Domaine d'Heerstaayen
Tasty Tales

Domaine d'Heerstaayen

The Netherlands

"In France I was infected with the passion for all things vine and wine..."

A Dutch Domaine

On a beautiful summer morning we headed for Domaine d’Heerstaayen in the south of the Netherlands, close to the city of Breda. This little paradise is situated in the valley of the river Mark, right on the border with Belgium. As early as in 1979 the construction of a vineyard was started here by former French language teacher Peter de Wit. That makes it one of the oldest vineyards in the Netherlands. Much knowledge about viticulture was not available by then but Peter was not afraid to experiment. 

Classic grape varieties 

The hunger to experiment,with classic grape varieties in this cool climate was driven by his passion for French culture. In the end the Dutch weather turned out to be too harsh on varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Gamay. Pinot Noir survived better but after thirty years of experimenting it was quite clear. The wine grapes of Domaine d’Heerstaayen that performed best were all white. So nowadays the selection is limited to Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

Wine import

The winery wasn’t exactly a money maker. To secure an income Peter also started to import wines from French wineries and later on even from a American winery in California. Nowadays he also works as a representative for a few French domaines and châteaux and looks after the export of their wines to various parts of the world, like Africa and China.

Dreaming of France

Peter’s dream initially was to move to France, but his wife promised him she would create a little piece of France in the village of Strijbeek. Being a garden designer, she kept her promise. The former piggery was turned into a greenhouse, an ‘orangery’ with an Italian Jasmine and old grapevines growing indoors. The surrounding garden also was transformed into quite an idyllic place with grape vines, Mimosa, Sycamore-, Fig- and Palm trees. It transformed over the years in a real popular wedding venue and we cannot but endorse this. 

Markweg 6
4856 AC Strijbeek
The Netherlands

+31 (0)6 5021 8201

More wineries View all stories (17) >

Wijndomein Aldeneyck

Wijndomein Aldeneyck

Being owners of a fruit company, Karel Henckens and his wife Tine decided that life could perhaps be more beautiful when, instead of just growing apples and pears, they grew grapes and made wine.

Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen

Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen

The foundations of the château of Genoels-Elderen, in the Belgium province of Limburg, date back to Roman times. The Romans knew already that the conditions for winemaking were really good in this area. In 1990 it was this winery that started the renaissance of winemaking in Belgium by planting the first vines again. What started merely as a hobby turned into an impressive winery.

Wijngaard Apostelhoeve

Wijngaard Apostelhoeve

Winery Apostelhoeve, the oldest commercial vineyard in the Netherlands is located in the south, in the province of Limburg. Where once apple and pear trees grew, the first vines were planted in 1970.