10 things you probably didn’t know about Dutch wine
- Dutch Wine in the World Business Class
For more than a decade KLM (Dutch Royal Airlines) has been serving Dutch wines in its business class. Of course, business class passengers only get the best of the best.
- Dutch vineyards since Roman Times
Did you know that there was already viticulture in the south of the Netherlands in Roman times? The first official record actually dates from the year 968. The inventory list of Queen ‘Gerberga van Saksen’ describes vineyards in and around Maastricht. This ceased in the 16th century due to a small ice age. After that phylloxera destroyed all the remaining vineyards in Europe. The viticulture came back to life in 1967 by a few pioneers who planted new vineyards in the south of the Netherlands.
- Dutch Royal Wedding
At their wedding, King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima enjoyed Dutch wine from ‘hoeve Nekum’, along with their guests..
- Quality over Quantity
Dutch vineyards are relatively small. To keep vineyards small is a smart choice because most Dutch winegrowers go for quality instead of quantity. Also not hindered by tradition, Dutch winemakers can be innovative. And the best results are achieved by constantly trying new ways.
- Dutch wine is special
Dutch vineyards are now producing 1.5 million bottles of wine a year.
That may sound like a lot but with 17 million Dutch citizens you have to be quick if you want to get a bottle of Dutch wine.
- Dutch wines gain international recognition
Leading British wine expert (geen dubbele punt) Jancis Robinson praises Dutch wines in her article: ‘My most surprising tasting ever.’ In this article she describes her completely natural and unexpected reactions to a range of wines from a very unusual wine-producing country, very surprised by how well made they were.
- The oldest and the youngest
The oldest vineyard in the Netherlands dates from 1967: Wijngaard Slavante in Maastricht. And the youngest is from 2003: Wijngaard De Reeborgesch in de De Achterhoek.
- Special grapes
Because of the cool climate in the Netherlands, winemakers like to plant grape varieties that mature quickly. One of those grapes is the Johanniter, that only needs 1500 hours of sun per year.
- Vineyards in the Netherlands
In every province in the Netherlands, wine is being produced. The most northern vineyards are in Friesland and Texel, one of the Wadden islands. The most vineyards you will find in the south and eastern provinces, with a big density in Limburg. You’ll also find some vineyards in and near the big cities like No Chateau in Amsterdam.
- Dutch top restaurants
Dutch wine is also served in the best restaurants in the country such as Inter Scaldes (3 Michelin stars) in Zeeland. Their sommelier has even written a book about it.