Ted Kane says the River Stone Estate Winery story is about “little steps toward the big picture.” Now, working with maturing grapes from a vineyard he planted himself, those little steps are beginning to make a big impression on customers and critics.

Gold Medals for Pinot Gris and Cab Franc at the 2014 All Canadian Wine Championships, along with a Silver for the very summery Splash, a Pinot Gris-dominant blend, are only the most recent evidence.

My notes from a tasting in the spring refer to River Stone Pinot Gris as “Classic—just what Pinot Gris in this area should be!” The vines are thriving in mineral-rich, rocky alluvial soil that is significantly different from vineyards only a few kilometers away.

During that visit, Ted said that Cab Franc has “great potential in this area, but it needs to managed in the vineyard.” The Gold Medal is strong evidence that his skills in the vineyard match up nicely with Ted’s deft touch in the winery.

Other notes from that very pleasant visit refer to the 2012 Splash as “a fruit forward blend, perfect for the patio or with light food dishes.” A genuine treat was the 2013 Malbec Rosé that I described as“completely unique in style, with a wonderful mouth feel.” Perfect on its own, with salmon or accompanying a cheese plate, the 110 cases of this wine will sell out quickly.

Stocking up on a bottles of the Cab Franc, which sells out each year, and 2010 Cornerstone, a Bordeaux blend “that I knew I wanted to make on this property,” Ted said, sounds like a pretty good idea. Imagine how the Cornerstone might be tasting in 7-10 years or more!
The newest River Stone release is Stones Throw, a premium mouthwatering blend of Merlot, Malbec and Cab Sauv.
Little steps? Maybe. Big impression? You bet!

~ Lorne Eckersley