Winemaker Profile: John Weber, Orofino

The final countdown is on for Devour! Okanagan The Food Film Fest and we want to give you a little peek into the lives and minds of some of the Similkameen Wineries Association members who will be pouring during the weekend of food, film, wine, and fun. This weekend-long event is a foodie’s dream, set among the backdrop of one of Canada’s top food and wine regions. Festival events include an East vs West Showdown featuring Chef Michael Howell and Chef Adair Scott; a 6 course, wine paired dinner, with dishes from some of BC’s top chefs, paired with Similkameen wines and short, food-themed films; a Mother’s Day Rosé Sunday Brunch; and a Slow Food Market of Taste.

Select tickets and rooms are still available for this special event, taking place from May 6-8 at Watermark Beach Resort!


DSC_0296 copyYour Name: John Weber

Your Winery: Orofino

What path lead you to a career as a winemaker? We moved from Saskatchewan in 2001, where I was a high school teacher and my wife, Virginia, was a registered nurse. We bought the vineyard to farm and things took off from there with the winery. It was not a conventional way to enter this industry that is for sure!


What is your favourite, unconventional wine pairing? Bubbly and truffled popcorn. Not sure how unconventional that actually is, but it’s a tasty combo that more people ought to know about!

Constructed in 2004/2005, Orofino Winery is Canada's only straw bale winery, an ecofriendly design, and consists of two buildings adjoined by a breezeway.

Constructed in 2004/2005, Orofino Winery is Canada’s only straw bale winery, an eco-friendly design, and consists of two buildings adjoined by a breezeway.

If you were a wine, which wine would you be? Riesling – Versatile, friendly, great to take to a dinner party. And Riesling ages well (HA HA!)

What is your favourite food or wine-related film and why? “Bottleshock”. This is the story about Steven Spurrier organizing the now famous blind tasting competition in Paris that pitted upstart California wines against top French châteaus. It’s actually a really bad movie, but we hosted Steven at our winery last summer, sat beside him at dinner and really got to like him. He was genuine and a gentleman. And a total icon in our industry. The movie is somewhat saved by the late Alan Rickman’s terrific portrayal of Spurrier.

DSC_0314 (1024x685)

What is your greatest passion? First is my family. Then maybe fly-fishing. I have been too busy lately to fish much, but I figure that will be something that I will want to do as much as possible until I die.

What might people be surprised to learn about you? I am a baseball junkie. Can’t get enough of it. I coach both of my boys’ baseball teams, play on a team, and have been known to follow the Blue Jays pitch-by-pitch on my Sportsnet app. I blame my parents for this obsession.

John and Virginia Weber are the owners of Orofino Winery.

John and Virginia Weber are the owners of Orofino Winery.

To learn more about Devour! Okanagan The Food Film Fest, or to book your package, visit our Devour! info page or call us at 1-888755-3480.