Friday, April 10, 2009

The Strawbale Winery

Having been more thoroughly introduced to Tantalus Winery the other night by BCWAS, I thought it might be nice to go back and try a wine from a winery we also met at a BCWAS tasting a couple of years ago. We enjoyed Orofino's wines right from the start and I think it's a great indication of what's possible in the "new" Similkameen Valley region.

Conveniently for us, the winery is located along the route we drive to visit Boo's mom in the Kootenays. We, therefore, consistently try to fit in a visit when we're passing by - if they aren't sold out of wine already. Being a smaller producer, selling out is generally a given.

The wines have always been enough to keep people coming back, but part of the initial allure to draw you into the winery is the fact that, in 2004/2005, it was Canada's first winery built with straw bales. The thick bales are extremely energy efficient, helping to keep the winery cool in the hot desert summers and to retain heat in the winters. The thick bale walls allow the winery to keep a more constant temperature in the barrel room. This fact particularly caught Boo's interest because he'd been looking into building a house with straw bales in the past.

# 12. 2003 Orofino Red Bridge Red (Similkameen)

We managed to keep a bottle of this merlot/cabernet franc blend hidden for awhile. Having just notice that the winery was about to offer its newest vintages, I figured its time had come. Boy, did the nose just jump out and grab us. New vintage, eh? Anyone want to go in on a case with us?

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