Last weekend I got the chance to visit winery Wijngoed Wolf in St. Michielsgestel. The thought came to me when a colleague Sommelier referred me to this vineyard, where he does volunteer work. At this vineyard, authenticity is pursued in every aspect.
When you walk into the cellar door, you get enchanted by the romantic image that gets linked with authentic wine making! Because a perfect night has to be to enjoy a good glass of wine in front of the fireplace. The whole vibe of the vineyard is based on this image, and it is the result of all the hard work, winemaking couple Bas Klerx and Laura de Hollander have put into this place. Everything did not just happen, there was lots of research at soil and climate, combined with past experiences and a passion for wine previous to all of this!
Winemaker Bas was in fact born in a wine loving family, but did went to law school first before he got completely charmed up with wine making. The couple found their experience when they lived in the Provence for four years to learn the ropes. After that they came back to The Netherlands to start a vineyard.
Just to illustrate the hard work and mainly patience is that the vineyard was already founded back in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2020 that the first wines could be produced! It must have felt amazing for them seeing that the wine was sold out so fast, even before the new harvest could even be processed!
All this hard work, passion for wine and the careful organic approach for the vine, with the most utter respect for the planet, is tasted in the the wine. The respect for nature explains the choice for new grape varieties instead of the classic ones. Apart from the fact that they make high quality wines, they ripe early and are better resistant against deceases like false mildew. The only organic way to fight this one off is by using copper sulphate. However the use of this is not allowed in The Netherlands, plus it is not always that environmentally friendly. What a paradox hey? Copper can build up in the soil killing everything, good and useful parasites along with it. This is anything but what we want!
At the moment, there are about 10 different varieties harvested at the vineyard. Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are the only classic varieties, and are most challenging to grow in the climate of The Netherlands. New varieties include Souvignier, Sauvignac, Johanniter, Cabernet Blanc and Cabernet Noir. The wine that caught my attention the most was the one called ‘Oranje Boven’. Very Dutch. The wine is a blend of 85% Souvignier Gris and 15% Johanniter. The grapes are harvested very late in the season and get up to 6 weeks of skin contact, which explains the amber colour. Not only the colour changes, but also the concentration of orange, mandarin, herbs, orange blossom and acacia. There is a low acidity and lower alcohol level. This makes it perfect to match it with spicy dishes from the Indian or Asian cuisine. You can also match it with sashimi or sushi.
With this blog post on Dutch vineyards I can only conclude and confirm what the wine makers are thinking: the demand and the quality of Dutch wines are increasing!
You can visit the winery to taste and buy wine, but also stay the night in the B&B or even purchase your own grapes!
The physical address is:
5271 TW Sint Michielsgestel