Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen
Tasty Tales

Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen

Belgium

"I really had to start from zero, nobody was waiting for Belgium wine."

A history of winemaking

The foundations of Château 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 the Haspengouw area. Concrete evidence of viticulture in this area dates back to the late Middle Ages. In 1990 it was winery Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen 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 of 25 hectares.

Starting from scratch 

Owner Jaap van Rennes created a fortune with his food and beverage wholesale business but traded his Rolls Royce for a tractor. Local people thought it was madness when he bought the castle of Genoels-Elderen in the village of Riemst. He started this winemaking adventure at the age of 56 while daughter Joyce took on a study Oenology. Because nobody was familiar with Belgium wine they really had to start from scratch. After a few years top restaurants in Belgium discovered the quality of their wines and the demand became huge. The wine castle attracts now around 20.000 visitors every year.

Burgundy style wines

The climate in the province of Limburg nowadays is close to that in Burgundy in the 1970’s. That fact, together with a soil made up from marl with a top layer of clay, makes this an excellent area for wine cultivation. The planted grape varieties are mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 0,5 hectare of Pinot Gris. In combination with the northern, cooler climate, they produce beautifully balanced wines with good acidity. Besides four different still wines, Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen also produces three sparkling wines. The left-over press rests of the grapes (marc) go to the small castle distillery where Levenswater (Water of Life or Eau de Vie) is distilled. 

Visiting Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen

As a winelover visiting the neo-classicistic castle is a must. You not only can visit the largest vineyards of Belgium, but also enjoy a stroll through the park with a beautiful arboretum with over 300 year old trees and the rose garden. The old chariot house now contains the wine cellars, grape press and distillery. Take a tour, finish off with a wine tasting and you won’t leave disappointed. In 2000 the Haspengouw area received AOC (PDO) status, so yes… there are more wineries to visit on your wine tour through Flanders!

Kasteelstraat 9
3770 B-Riemst
Belgium

+32 (0)12 391 349

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