Dutch winemaking comes of age as warmer summers boost production

The Van Disthuizen vineyards. Photo: Matthew Newman
The Van Disthuizen vineyards. Photo: Matthew Newman

The 165 winemakers in the Netherlands produced some 3,600 liters more wine per hectare in 2022 than in the year before, figures published by winemakers association VNWP have shown.

The surge in production – resulting in 1.3 million bottles of wine –  was largely down to the record number of sun hours this summer, VNWP spokeswoman Manon de Boer told the NRC.

Climate change is not the only reason Dutch wine is doing well, De Boer said. Farmers who were given EU subsidies for switching to wine-making in 2000 had to find out about the process for themselves. ‘Now they really know what they are doing,’ she said.

Farmers started to use newly developed, cold-resistant grape varieties, for example, as well as varieties which are less prone to mildew.

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Extreme weather has already affected harvests in Southern Europe and Dutch winemakers will not be immune. ‘Yes, average temperatures are going up and extreme weather will be a feature here too. That makes things very unpredictable. There are a thousand and one factors that determine a harvest,’ De Boer said.

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