Photo: Roger Hol and Jyl Chegwin and the world's largest wine glass
The Guiness Book of Records has been asked to verify the
claim – but there can hardly be much doubt that the outline of a wine glass in
the vineyard at Similkameen’s VineGlass Renewal Resort is the world’s largest.
The seven-acre vineyard is owned by Roger Hol and Jyl
Chegwin, his partner. The resort is a new winery that has released two wines.
It operates three suites in a serene valley beside the Similkameen River
not far from the Night Hawk border crossing.
The vineyard wine glass was inspired by experience that Jyl,
a horticulturist, had previously at a Fraser Valley
farm corn maze.
The couple did not want their guests getting lost in the
vineyard. They wanted guests to experience it through a wine glass-shape
walking path through the vines. The result is probably the world’s largest wine
glass. It is visible to hikers walking in the nearby Grass Lands
. In fact, it likely
is visible from the International Space Station, tantalizing astronauts who
don’t get to relax with a glass of wine.
Just a mile from Highway 3, the quiet resort offers a sky
free from light pollution. Both the space station and the stars will be crisp
and clear in the night sky.
Anyone visiting the resort can relax on its shaded lawns
with either VineGlass Rejuvenation
Red or Vigorous Viognier (or both).
Roger, a marine engineer by profession, is a veteran
Similkameen grape grower. A farmer by avocation, he was formerly in partnership
with Andrew Peller Ltd. to operate the 28-hectare (70-acre) Rocky Ridge
Vineyard. It was planted in 1998 and Roger looked after the 70,000 vines until
2008, when Peller exercised its option to acquire his interest.
His current farm, which he purchased on the heels of the
Peller transaction, is an almost spiritually quiet property. The resort is meant for those seeking renewal
in the peaceful ambiance.
The vineyard is a tenth the size of Rocky Ridge. Roger
planted about 7,000 vines in 2010. When Jyl mused about a corn maze, Roger jumped in to say: “Let’s plant a wine
glass. All the effort of my farming is going to be appreciated in a glass. So
we decided, we would plant the largest wine glass on earth. If you see our farm
from Google Earth, you see a wine glass.”
The vineyard was
planted to support a red blend with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet
Sauvignon. It is modelled on wine that Roger admires: Trius, a blend made at
Peller’s Hillebrand Estates winery in Ontario
For a white, he has a small block of Viognier.
“That’s all we will do here, and only from our farm,” Roger
says. “Our business is really about bringing experiential tourism on an
intimate basis. You can come here, stay with us. Help us tend the vines. At the
end of the day, you will go home with a whole new appreciation for what is in
that bottle of wine.”