New Releases from River Stone

I am always interested in what people did before opening a winery or becoming a winemaker.  The River Stone story stands out in particular.  Ted Kane was a respiratory therapist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and his wife Lorraine was studying to become a family doctor.

Ted Kane (2012)

From an early age, Ted had an interest in winemaking and this remained steadfast throughout his academic pursuits.  His deep interest in fermentation was only enhanced with his deep dive into chemistry.  With his grounding in science and his medical science career in place, he continued to turn his interest into reality, making repeated trips to the Okanagan looking for the right opportunity.


In 2001 he was able to achieve his dream.  The River Stone property in Oliver was ideal for grape growing with a gentle slope for air drainage, southern exposure, and deep gravel soils.  Who could ask for more? A lot of hard work had to be done upfront, The River Rock vineyard was established in 2003 and it wasn’t until 2010 that a tasting room was finally opened.  In 2020 they acquired the Boulder City Vineyard right across the road. Production rose to over 5000 cases a year.  The primary focus at River Stone is on Bordeaux–style varieties.


Like everyone else in the Okanagan, River Stone has been hit hard these last two years.  In 2023 they experienced significantly lower yields due to a harsh 2022-2023 winter.   With their twenty years of experience, they realized that their red grapes would not be up to their usual high standard so they made a pivot and produced more Rosé and Sparkling wines.

The severe 2023-2024 winter has hit everyone hard, but the true extent will not be known until bud break happens in the next few weeks.   Fortunately, River Stone has a good inventory of wines from previous vintages on hand and ready to sell.   They will survive.


2023 Sauvignon Blanc
Boulder City Vineyard
“The wine has a mouth-watering acidity balanced with a small amount of residual sugar giving I soft, supple mouthfeel and has a minerality reminiscent of our River Stone portfolio.  The grapes were picked at peak ripeness for the style of wine desired.”
250 cases produced

Pale straw with medium-light intensity.  The nose is juicy with varietal aromas of lemon, lime, minerality, white flowers, grapefruit, green apple, and melon.  Good balance and full body.  The flavours echo the nose followed by a medium-plus finish.  Delicious!
92 Points


2023 Splash
Boulder City Vineyard
OPG Vineyard – Kaleden
“Off-dry in style with tropical aromas and flavours of passionfruit, grapefruit, and melon, and a hint of spice.  The wine is nicely balanced with a small amount of residual sugar giving a soft supple mouth feel.”
268 cases

This is a fruity blend of 37% Pinot Gris, 37% Gewürztraminer, and 26% Viognier.  The grapes were picked at peak ripeness to bring out the best varietal character.  Each was fermented separately prior to blending and bottling.   Very pale straw with light intensity.  The nose is fruity and inviting with peach, apple, floral, mango, and honey aromas.   Good balance.  The palate is fruit-forward with flavours mirroring the nose.  A medium-plus finish.  This is a delightful luncheon/patio wine.
89 Points


2023 Pinot Gris
River Rock Vineyard
OPG Vineyard – Kaleden
“Off-dry in style with floral and tropical aromas and flavours of melon, pear, and peach.  This wine is balanced in acidity with a hint of minerality.”
138 cases

Copper-tinged colour with medium-minus intensity.  The nose is inviting with aromas of pear, peach, pineapple, apple, honeysuckle, citrus, and orange peel.  Good balance.  The flavours follow the nose.  A medium-plus finish.
91 Points

As soon as my wife had a sip she said, “Oh my gosh is this ever good” and later, “This Pinot Gris is delicious!”


2023 Cabernet Franc Rosé
Boulder City Vineyard
“Our first Cabernet Franc Rosé!  The wine is currently showing bold aromas and flavours reminiscent of strawberry, raspberries, and rose petals and has a luscious, dry finish.”
308 cases

Made in the traditional style, the grapes were cold-soaked for 24 – 48 hours prior to pressing.  Cool fermented in stainless steel tanks.  It was further aged on fine lees for added complexity and mouthfeel.  The colour is an attractive cherry red with medium-plus intensity.  The nose opens with aromas of dusty leaf, raspberry, violets, earth, sandalwood, and pencil shavings.   Good balance and good mouthfeel.  Flavours of rhubarb, cherries, plums and red currants on the palate.  A medium-plus finish.  A food-friendly wine.
90 Points

2023 Sparkling White Merlot
River Rock Vineyard
“This beautiful peachy-coloured sparkling is the perfect pairing for summer.  Made with merlot grapes, its colour comes from the time spent in the press and packs lots of delicious red fruit character.  The perfect balance between sweet and dry, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.”
248 cases

Made with grapes from 20-year-old vines on the winery’s estate vineyard.  Queen Anne cherry red with medium intensity.  Cherries, fresh raspberries, red currant, watermelon, rhubarb, beetroot, underbrush, and sawdust on the nose.  Good balance and mouth-filling mousse.  Big on the palate with flavours reflecting the nose followed by a medium-long finish with flavours lingering.  This is a great summer sipper and a very versatile food wine.
93 points


2021 Boulder City Cabernet Franc
Boulder City Vineyard
“An elegant earthy, fruit-forward nature with a medium body, ripe varietal fruit and balanced acidity.  Soft mature tannins create a rich, long-lasting mouthfeel.  This wine is presently showing violets, blueberries, currants, maraschino cherries, and a nice hint of French oak.  This wine will age well 7 – 10 years+.”
245 cases

In late June of 2021, temperatures were high – into the 40’s.  This heat shut the vines down and delayed ripening by about a month.  Nonetheless, the quality was exceptional.  80% of the grapes were whole cluster pressed and spent 14 months on 33% new French oak.  Garnet red with medium-plus intensity.  The nose is fruit-forward showing integrated aromas of plum, raspberry, blackberry, earth, meat, smoke, violets, and pencil shavings.  Good balance with medium-plus body.  The flavours echo the nose followed by a medium-plus finish.  Surprisingly approachable right now.
92 Points

As you can see, these are all very affordable wines and they show great consistency.

River Stone’s Tasting Room is open:
7 days a week                  11:00 – 5:00


For tours or more details, contact Noelle Starzynski, General Manager at:
You can find River Stone at 143 Buchanan Drive, in Oliver, BC.


(All photos – Sam Hauck)


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