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Ted Kane
March 4, 2024 | In the Vineyard | Ted Kane

A Letter from Our Owner/Winemaker/Viticulturist, Ted Kane

To our valued River Stone customers,

Many of you are probably aware of recent media attention directed toward BC wineries and grape growers related to the widespread vineyard damage resulting from the cold weather event this January.

The reality is the wine industry has taken another significant hit with the exceptional, and untimely cold weather snap occurring between January 11th and 14th. You probably have heard me say, as I firmly believe, “Mother Nature Runs the Show”. And we must adjust our practices as best we can to compensate and continue to produce the highest possible quality wines.

This extreme cold (as low as -30) in the valley followed the previous year’s cold snap, where vines had already been significantly damaged. Bud dissection in and around our area of the valley indicate significant primary and secondary bud damage:  probably in the range of 60-100% bud loss depending on varietal. We really won’t know for certain until early to mid May as the vines will declare themselves and show the results. We are hoping for the best (as farmers always do) but planning for the worst. At this time we are pruning our vineyards in such a way to allow close to 100% more buds than usual while we wait for spring bud break.

Since our arrival in the valley in 2001 (initiating the planning, preparing, and planting our vineyards) we have had over 20 years of consistent vine health and production. This gives me hope that the future of our industry will be bright. Two bad years back-to-back is difficult to take and with climate change, the reality is that changes must be made from the ground up for long-term industry sustainability.

Following last seasons harvest, we had decided to concentrate our wine production from the limited fruit available, on white and rosé wines, and not make reds from the vintage (as we have ample reds under development in barrel and in the cellar and library to carry us along for a while). Depending on what happens in our vineyards this season (and the vineyards of BC as a whole) will guide us in our future wine production.

At River Stone, we believe our terroir encompasses; the physical characteristics of our vineyard sites, vineyard canopy management practices in harmony with Mother Nature, winemaking philosophy, and our skilled team from the vineyards and winery, to operations and tasting room. Whatever the future holds, we are confident we will navigate the challenges ahead, supported by our strong foundations. 

We encourage our loyal club members, customers, and friends to support BC wineries during this time:  sign up for wine clubs, buy BC wines whenever possible, and tour the wine trails in our pristine desert valley this season.

We are planning to open March 29th, and will have all your favourite River Stone Wines available for tasting and purchase; we look forward to welcoming you this season!

Thank you for your ongoing support.
Ted Kane
Owner, Winemaker, Viticulturist
River Stone Estate Winery

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