When you think of wine regions of the world it is unlikely that the Netherlands immediately comes to mind. Wine has been produced in The Netherlands for centuries but the winemaking industry has been working hard to reinvented itself over the past few decades. The quality of wines made in the Netherlands has increased immensely and as a result, it is slowly but surely becoming a true wine country.
The improvements are the result of the development of new grape varieties that are better suited to the Dutch climate. These new grapes have served to increase vineyard acreage 10-fold. Also, the Dutch vintners are becoming more experienced, thus improving the quality of Dutch wines.
There are about 170 commercial vineyards in The Netherlands with a combined vineyard acreage of about 320 hectares. Most of the vineyards are in the south of Limburg, the warmest region in The Netherlands and traditionally the best place to grow grapes. The majority of the grapes are white varietals due to the cool climate, although there is some Pinot Noir grown as well.
Traditional grape varietals include whites such as:
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Gris
Since 2000, several new grape varieties better suited to the Dutch climate have been added. There are more red grapes among these new varieties.
White varietals include:
- Souvigner Gris
Red varietals include:
- Cabernet Cortis
I have never had the opportunity to try wine from The Netherlands but I am hopeful that I will have that chance when I visit there later this year. Unfortunately, these wines do not seem to be available in any of the wine or liquor store that I have access to. Hopefully one day …