Monday, April 21, 2014

World’s largest wine glass in a Similkameen vineyard

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 Park. 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.”


At April 22, 2014 at 9:34 PM , Blogger Jeff McCallum said...

I have seen it up close .. Very cool!


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