September 26, 2012 – Orofino Vineyards
John and Virginia Weber of Orofino Vineyards are some of the warmest, fun-loving people you will ever meet. However, you won’t find this couple lollygagging on the couch because the whole family puts heart and soul into making this winery a huge success.
They joke that while they loved wine before they came to the Similkameen that the closest they ever got to winemaking was in John’s parents’ basement where jugs of chokecherry wine were produced. John was a teacher and Virginia a nurse and had travelled extensively before settling in Saskatchewan. In 2001 they fell in love with the Similkameen Valley and purchased a vineyard and fully embraced the BC wine industry. They also embraced the continuing education and professional development required to succeed within it. You will even find their young sons John and Nate helping out in whatever way they can. On a warm summer day the enterprising lads had a lemonade stand set up just outside the tasting room to appeal to the designated drivers and others.
Committed to a sustainable approach, the Webers built Canada’s first strawbale winery. The attractive buildings have the added bonus of energy-efficiency. In this same spirit, Orofino goes beyond the 100-mile diet annually to offer a 1.6-mile dinner which is truly an ode to their farming and ranching neighbours. Featuring Joy Road Catering, an Okanagan leader in farm-to-fork dedication, the event also raises money for a local charity. I recently wrote a story for Destinations Travel Magazine’s September 2012 edition and you can learn more about Orofino and this specific initiative in my article called “Inside a Truly Locavore Dinner” at http://destinationstravelmagazine.com
While the name Orofino honours one of the mountains above the vineyards, it is Spanish for “fine gold”. It also seems to signify how precious the Webers view the area and their approach to winemaking. The wines have won awards from the first vintage and watch for exciting new eco-friendly initiatives to come.
Orofino is a proud member of the Similkameen Wineries Association.
Located at 2152 Barcelo Road, Cawston, BC V0X 1C0
Phone and Fax: 250-499-0068
I have always wanted to attend the 8-Mile Dinner at Orofino but it always seems to fall on the wrong time for me. Next year I may not be working and can finally visit this winery.