River Stone Estate Winery has just released wines from their second commercial vintage; however the Winemaker/owner, Ted Kane, has been preparing for this venture for decades. Ted has been making wine since the age of 19 and growing grapes on the current property for over 10 years. In 2011 Ted and Lorraine with the help of Winemaking Consultant Jacqueline Kemp, opened River Stone Estate Winery. River Stone’s tasting room doors are now open for the 2012 season, featuring 8 single vineyard wines, all made from Estate-grown fruit. Owners, Ted and Lorraine, are currently working on landscaping as they get set to celebrate with a grand opening on June 16-17. They will be on hand to welcome guests and the winery will feature live music, and offer wine tasting alongside wine and cheese pairings.

New wines released for the 2012 season include their 2010 Merlot ($19.90), which Ted refers to as “the backbone of the vineyard.” Merlot grows well on their site with its rocky soil, desert climate, and heat of the South Okanagan. This wine is aged for 14 months in French oak and is a full bodied number full of ripe plum, cherry and hints of sage. Other reds include a Cabernet Franc ($25.90) with blueberry aromas, ripe red berry flavours and hints of oak and spice, a big Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.90), and their signature blend called Corner Stone ($28.50) made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
River Stone has again produced the very unique, 100% Estate-grown, Malbec Rosé ($19.90); a dry, vibrant pink colored wine with a strawberry nose, cherry and berry aromas and a spicy finish. White wines include a dry, aromatic, floral Gewürztraminer ($19.90), and two different styles of Pinot Gris. Splash ($17.90) is a made in a lighter style with a touch of residual sugar which is balanced well with the wine’s acidity, and the 2011 Pinot Gris ($19.90) is a bit drier in style, still with lots of fruit and slightly more body.

River Stone Winery is located 5 minutes North of Oliver or a half hour South of Penticton. After passing through Gallagher Lake look for the turn off to Jackson Triggs and turn off Highway 97 on to Tuc el Nuit Road. Now you are heading in the right direction. Just follow the signs and you will be at River Stone in about 5 minutes.

~ Cassandra Anderton