The WineAlign 2014 National Wine Awards of Canada results were just announced and the Similkameen Valley’s Orofino Winery ranked 18th amongst all of the wineries who competed from across the country. The 2014 edition of The Nationals were the biggest yet with over 1300 wines submitted. “It is a big honour to be recognized at such a high level against the best wines from the best wineries in the country,” says owner/winemaker John Weber. “Our little team here at Orofino works hard to make wines that show off the terrific vineyards in this unique appellation of the Similkameen Valley. It is all about the grapes grown in our neighbourhood.”
Orofino grabbed one of the coveted Platinum Medals for their 2013 Celentano Vineyard Gamay. Only 14 Platinum Medals were handed out to the top 1% of wines in the competition. In addition to the Platinum Medal, the Gamay received the 4th highest score of all BC wines entered in the competition. Head judge and Vancouver wine critic Anthony Gismondi stated “If you want to know why the Similkameen Valley is special, buy this wine.”
Orofino also received a Gold Medal for their 2013 Old Vines Home Vineyard Riesling and a Silver for their 2013 Scout Vineyard Riesling. “Riesling is a focus here at Orofino, so it is so great to win medals for those,” says co-owner Virginia Weber. “People know to come here for great Riesling.” The 2011 Passion Pit Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2011 Scout Vineyard Syrah also won medals, bringing home a Bronze Medal for both. All of these wines were grown in Cawston Vineyards.
Orofino Winery is situated on a mature six acre vineyard on the Cawston Bench in the Similkameen Valley. The focus is on making single vineyard wines that show off the special places where they were grown. The eco-friendly winery was built using a straw bale construction method that used 890 bales to make up the walls. A solar power project was completed in 2012 and the wineshop and some of the production facility is run by solar power.