River Stone Estate Winery owners Ted and Lorraine Kane have taken time over the winter, as most winery owners do, to evaluate the previous year’s vintage and make plans for the next one. Assistant Manager Julie Planiden reports that the 2016 season was extremely busy. Growing demands for their wines has resulted in all of their whites, the Malbec Rosé, and some of the red wines selling out before the end of the season. The vineyard was even used as a location for a filming a movie at the peak of the busy season.
Early assessments of the 2016 vintage are extremely promising. The spring was early at River Stone with bud break occurring around April 10, two weeks earlier than normal but only a couple of days earlier than 2015. The growing season was long and following a long harvest, the winter chill between seasons was notably cold. Ted says that the vines seem to have come through very well so far. Because the winter freeze set in slowly, the vines had a chance to protect themselves and go dormant properly.
There will be new products released this spring along with some amazing events. One notable release is a Gewürztraminer, which is only their third vintage produced from this grape variety. Previous vintages have sold well and quickly so if you are a fan of this variety in BC, put this one on your list. Look for it in the spring followed by a brand-new wine unlike anything that they have ever produced and may even be unique in the Okanagan. (Hint: It will sparkle.) The winery will also host a cooking class with chef Chris Van Hooydonk on Thursday, May 11th. With space only for 25 guests, this event will sell out quickly. Contact the winery directly for tickets.

~Luke Whittall