The Second Oldest Dutch Winery

Hoeve Nekum first mention in records was in 1304, and includes a description of the county boundary Vroenhoven. The farm is mentioned here under the name “Hoeff of Nyedekom” , in old Dutch-  farm down the valley. We’re talking about the second oldest winery in The Netherlands, located in Jekerdal Maastricht (Jeker Valley, down south in Limbourg, almost in Belgium).

This can mainly be attributed to the favorable microclimate. The weather in Jekerdal is the warmest and driest of South Limburg. The Soil consists of a thin layer of loess on a base of gravel and marl. The calcareous soil gives the wines a natural tendency to develop carbon dioxide bubbles. The final result is typically fresh and fruity wines character, and some mineral taste.

The grapes are hand picked with a careful selection, only the best are used. The white grapes are transported to the winery in stainless steel tanks, where a modern computer controlled pneumatic gently press it all. No need to say, it also goes under temperature-controlled fermentation in large stainless steel vats. Matured six months in barrels the wines can age, says the producer.

Four grapes varieties are planted, Rivaner, Riesling, Auxerrois and Pinot Noir. The terroir is best showed with Riesling wines, in my short experience, I’d dare say the 1999 vintage.

  • Rivaner is a cross between Riesling and Chasselas, is known in Germany as Muller Thurgau.  It matures relatively early and give it’s wines a gentle floral scented with a delicate nutmeg (muskaat) bouquet. Ideal as an aperitif.
  • Riesling was originated in the Rhine, rediscovered late in the Middle Ages, ripes very slowly and late havest (Oct-Nov). It provides fresh fruity wines with a little residual sweetness, perfect for seafood, and petrol notes. Riesling wine can age well for long time in bottle.
  • Auxerrois is an ancient variety probably from Lorraine, named after Auxerrois region (Auxerre, Chablis), is very suitable for Limbourg soil and climate.  It gives nice full aromatic wines, excellent with asparagus.
  • Pinot Noir, this very famous grape originated in Burgundy, is now cultivated in many wine regions. The quality of the harvest here is usually high. The wine is matured in wooden casks. It can best be compared to a red wine from the Ahr valley and Alsace. This wine goes well with poultry (volaille) such as pheasant (Faisan).

The historic farmhouse dates from around 1600, including a couple of buildings in the courtyard and the monumental gateway to the farm. It has an impressive Medieval Castel style.  All the ancient buildings were destroyed during war, but its foundations.

Hoeve Nekum Winery is in the Bollen Family since 1934. Today, the 60 ha, is run by Math Bollen and Elsa. The first vineyards were planted in 1988 with it’s first havest two years latter. They have a friendly taste room to welcome the visitors, since 1994.

In 2003, Hoeve Nekum was the Best Winery of Limbourg.

I just started to discovery the wines of The Netherlands with no intentions of stop. If you want to contribute anyhow with my learning process, feel free to drop a line.

doe doe!

L.

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