Last week I had the honor to visit the vineyard Hof van Twente, where delicious, local wine gets produced, in a social context.
I was received with the highest level of hospitality in the tasting room, by Ilse Visscher, who runs the vineyard along with her husband Roelof. The newly renovated tasting room is very inviting and this only gets magnified by the enthusiasm of the owners!
The vines are spread out over 6,5 hectare and this over 3 separate vineyards, across the town of Bentelo. This makes that Hof van Twente is ranked 6th in The Netherlands in terms of vineyard area.
The so called ‘new varieties’ grow here (see previous blog about vineyards in The Netherlands). At Hof van Twente extensive research gets done to get a perspective on the future of wine in The Netherlands and what varieties are best suited for the climate and to produce good wine! At this point in time, there is a lot of Johanniter, Regent and Solaris planted here. A quality of these varieties is that they are ready to be picked, rather early in the season. This happened by accident, but has proven to be very beneficial in our climate! The goal of cross breeding was to create more resistant varieties against the climate and diseases.
The growth of the industry keeps on going. Especially when you look at the variety of Solaris. This one thrives in a cold climate, even a bit colder than The Netherlands. The grape thrives in Denmark and even in the south of Norway. There it gives a more crisp and dry wine, with a lot of citrus notes and white fruit. If you like your wines to have more tropical notes and to be full bodied, then a Solaris from Hof van Twente is just the one for you! Think of notes like ripe pear, peach, yellow apple, vanilla and cream. This wine did have a crisp, acidic finish, but was not over powering.
Needless to say that this full-bodied Solaris was a match made in heaven with rich fish, but also poultry, pork and creamy cheeses.
The wine was an amazing surprise and to me symbolic for the growth of the Dutch wine industry!
A different perfect example of the innovating perspective is the recent planting of vineyards on the island of Aruba. Varieties get planted there, well suited for the hot climate. Think of Shiraz, Tempranillo or Chenin Blanc. This all is still very experimental, but we will hear a lot about it in the future!
The other aspect I had noticed was, apart from the enthusiasm of the owners, the fact that this cripples down to all team members and volunteers. With great pleasure I was offered enthusiastic stories from the volunteers about the importance of their work in the actual vineyard. In between the lines you can read that every single one of the volunteers gives their heart and soul to work together in creating a wonderful end product!
To close this day off, I was toured around by this really dynamic intern, who does research on the effects of climate change on the industry of wine-making and how this creates opportunities for new, developing wine countries. I got a tour of the wine cellar and was able to taste wines straight out of the barrels!
The vineyard Hof van Twente stands for innovation, social responsibility and collaboration with other vineyards! The world of wine in The Netherlands is still in the infant stage, but due to companies like Hof van Twente, Dutch wines will slowly become an anchor on every wine list!
You can visit the vineyard on following address:
7497 MZ Bentelo
All these delicious wines are available on the web shop: Wijngaard Hof van Twente Archieven | Koop in Hof van Twente