As far as beverages go, wine isn’t one you’d soon associate with Belgium. Beer has been brewed in the country for centuries and, for a long time, wine used to be the privilege of other nations. France, Italy and Spain are just a few of the classic wine-producing regions in Europe. But with climate change doing its thing, vineyards are spreading towards the North and Belgium counts no less than 802 hectares of vineyars these days, potentially turning into a wine hotspot.
Every September, for 19 years, the Association of Flemish Sommeliers has blind tasted and selceted the best wines in the country at “Meilleur Vin Belge” (Best Belgian Wines). From the 233 wines that entered the competition this year, 24 received gold medals, 26 silver and 19 bronze.
While the results were announced on September 20th, on the same day as the contest, one prize remained undisclosed until November 19th, when the wine that received the most points across all categories was revealed during the Horeca Expo, organised at Flanders Expo, in Ghent.
This year, it was the Réserve Brut 2018, from Domaine du Chant d’Eole, that received the title of Best Belgian Wine. Overall, the domain received three medals, two gold and one bronze, during the contest and its sparkling wine was chosen as the best Belgian wine this year.
- Médaille d’or (golden medal) for the Chant d’Eole Réserve 2018 – which also turned out to be the big winner of the all tournament.
- Médaille d’or (golden medal) for the Chant d’Eole Rosé.
- Médaille de bronze (bronze medal) for the Chant d’Eole Blanc de Blancs.
“This distinction is a true recognition of the energy and the devotion of all the time the domain’s team devotes, day after day, to the development of this exceptional sparkling wine. Year after year, the Domaine du Chant d’Eole has managed to obtain multiple prizes and special nominations, which underline the eagerness to make a product that will amaze. This new recognition confirms once again that the teams complete that mission with grace”, Hubert Ewbbank, CEO of Domaine du Chant d’Eole, said in a statement.
One of the striking characteristics of the domain is its location, to which the name Chant d’Eole is a subtle reference, as it means ‘singing of the wind’. The vineyards are located in Quévy, in Wallonia, at the feet of a series of windmills. More than just a gimmick, this allows for the warmer air to be blazed through the vineyards, thus postponing the frost and facilitating the cultivation of the grapes. The Domaine du Chant d’Eole is not only the best but also the biggest wine domain in Belgium, spanning over 42 hectares with 360,000 vines and producing approximatively 150,000 bottles a year.