The terrace of the elegant 18th-century chateau offers views over the formal French garden and fields filled with neat rows of vines.
This idyllic scene could be reminiscent of Bordeaux or the Cotes du Rhone … were it not for all the snow.
Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen is the biggest and best-known vineyard in Belgium. It is one of a growing number of wineries taking root in parts of northern Europe once considered too chilly to produce drinkable wine.
“We can compare this region with the Champagne region or Burgundy, or the Chablis,” said Belgian winemaker Joyce Kekko-van Rennes. “If you are in period of warming, we are in a fantastic place for winemaking.”
The extent to which global warming has encouraged the expansion of winemaking in northern lands better known for their beer is up for debate.