Ted and Lorraine Kane came to the South Okanagan with a goal to produce premium red wines from Bordeaux grape varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petite Verdot. Ted was seeking the two most important things that he needed to make those kinds of wines – reliable heat and the right timing for water. He determined that the Okanagan Valley south of McIntyre Bluff was the best place in Canada to do this. They also found one of the most unique sites to plant their vineyard.
The spot they chose was on a mound of alluvial gravel in the middle of the valley next to the Okanagan River. “The terroir is really uniform gravels,” explains Ted. “Many of the stones have a frosting of calcium on them.” All of the Première Cru chateaux on Bordeaux’s left-bank are perched atop similar mounds of alluvial gravel next to the Gironde Estuary in the Médoc and the Garonne River in Graves (which literally means “gravel” in French). And unlike vineyards on the sides of the Okanagan Valley with slopes that face only in one direction, River Stone’s vineyards slope southeast, south, and southwest giving the vines maximum exposure throughout the day and the season. The slopes also protect the vines from frost since the cold air flows down to the river and away from the vines. The beautiful red house and winery perched at the top of the vineyard has become a landmark for this special terroir in the world of BC wine.
2014 Cabernet Franc – $27.90
This wine has aromas of ripe berries, black pepper, earth, and graphite. On the palate, there are rich flavours of dark cherries, spices, cocoa, and leather.
2014 Malbec -$26.90
A very rare bottling of Malbec on its own, this wine features beautiful aromas and flavours of blackberries, white pepper, earth, and sage.
~ Luke Whittall