Sip wine and enjoy the view in this South Okanagan winery's beautiful garden
An Oliver winery is adapting its outdoor experience past the pandemic, offering picturesque views of its vineyard while guests sip wine in the garden.
River Stone Estate Winery is owned by winemaker Ted Kane, an Edmonton native who pivoted from his profession as a respiratory therapist after more than a decade to pursue his passion to create great wine.
With the South Okanagan being the best spot in Canada to grow Bordeaux red varietals, Oliver was an easy fit for Kane and his wife, who originally purchased the property in 2001.
By 2003, they had planted Bordeaux red varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec as well as Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.
It officially opened in 2010 featuring a 2009 Red Vintage and they sold about 900 cases.
“We’re now up to between 4,000 to 5,000 cases,” Kane said. Three years ago, they purchased a second 10-acre property with the goal to increase the number of cases sold up to 7,500 using all of their own grapes.
“We have bought grapes in the past but we want to use our own. Grapes are in high demand in the Okanagan and growing your own means the best grapes means the best wine,” he said.
Their signature red blend, Corner Stone, made with all five red varietals and grown in the rocky soil, encapsulates the South Okanagan's growing conditions.
“The South Okanagan is known for big reds and the reason red grapes do so well down here is because of our unique growing conditions. We’re in the desert, rainfall is very limited and we’re able to ripen our varietals within the season because we can limit the amount of water. We can get fully matured reds and our vintages are very consistent,” Kane said.
In addition to their bold reds, Kane also highlighted his favourites, a dark pink Malbec Rose, which may have been the first created in the South Okanagan, and a Sauvignon Blanc emulating a New Zealand-style with rich, tropical, zesty acidity.
The Malbec Rose typically sells out fast, so he has planted even more Malbec grapes at his second property.
Kane welcomes guests to their new outdoor tasting garden that can support multiple groups. Pet fans will also love the two golden retrievers and cat greeting guests on site.
“People love it, it’s a beautiful location,” Kane said. “We have a really great clientele.”
For more information, visit River Stone Estate Winery’s website or give them a call at 250-498-0043.
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