Gamay Focus, 3 – Orofino 2013, Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada

canada gamay

Gamay Focus, 3 – Orofino 2013, Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada


For number 3 in this Gamay focus, we are heading to the Similkameen Valley in Canada’s British Columbia. It was served at a small dinner I attended last night in Niagara Falls, and of the several bottles served this was the first to be drained.

Canada does well with Gamay, but most of it is in Niagara. Out west, in British Columbia, there is very little of it, but in the cooler spots (like the Similkameen), this wine suggests that more should be planted. (Although, I suspect it isn’t he easiest to sell.)

Interesting fact: Orofino is Canada’s only straw bale winery.

Orofino Gamay Celentano Vineyard 2013 Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada
This deliciously drinkable Gamay is the real deal, with more than a hint of seriousness. It’s bright, juicy and berryish with lovely fresh, detailed cherry fruit. Quite sappy and focused with lovely balance. 92/100

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4 Comments on Gamay Focus, 3 – Orofino 2013, Similkameen Valley, BC, CanadaTagged ,
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

4 thoughts on “Gamay Focus, 3 – Orofino 2013, Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada

  1. Again.. serious.. wine is not serious . Wine is fun. Wine can be complex, it can be ageworthy or just gulpable, but using the term serious about wine is depressing to me and I frankly feel doing it a disservice.

  2. I too have to think that Gamay is rather a hard sell in these parts. There are a few around here in Alberta but I have not tried any in quite a while.
    As an aside, Beaujolly is really moving off the shelves these days!

  3. Jason – I disagree – I think a wine can be “serious” in the sense that the term denotes something of quality/well made/interesting and worthy of discussion – a “serious” wine is, by definition “fun” because it is fun to discuss flavour profiles etc that a “serious” wine has.

  4. Hi Jamie, Great series on gamay, and while I’ve just discovered the articles, I wanted to make a quick comment. A few couple years ago I made a point of tasting and taking notes on all of the Okanagan and Similkameen gamay that was being produced. Believe it or not, there’s actually quite a few, and while I agree that gamay from the Similkameen can be superb (including at Orofino’s neighbour, Robin Ridge), my current Okanagan favourite is from the Oliver region: Platinum Bench.

    Last year Platinum Bench won the province’s Lieutenant Governor’s award for their gamay, and this year, upon tasting their 2015 Pre-release Block 28 Reserve Gamay, I’m not ashamed to admit that it really moved me. These guys have really upped the level of gamay winemaking in BC, and producers like Desert Hills, Hillside Estate and Joie are hot on their heels. – Thanks for sharing your love of gamay with us! Cheers!!

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