Sunday, 19 August 2012

Dutch wine

When thinking of wine most people are not likely to think of Dutch wine; they have probably never heard of it anyway! 
And that is not so strange because the Netherlands is not exactly known for its wine. But despite the fact that we are a small country there are more than 200 vineyards! Most of them little compared to foreign vineyards and not all of them are commercial wine-growers but still, they exist!

I am very enthusiastic about Dutch wine in general but I'm especially proud of wine from Wijngaard de Linie. That’s not only because it’s from the south of the Netherlands where we live. Nor the fact that it’s made by relatives from my husband. Or that it has won many international wine trophies because it’s a really good wine. But especially because of the fact that a wine just tastes so much better and more special if you have picked the grapes by hand and helped bottling the wine!
Every time I tell people, not only foreign friends but also Dutch friends and colleagues, that I’m going to pick grapes they ask me if I’m spending the weekend in France. And when I told my boss that I was picking grapes in the little village of Made he wondered if there were any hills there ;).
Once you experienced the whole process you realize even more what a wonderful and natural product wine is. Every sip you take, every time you smell these great odors you realize it all began with the grapes you picked.

                                    Bottling Dutch wine @ wijngaard de Linie in Made, Netherlands

The Dutch white wines are of better quality then the red ones, but in the end it’s really all about your own taste. Personally I prefer the more classic grapes instead of the hybrid grapes (mixed varieties with more resistance) like Regent or Solaris  that are more likely to grow well in our climate.
Besides the fabulous white wine from de Linie, I can also recommend to try Dutch wines from the oldest Dutch vineyard the Apostelhoeve and the (really expensive but o so stunning!) Kus van Therese Cabernet Blanc from wijngoed Gelders Laren. The last one is so expensive because it bears the name of one of the most famous Dutch sommeliers from the 3 star Michelin restaurant de Librije.

Off course Dutch wine will probably never compete with wines from the more famous old and new wine countries; not because of the quality but as of the price. An average bottle starts at around 12 Euro, compared to around 7 Euro for a nice wine from Spain or even New Zealand. For now Dutch wine is more something you buy as a gift or just because you think it’s special to drink a wine from the Netherlands. And it is! So don’t be surprised to see some Dutch wines on International wine contests.

More information about all the Dutch vineyards can be found on the website: (also in English)