Schell: Kelowna’s newest winery celebrates the elements

As their elegant label explains: “Earth, Air and Water, inextricably combined, provide the platform for the eternal circle of life to play out.”

Richard Kamphuys holding grandson Devon

Richard Kamphuys holding grandson Devon

As their elegant label explains: “Earth, Air and Water, inextricably combined, provide the platform for the eternal circle of life to play out.”

The Kamphuys family at Ancient Hill Winery pays tribute to the elements and unique history of our Okanagan soil that nourishes its vines and provides their fruit its unique and rich flavours.

Owner Richard Kamphuys chose the winery’s name after delving deep into the history of his land. Perhaps a common viewpoint from one who was raised in Europe where ancient civilizations are apparent for all to see, he pondered what was here before?

Interestingly, he uncovered the fact that approximately 10,000 years ago glacial Lake Penticton extended through the area, explaining the unique sand and river rock in the soil.

Richard says Ancient Hill is “a reflection on the past” and a celebration of the present.

Richard, an economist by trade, and wife Jitske, moved here from Holland 20 years ago and purchased the property in its original orchard state back in 1992.

Once realizing that grapes were a better choice, they replanted with vines. Since then, their vineyard and winery have been a labour of love and vision for the future now realized.

All of their wines are estate grown with the baco noir, pinot gris, gewürztraminer, lemberger, zweigelt and pinot noir vines all hand planted by the couple. Winemaker is Chrisine Leroux, and the Kamphuys, are delighted with their first vintage.

The tasting room will whisk you away to the majesty of Europe’s castles and grand estates. The quality and craftsmanship are of the highest end, down to the 10 x 10 foot cellar doors—Ancient Hill weaves a rich tapestry of nature’s gifts.

From the slate floors, stonework and reclaimed fir used in the creation of the doors and the beautiful tasting bar, no detail was missed.

The gardens were lovingly planted and maintained by Jitske who also played a large part in the decorative accents throughout the winery.

There are two tasting rooms in the winery, one smaller tasting room for private events and a stunning patio offering views over the vineyard and mountainscape. They are currently offering their baco noir, red lazerus blend, pinot gris and gewürztraminer. Stay tuned for the Pinot noir and rosé.

Located on a hillside east of Kelowna International Airport, Ancient Hills is at 4918 Anderson Road, 250-491-2766.


This weekend you can shop and feel good about where your dollars are going. My Fairy Godmother’s Organization is throwing a sale with factory direct pricing on active healthy clothes, yoga wear, sandals, flip flops, direct from LA, Brazil and Australia.

The sale is at 1856 Crossglen Court, North Glenmore, this Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  All proceeds go to the My Fairy Godmother’s Organization which helps children who have terminally ill parents, children with broken hearts from the loss of a parent and children who suffer from disabling and chronic diseases. Their mandate is to make children smile—it’s a good thing.


Our Soup Sisters charity has been a smashing success. We have had two soup making sessions so far, each providing 200 servings to the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. Thanks to chef Neil Schroeter and wife/volunteer Soup Sister Heather, for being our culinary partner and hosting these fun events at their new restaurant, Okanagan Street Food.

Join us for a session of soup making fun. We have a few spots available for our next session this Sunday, May 29, from 1 to 4 p.m.  The cost is $50 that goes towards the ingredients and supplies needed for us to create these bowls full of love.

Email me at if you want to come. We eat, we drink wine, we laugh and we make soup—its all good.

Jennifer Schell is editor of B.C. Wine Trails Magazine.


Kelowna Capital News