The best-known of these vineyards are understandably those in the south on the delightful hills of Limburg such as Cadier and Keer, Cuyk, Guttecoven, Meijel, Mesch-Eijden, Oirsbeek, Schin op Geul, Ubachsberg, Velden, Venlo, Vijlen, Wahlwiller, and Wittem.
There are also The Netherlands vineyards elsewhere such as the province of Brabant at Bavel, Eindhoven, Etten-Leur, Lexmond, Luyksgestel, Made, Nederweert, Someren, and Veldhoven), province of Drenthe at Donderen, Flevoland near Lelystad, province of Gelderland at Angeren, Arnhem, Bameveld, Beesd, Ermelo, and Wageningen), province of North Holland near Amsterdam, Middenbeemster, province of South Holland at Goudriaan, Vlaardingen, Voorschoten, and Zuidland, province of Overijssel at Deventer, Kampen, Markelo, Nijverdal, and Zwolle, province of Utrecht at Maarssen, and province of Zeeland at Nieuw Haamstede and ’s-Heer Arenskerke.
A wide variety of grape varieties has been tried and are still being tested. Some of these trials were doomed to failure from the start such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, while others may be considered dubious choices such as Muscat, Chardonnay, or Gewürztraminer. More logical choices for trials include Sauvignon, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, and Chasselas.
In addition to these known varieties new varieties such as Triomphe d’Alsace, Regent, Léon Millot, Seyval Blanc, and Phoenix are widely grown because they are more suited to the Dutch climate. These varieties are renowned for their productivity under the most difficult conditions. Better results in terms of quality are achieved with Kemer, Auxerrois, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Müller-Thurgau for white wines and Dornfelder, Zweigelt, Trollinger, Portugieser, and Pinot Noir/Spâtburgunder for red wines. This The Netherlands wines are made at each of these vineyards and from all of the varieties of grapes mentioned. Honesty requires me to admit that only a small proportion of this manages to rise above the quality of a German ‘Landwein’ - the equivalent of a country wine or vins de pays. Some of these The Netherlands wines are barely drinkable with the best will in the world. This is due to the newness of the vineyards and amateur nature of the wine-makers. The quality of the top domains however can be termed reasonable.
Since the yields are low due to both natural and human circumstances, the costs of production are somewhat high.
Dutch wines are worth discovering if only as curiosities. Certain recommended white wines made from grapes such as Müller-Thurgau, Auxerrois, and Riesling) are:
- Apostelhoeve, the Hulst family, Maastricht (Limburg)
- Hoeve Nekum, Bollen family, Maastricht (Limburg)
- Wijngaard De Goltenhof, Theo v.d. Linden, Venlo (Limburg)
- De Linie, Marius van Stokkum, Made (Brabant) .
Recommended red wines from grapes such as Regent and Pinot Noir are:
- Wijngaard Wageningse Berg, Jan Oude Voshaar, Wageningen (Gelderland), certified organic
- Domaine des Blaireaux, Dassen and Dullaart, Maastricht (Limburg)
- Château Forêt Verte, Groenewoud, Raams- donkveer (Brabant)
- Château Neercanne, Peter Harkema, Maastricht (Limburg).