. His younger brother, Gurbachan, soon followed. The brothers grew grapes for a number of wineries from their home in the vineyards, in their natural element. They understood the area’s microclimate and its dry, rocky soil to perfection.
In time, they bought land and planted vines. Soon they had a healthy business selling grapes to a growing number of notable B.C. wineries–but they had bigger plans for their land.
In 2009, Sant and Gurbachan decided to open a winery with the support of their family. For the location, they 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.
Partnering with winemaker Philip Soo, a well-respected wine consultant with a terroir-driven approach and scores of great wines to his credit, the brothers listened to their land. It told them to go big with the flavour of the wine. So that’s what they did.
This approach began to show its value immediately; Gold Hill’s inaugural 2009 Cabernet Franc was honoured with the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in 2012. That said, awards aren’t what get the family up at 5:00 a.m. every day–but they do make the early wake-up calls easier to face.
Farming is what the Gills were born to do, and their mastery is evidenced in the succulent grapes they grow and the bold wines they inspire.