Single vineyard wines from these sites are available here

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Making Great BC Wine In The Similkameen Valley

Our team of grape growers consist of some of the best farmers in the valley. Some of them have grown fruit here for generations.We have tapped into their knowledge and specific terroir in the Similkameen Valley, in order to source the best grapes possible. This is the foundation of everything we do here at Orofino.

OROFINO VINEYARD

Cawston Bench
1 acre Merlot (clone 181)
2.2 acres Pinot Noir (clones 113, 115, 828, 777)
.6 acre Riesling (clone 21B)
.7 acre Cabernet Franc (clone 327)
.6 acre Petit Verdot (clone 400)
.4 acre Muscat (orange)

The 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). We are adding 2 acres of Gamay on our new 3 acre property adjacent to the existing vineyard. 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.

PASSION PIT VINEYARD

Cawston Bench
1.5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (clone 191)

This vineyard is owned and managed by Greg Sanderson and Joyce Barton – long-time premium fruit growers on the Cawston bench. In 2007,Greg took 1.5 acres of his Passion Pit orchard and converted it to cabernet for Orofino. It just may be the hottest site in the Similkameen Valley with perfect slope to catch the sun and backed by steep granite cliffs that capture and retain the summer heat. The soils in this site vary dramatically from the Hendsbee and Orofino vineyards that are just a stone’s throw away . Passion Pit is full of angular granite rocks and shallow soils. A former commercial gravel pit is right beside the vineyard. What’s with the name? The remote gravel pit was named “The Passion Pit” by locals who used it as a spot for late night romantic rendezvous. Ask any local about the Passion Pit and you will likely get a shy smile or see a twinkle in their eye.

CELENTANO VINEYARD

Cawston Bench
.5 acres of Gamay

This picturesque vineyard a five minute walk from Orofino includes a very small block of Gamay that was planted in the late 90’s. It sits on a slope with perfect aspect overlooking the whole valley. Soil is very rocky with fist-sized granite rocks scattered throughout the block. Carmela and Antonio Celentano do all of the work there themselves and know the property intimately. They bring with them many years of viticulture knowledge from Italy. Orofino started making wine from this vineyard in 2007.

SCOUT VINEYARD

South Cawston
2.2 acres Syrah (clones 99 and 7)
1.3 acres Riesling (clone 239)
.7 acres Pinot Gris (clone 52)

2 acres Cabernet Sauvignon

Murray and Maggie Fonteyne planted this vineyard on a beautiful property overlooking the Similkameen river just a 10 minute drive south of Orofino. The upper portion of the vineyard was planted to Riesling clone 239 and Syrah clones 99 (French) and 7 (Australian) in 2007. The upper portion is sloped and is made up of the Stemwinder soil classification. That means some sandy loam soils with a high percentage of angular granite rock. Harsh terroir to be sure but vines thrive in it. This terroir contrasts nicely with the more fertile soils of the Cawston bench, bringing a slightly different flavour profile and chemistry to the grapes. The Fonteynes also planted .7 acres of Pinot Gris (clone 52) in 2008 on a lower part of the property right beside the river. The soil here is rich riverbed sandy loam.

HENDSBEE VINEYARD

Cawston Bench
3.5 acres Riesling (clones 239 and 21b)
1.6 acres Merlot (clone 181)
1.0 acre Cabernet Sauvignon (clone 191)
.9 acres Pinot Gris (clone 52)
.6 acres Petit Verdot (clone 400)
.6 acres Muscat Blanc

Top Cawston orchardists Lee and Cheryl Hendsbee started to convert their mixed orchard to grape production in 2006. Grape varieties were chosen to maximize the site’s potential and meet Orofino’s production needs. The vineyard is right beside Orofino and it shares the same soil profile. Two to four feet of rich sandy loam sits on top of fist-size river rock and then gravel for 100 feet or more. In its infancy, the vineyard has produced exceptional, multi-award winning wines for Orofino. All of the work in the vineyard is done by Cheryl and Lee and they set the standard for grapes grown in the region.

POZZA VINEYARD

Keremeos

3 acres Cabernet Franc

Added to our family of vineyards in 2016 this is a unique and isolated site at high elevation in the cool Ollala Gap tucked around the mountain off of Highway 3A. Just 7km away from Orofino but completely different growing conditions. Less direct sunlight hours, especially in the autumn results in a cool site perfect for fresh Rosé and Loire-style Cabernet Franc. The site also features serious slope to shed the Olalla winds and frost and river rock soils mixed with shale and sandy loam.

 

 

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