Groesbeek (Netherlands)

The Romans have been here before, what about you?

Groesbeek (Netherlands)

Groesbeek is a small wine village situated in the South-East of the Netherlands, near the German border. The hilly landscape of Groesbeek originated in the Ice age. The Groesbeek moraine soil has a (for Dutch standards) rare loess structure: 30 cm black soil as a top layer with an underlying layer of loess. This soil however is ideal for viticulture. Until recently, viticulture in the Netherlands wasn´t possible on a great scale. Since the mid-nineties, several new hybrid grape varieties appeared: Regent, Colonjes Cabernet, Cabernet Cortis, Pinotin, Johanniter, Riesèl, Cabernet Blanc and Helios. These varieties not only have a high degree of resistance to mildew, they also ripen very well in a temperate climate.

The pioneers of viticulture in Groesbeek have been chosen for organic vineyards and thus environmentally-friendly, flavorful wines. On the basis of soil research green manures were planted in preparation for the planting of the vines. An example of this is the "Evangelische Mischung", a seed mixture which includes buckwheat, crimson clover, Alexander clover, sunflowers and Phacelia. This blend of herbs and plants not only provides a wonderful, colorful spectacle, but it also ensures fertilization of the soil and protects against diseases. The vines are planted on gently sloping south facing slopes. The new hybrid varieties, which are particularly suited for the Dutch climate, combined with the moraine soil and the passion of the winemakers, offer Groesbeek and its region the opportunity to develop this village into an exciting wine village everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime.

Traditions

In 2001 the first vines were planted on Wijnhoeve De Colonjes, a successful enterprise as their Groesbeek wine frequently comes out on top during wine testings. Now five other farmers have followed suit and the area of vines has grown substantially. With 20 hectares of vineyards Groesbeek is the largest wine village of the Netherlands.

Although there has been said that the Romans could have introduced viticulture into this region, it´s more likely that they drank wine here rather than produced it.

During the year there are several wine - and various other events; the absolute highlight -the Nederlandse Wijnfeesten (National Wine Festival)- takes place in the last weekend of September.

Wines

The wine village of Groesbeek ensures prize-winning wines pleasing to the palate. White as well as red and rosé wines from Groesbeek won several prizes at prestigious wine contests in Europe. Among others the Berliner Weintrophy awarded in 2010, the Pinotin 2009 from Wijngaard de Holdeurn, Médén 2008 from Wijngaard de Plack and the white wine Riesèl from Wijnhoeve de Colonjes with gold medals. In 2011 Wijnhoeve de Colonjes even received the award for best Regent Winemaker of 2010 in the category vineyards with less than 15 hectares at the International ´Grüne Woche in Berlin.

Local attractions

Its woods, hills, pastures and vineyards make Groesbeek a feast for the eye and the senses. The Wine and Cycle Route Groesbeek leads you past various vineyards and winegrowing farms around Groesbeek, which is proud to be called thé wine village of the Netherlands. You can admire the vineyards from your saddle but you can also get off and visit a vineyard or winegrowing farm. Some vineyards are freely accessible others have fixed opening hours.

History, art and culture buffs can indulge themselves in museums such as the Africa Museum, Museumpark Orientalis and the National Liberation museum 1944-1945. Groesbeek can be explored and experienced in many different ways-running, taking part in the famous International Four-Day Marches, by wine train or cycling along the excellent cycle paths. There are many ways to cross the border, for example by ´peddle car on the old railway to the German town of Kleve. Food, drinks and accommodation are provided in one of the many restaurants, hotels, holiday lets, apartments, farm campsites and group accommodations.

Wine village Groesbeek: the Romans have been here before, what about you?

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