0541-Dutch wineyards

Wine from Dutch soil: there are very good ones.

The number of wine companies from Dutch soil is still modest, but due to the experience and the good weather, the quality improves. The Dutch wine sector is not very popular on a global scale: vineyards were planted on 157 hectares of Dutch soil, Statistics Netherlands counted last year. The regional agricultural figures came out yesterday. In comparison, in France, all vineyards cover about 800,000 hectares. Nevertheless, we do not do badly as a mini player. “The quality is getting better and better,” says wine writer and expert Harold Hamersma. According to him, that is mainly because the experience is growing. “The wineproducers work fanatically on small plots, which often have no football field yet. They know the grapes personally, so to speak. Moreover, they often hire consultants for advice. And the climate seems to be better and better. We are starting to become a wine country. “

We come from far, outlines Hamersma. “The Romans took the vines in their hand luggage back then, but Napoleon has ended the viticulture in our country. Now it picks up again. But compared to other countries we are a mini producer. We have fewer than ten companies per province and the total number of bottles produced is 1.2 million. Only 30 million bottles have been made from Lindeman’s Chardonnay. What we do fits in the backyard of an Australian wine company.” Sometimes Hamersma sometimes tastes ‘cold potato juice’. “Then a maker will know that he is not there yet.” “But there are really good wines. In the business class of KLM, travelers get a Zeeland wine. “And not because it is dirty. You have such nice companies. De Linie in Made, Frysling in Friesland, Apostelhoeve in Limburg. ”
His company has a lot of experience, explains Mathieu Hulst from the Apostelhoeve. ,,We are the oldest commercial wine company, that counts.” Another advantage: the location. Limburg has more hills than the rest of the country so that the vines catch more sun. Classic grape varieties such as the Riesling, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc do well on that soil. What is in the ground can also help: lime, marl, iron.

Red wine remains difficult in our country, thinks Bernard Nauta of Anderewijn.nl. “Fresh white wine and sometimes rosé.” “That has everything to do with the grape varieties: the classics need a lot of heat, while the new varieties are crossed so that they can withstand the cold better. The Johanniter for example. “Winemakers are becoming increasingly smart to make acceptable wine in this climate.”

Heat waves
Still, the classic grapes will eventually take over, thinks Hulst of the Apostelhoeve. “The turning point came in 1985. From the year after we see more peaks in temperature, more heat waves and day temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius.” This summer is extreme, which could well result in good wine. ,, We will not know until next year, but we are already going to pick on September 10 this year. A month earlier than usual! “” The wines are getting better, “said vinologist Jeroen van Mierlo. “Besides the fact that almost all Dutch wines are ‘technically correct’, we see that more and more progress has been made in recent years on the flavor richness and complexity of Dutch wines. You can say that quality of Dutch wine is getting better. The wines become more interesting, tastier and better used for gastronomy. A nice addition to Dutch regional products. ”

The pride in their own, local products boost sales, Hamersma sees. “There is a growing respect for products from the neighborhood. People like to drink a wine from Noord-Holland with Texel’s lamb and a Zeeland wine with Zeeuwse samphire.” “That enthusiasm does have a solid price tag, because of the small-scale production. “A bottle is often 10 to 20 euros,” says Hamersma. ,,And that does not matter to people easily. There is only one small group that is willing to spend such an amount.”


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