Devour! Winemakers in the Spotlight: OROFINO

Devour! Osoyoos is coming soon! We’re so proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic festival.

The sights and flavours of Devour! Osoyoos perfectly exemplify all that makes food, wine, and film so appealing.

The winemakers and chefs that will be showcased during this highly-anticipated event are all unique and amazing. We’d like to let everyone get to know them a little better.

We’ve started a series that highlights each of the participating Similkameen Independent Winegrowers. In the true spirit of our down-to-earth, welcoming region, the winemakers and proprietors have answered a variety of questions –from quirky to sincere. Their answers may surprise you…

We hope you enjoy learning about these dedicated and talented folks as much as we have!


Orofino Winery

Their story starts on the Saskatchewan prairie, and follows John and Virginia Weber all around the globe. After experiences in France, England, India and Brazil, the Webers returned to Canada, and found themselves drawn to the beautiful, bountiful Similkameen. Studies in horticulture, viticulture, enology, and business led to the establishment of Orofino Winery in 2003.

Virginia and John are committed to making the best possible wines with the smallest possible footprint. Their award-winning strawbale winery building uses solar power and natural insulation to make a small ecological impact. They focus on terroir-driven, minimal-intervention wines that capture the unique, phenomenal flavours of their beloved Similkameen Valley.

Owner/Winemaker: John Weber

What path led you to a career as a winemaker? I was a high school teacher in Saskatchewan, then bought a vineyard in 2001 and started making wine. You know, the usual path for winemakers to take.

If you were a wine, which wine would you be? I think I would be Riesling, because I am friends with food and am pretty versatile –just like Riesling!

If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what wine would it be and why? I would drink Riesling, just because it is so diverse in style. It can be bone dry and super bright and fresh, but it can also make delicious and intense sweet dessert wines. Riesling ages very well, shows off its terroir like no other grape, and can even make delicious bubbles. It pretty much covers off everything.

What is your greatest passion? Tough one. Probably have to go with fly fishing. I have flyfished for 25 years now, and still can’t think of a day where I fished and wished I hadn’t. I am particularly in love with river fishing for trout. I happen to live in a beautiful place where I can catch beautiful trout on a beautiful river.

What might people be surprised to learn about you? I have a lethal forehand in ping pong.

What’s your secret food craving? Peanuts in the shell.

What’s your favourite food to eat while watching movies? Popcorn with an IPA.

What is your favourite grape, and why? Riesling. Great to drink and nice to grow.

What drives you? We’ve been making wine since 2003. I always want to make the best wine I can every vintage. The past 5 years or so, we have really delved into producing wines that best showcase where they are grown. We don’t have a long history of winemaking here in BC, and the pursuit of finding our potential is pretty interesting and keeps us pushing.

If you couldn’t do this, what would you do? I’d probably coach. Maybe tennis or baseball.

What is your favourite South-Okanagan/Similkameen activity? Flyfishing the Similkameen River

Describe your dream meal: It could be a number of things on the menu, but it would for sure include Champagne, some expensive old red wines (plural), family and friends.

What is your favourite food or wine film, and why? Big Night is a favourite. We saw it years ago, and then watched it again last summer projected against the wall of the winery. Virginia and I invited some friends over and we sat outside and watched the movie while drinking bubble and popcorn. Great characters and some terrific kitchen scenes.

Orofino Winery
2152 Barcelo Road, Cawston, BC
(250)499-0068 (office)
(250)499-4199 cell

Watermark Beach Resort is very pleased to offer a special package rate for Devour! Osoyoos. Visit us for more information, including event tickets and schedules.