Barbara and I had the pleasure of being invited to the home of Arthur and Ingrid de Jong owners of Glass House Estate Winery recently. Their lovely home, designed and built by Arthur is located next to the winery vineyards.
The de Jongs immigrated from the Netherlands in 1983, along with their three young daughters. They gave themselves six months to establish a life in Canada; if not they would return home. They were successful in their goal. Within a month of landing, they had purchased five acres to build their first home and greenhouse development business. For the next 20 years, they worked as a team to develop many greenhouse projects both in Canada and internationally. They would unwind after a hard days work with a delicious meal and glass of wine shared with friends and family. In 2004, they sold their last project and purchased an overgrown Christmas tree farm which would one day become Glass House Estate Winery.
The name Glass House pays homage to the family's 60 year history in the greenhouse industry, starting in the Netherlands and continuing in North America. After a trip to the Okanagan in 2012, Arthur got on his excavator to clear 8 acres of overgrown Christmas trees to make way for a vineyard. Ingrid then enrolled in WSET and quickly progressed to her Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits to strengthen themselves as a team. Their youngest daughter, Margit, came on board in the early stages to help with the grafting of the vines, to learn about the vineyard and to help set up the business.
Along with exceptional hospitality Barbara and I were treated to some outstanding wines. The first one tasted was the brand-new Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (Okanagan Valley grapes), second was a Chardonnay 2017 (Glass House vineyard) the third tasting was Lustrum 2017 a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
The Sauvignon Blanc had just been bottled, and at this stage there was no label on the bottle. We felt honoured to be have been served this wine; it was exquisite. Featuring all the flavours associated with the grape highlighted by lime and grapefruit which lingered on the pallet for a delightful finish.
The Chardonnay was extremely enticing; featuring a light body with flavours of pear and apple. Barbara and I could picture this on a summer evening with a charcuterie cheese board.
Lustrum proved to be an excellent blend. It was velvety and rich with a full finish.
A very special evening. Thank you Arthur and Ingrid.