John and Virginia Weber are looking forward to their 10th crush this fall.  Be sure to check their website – www.orofinovineyards.com – to see what special events are planned to celebrate this anniversary.  


Canada’s first strawbale winery, Orofino Vineyards is located in the heart of the Similkameen Valley where strong relationships of agricultural co-operation prevail.  Local grape growers are relied upon to help supplement the fruit from their 6 acres of vineyards in order to allow them to expand production to approximately 5000 cases.  Originally from Saskatchewan, this couple keeps their workforce small, and despite the significant labour involved, enjoy the Valley lifestyle which reflects life on the Prairies.


The winery focuses on single vineyard production to produce high-quality, terroir-driven wines.  Blind Creek, Scout and Oak Knoll vineyards produce premium varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah enabling production of classic European varietals.  Be sure to try their 2011 Scout Vineyard Syrah  ($29.00) for a typically peppery, fruit-driven ‘big red’, with lovely minerality, smokiness and a lingering finish.  Coming this fall is a new release of a Petit Verdot Reserve, their second since 2007.  Fruit comes from the Hendsbee vineyard and wine is aged for 26 months in French oak.


The winery also exercises the fine art of blending, which allows them to produce a luscious Riesling ($20.00) from three vineyards.  Their bold red blend Beleza should also be available this fall, blending fruit from young and old vines to produce a complex, unfiltered and unfined wine which will pair nicely with red meats and strong-flavoured dishes.


~ Allison Fader

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