Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Orofino Please

Hard to believe that our first Orofino wine on The List was 82 bottles ago already. We must be having fun - because time is sure flying by.

94. 2006 Orofino Pinot Noir ( Similkameen - BC)

The Similkameen Valley has been the home to fruit and vegetables for over a century - not so much for grapes. And definitely not the vinifera grape varietal so prominent now throughout the Okanagan. The 5.5 acre vineyard that is Orofino was planted in 1989 and, with that pedigree of 20 years, is home to many of the Similkameen's oldest vines.

Many might think that the Similkameen isn't the ideal site for growing pinot noir - it's just too hot in summer months and too cold in the winters as the river doesn't offer as much of the moderating effect of the larger lakes in the Okanagan. The straw bale construction of the winery itself may help with the temperature extremes for the folks and the wines post-crushing, but it won't do much to help in the vineyard. One of the original plantings at Orofino, though, was the pinot noir and for a finicky varietal, the vines seem to have weathered the Valley well.

A testament to the vineyard management, Orofino's Pinot Noir features only estate grown grapes - a blend of those original vines and some newer plantings.

We pretty much just expect that, when we open a bottle of their wine, we're going to enjoy it. We certainly found that to be the case with this one.

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