Wonderful wineries to discover in Belgium for Foodies
Long-time owners of a fruit farm in Aldeneik, Karel Henckens and his wife Tine Linssen one day decided to start growing grapes. The ten hectares of vineyards of wine estate Aldeneyck stretch out along the south-eastern banks of the River Maas. While climate change might be a curse for many wine regions, it is actually a blessing for Limburg winemakers, since Pinot Noir does well in this type of mineral soil. The quality of other Burgundy varieties with Chardonnay is gradually evolving, and therefore Aldeneyck wines are smoothly meeting international standards.
2) Valke Vleug
Valke Vleug is a brand-new large-scale Belgian vineyard near Puurs, specialising in elegant cool-climate wines. On the grounds, you can witness the lifecycle of Flemish terroir wines, from grape to bottle. Surrounded by Vincent Van Duysen’s earthy architecture, visitors can also take part in the activities the winery offers: from wine and food tastings to harvest events, gourmet dinners by famous chefs and workshops on art and music.
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3) Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen
The Genoels-Elderen neoclassicist wine castle – the first since 1990 and the only one of its kind in Belgium – nestles in the fertile Haspengouw area surrounding Tongeren. Famous for its juicy apples and pears, the area has a loamy soil that is perfect for growing grapes. Take a tour of the chariot house containing the wine cellars and the grape press, and finish off with a wine tasting – which will hopefully include their award-winning Chardonnay wines. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
4) Vignoble des Agaises
Spread across more than 28 hectares, the Agaises family winery is the largest wine estate in Belgium. The Vignoble des Agaises has a superb chalk and limestone terroir for the production of traditional Champagne grape varieties. Sparkling wines produced according to the traditional method are vinified here, with a second fermentation in the bottle and ageing sur lie for 15 months. Don’t get your hopes u too high though, as most of their (vintage) wines are pre-sold a year in advance.
5) Clos d’Opleeuw
When in Limburg, it’s always a good idea to visit Clos d’Opleeuw for a tour of their one-hectare plot of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Owner Peter Colemont uses only the best techniques in his vineyard, making minimal use of chemicals and ageing his wines in both French and Belgian oak, which gives his wine its unique taste.
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