Orofino Strawbale Winery

October 5, 2008.


2152 Barcelo Road | Cawston, BC V0X 1C2
Telephone: (250) 499-0068
Email: orofino@nethop.net
Website: www.orofinovineyards.com


The People


Owners: Virginia and John Weber
Winemaker: John Weber


John and Virginia Weber both grew up in Southern Saskatchewan far away from anything to do with grapes and the wine industry. The closest they ever got to wine production was the jugs of chokecherry wine John’s parents made in their basement. Virginia studied nursing and became a registered nurse and John received a Bachelor of Arts in English and then went on to finish an Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Both got the travel bug and spent the majority of the two years after university travelling and working abroad. It was on these travels that their affair with the world of wine was cultivated. Virginia spent time as an au pair in France and then nursing with a non-profit organization in the slums of India. John travelled in Europe, studied French in Southwest France and bartended in England. He had two separate experiences with development work in Brazil. The first working with street kids in the poor Northeast and the second with a Brazilian organization that worked with subsistence farmers in the poorest part of Brazil. After these experiences, the two of them settled down and took teaching and nursing positions around Swift Current , Saskatchewan. They then met the Similkameen Valley in 2001. The desire to try something new, their love of wine and the beauty of the Similkameen convinced them to purchase a vineyard and move from Saskatchewan to the Similkameen Valley to try something new. They quickly fell in love with the area and its burgeoning wine industry.



The 6 acre Orofino vineyard was first planted in 1989 making these vines some of the oldest in the valley. It still has some original blocks including  Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling and Muscat. Replacement blocks include some Merlot (1999), Pinot Noir (2002 and 2008), and Petit Verdot (2010). Vines are grown in sandy loam with no rocks found for at least 2 feet. After that it is all river rock and gravel. The bench is prime agricultural land and has a proven track record for growing premium grapes.



The Orofino winery buildings were constructed in 2004/2005. It is Canada’s only winery built out of straw bales. The eco-friendly design consists of two buildings adjoined by a breezeway. We chose this building method after much research and planning. “Earthy” 21 inch thick walls provide superior insulation qualities – ideal for manufacturing constant barrel room temperatures and for keeping us cool in our desert heat. The buildings are beautiful and very unique. We are licensed so visitors can purchase wine and enjoy a picnic amongst our vines, almond, walnut, and  oak trees. The wineshop is stocked with hard to find artisanal food products that enhance the visitor’s experience. Salts, olives, chocolate, olive oil and specialty vinegars are all available.



Orofino produces small lots of premium wines from both estate grown grapes and from small vineyards tended by some of the Similkameen’s best farmers. The grapes and the terroir are a big part of Orofino’s success. We consistently produce a portfolio of award-winning wines that include our Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Red Bridge Merlot and a Bordeaux blend we call ‘Beleza”. Other ridiculously small lots of various wines are also produced such as our Gamay and fabled late-harvest Muscat. Our wines have won multiple gold medals at the All Canadian Wine Championships as well as other respected competitions.

The 1.6 Mile Dinner


Orofino hosts the annual 1.6 Mile Dinner every summer. This is a hyper-locavore experience as everything consumed that night is produced within 1.6 miles of the winery. It is a truly enchanting evening of fine-dining, our best wines and the magic of the Similkameen. It is well-worth a planned visit!


There are no comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio AnnaLena Araxi Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream Edible Canada Elementa Espana Exile Bistro Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Badger Fat Mao Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Harkness & Co. Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Latab Wine Bar Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Little District Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Oru Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Phoenix Perennials Pidgin Pied-à-Terre Pizzeria Farina Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Sai Woo Salt Tasting Room Salty Tongue Café Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Shika Provisions Siena Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .