The winery had just opened when we first visited in September of 2010, and we had more than a little difficulty envisioning owner Jeff Sanders' plan: a full-scale tropical conservatory, with palms, starfruit plants, coffee bean bushes.
Several years later, plan fully actualized - though with a few leafy substitutions as Jeff's experience grew along with the plantings - visitors now flock to Glass House the way tourists in Washington, DC flock to the Botanic Garden. The warm, moist air wafts over tables tucked beneath banana trees, as musicians weave magical spells over the packed house.
The tasting room is modern and bright, like the sunny great room in your neighbor's house - if your neighbor has a real flair for elegant interior design. An eye-catching deck off the tasting room has wide views of the local flora and fauna.
There is also a nice deck overlooking a lake and floating dock, dotted with picnic tables. Glass House hosts music weekly, usually on Friday nights from April through October, and on Sunday afternoons from November through March. Check website for details.
Michael Macfarlan is the winemaker here, following largely in the style of neighbor Mattheu Finot, the award-winning winemaker at King Family Vineyards
. Jeff Sanders manages the vineyard. Between the two, they produce 100% estate wines on 12 acres, and love to occasionally branch out with some interesting experimentation, such as the 2014 Estratto
, crafted from Chambourcin grapes over vinifera (Merlot and Cab Franc) skins, and a Barbera made in the Amarone style.
Glass House is also known for its high quality (no preservatives), handmade chocolate, crafted in small batches by co-owner Michelle Sanders.
And if you can't pry yourself away from this tropical adventure, check in to the Glass House B&B
Groups of 15 or more must email the winery manager in advance for a reservation, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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