Dutch winemakers are doing just vine, figures show

Dutch winemaking is on the up, figures from the Dutch chamber of commerce have shown, but it’s not only the warmer weather that is driving the boom.

There are currently almost 200 vineyards in the Netherlands, some 43% more than five years ago. Almost half of the winemaking activity takes place in Limburg and Gelderland.

Gelderland tops the list with 47 vineyards, with Limburg close behind with 42. All provinces have shown an increase with the exception of Groningen.

The chalky and sandy soil soil in Gelderland and Limburg favours vine growing, as do the relatively hilly landscape and southerly position of Limburg, Manon de Boer of winegrowers association VNWP said.

The hot summer of last year resulted in a bumper production in the two provinces of some 1.3 million bottles, almost three quarters of which were white wines.

But it is not only the warmer weather which is boosting the sector, winemaker Henk Marmelstein of De Reeborghesch winery in Winterwswijk told NU.nl.

“It is true that the wet weather made it impossible to create good wines in the Netherlands. Too little sun and too much rain caused mold and we have had to find new ways of planting the vineyards and disease resistent varieties to make it work.”

“But it’s still complicated. It’s not like we can simply take the French grape varieties and plant them here just because temperatures are rising,” he said.

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