In a place where time seems to have stopped, there is an understated and charming tasting room. Inside, you’ll find the smiling face of George Hanson – and a sincere “welcome to Seven Stones – please, come in”; even without the sentiment, the smile says it all. Overlooking the Similkameen River, Seven Stones grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The site must be happy, because Seven Stones wines consistently over-perform in quality. Every year, their Chardonnay makes me weak at the knees. The 2009 Chardonnay ($25) is a beautiful blend of oak and stainless steel ferments, built to enjoy now or to cellar a few years. A rival for one of my (unnamed) favourites, the 2010 Cabernet Franc ($30) has tooth-coating tannins and a long life ahead. The 2010 Row 128 Merlot ($30) is proof that a Merlot in the right hands is a remarkable thing.
In September George will release his secret stash of 2010 Petit Verdot. With 22 cases made, this elegant wine is available exclusively through the Seven Stones newsletter. For tasting room visitors, a special treat is the “Dark Side”. I won’t spoil it here, but trust me: you want to go to the dark side. Seven Stones is the dream of George and Vivianne Hanson; However, this year we lost the vivacious and illuminating Vivianne. We celebrate Vivianne’s spirit with each glass we lift, and we will continue to wrap our arms around George in Vivienne’s absence.George gives a good hug.
Photo: George Hanson, Proprietor & Winemaker.
~ Jeannette Montgomery