Culture: John House, 38 and Ksenija Kostic House, 39 | Wine Enthusiast
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40 Under 40 Tastemakers 2019

John House, 38 and Ksenija Kostic House, 39

John House

Owner/Co-winemaker, Ovum Wines, Newberg, OR

Co-owner, Les Caves – A Winery Bar, Portland, OR

Co-owner, La Luz Selections, New York City

Taking on terroir

House’s wife and co-winemaker at Ovum Wines, Ksenija, describes him as an optimistic and creative visionary, with infectious enthusiasm and a deeply felt sense of conviction. These qualities translate dynamically to his work throughout multiple vinous projects. At Ovum, the goal is to make wines that are a conduit of place and vintage, with little or no winemaker interference, from their joint husband-and-wife perspective. At Les Caves, meanwhile, House aims to create an atmosphere where global wines can inspire local Pacific Northwest production. And across the country, with La Luz, he manages imports from and communications for Portuguese and Spanish wineries that share similar philosophies to Ovum.

Ksenija Kostic House

Owner/Co-winemaker, Ovum Wines, Newberg, OR

Assistant Winemaker, Argyle Winery, Dundee, OR

In pursuit of pure Oregon

Husband and co-winemaker John describes her as a meticulous, hardworking Scorpio who is magnetic, fearless and unwavering. At Ovum, wines are crafted to keep the hand of the winemaker(s) invisible and let the fruit, vintage and place show through. Working with lesser-known vineyards and varietals in a state dominated by Pinot Noir, House hopes to expand the reach of Oregon’s terroir. She seeks to make transparent, terroir-driven white wines sourced from widely separated­ AVAs. When not at work on her own wines, she is also assistant winemaker at Dundee-based Argyle Winery.


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