Wine production: Could Belgium become the new Bordeaux?

Wine production: Could Belgium become the new Bordeaux?
Aerial drone picture shows the Chant d'Eole wine domain, in Quevy-le-Grand. BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND

Belgian wine producers are set for a great year. Although the harvest might not be huge, the wine itself will be excellent, reported Gazet van Antwerpen.

The grape harvest is expected to take place around 10 September. Experts do not expect the drought and heat waves to have been a significant blow to Belgian wine production, though the exceptional summer has had both positive and negative consequences.

Some of the grapes may have been damaged by the sun with the result that this year's harvest will be 10% lower than average.

Conditions for producing wine

On the other hand, the remaining grapes will be of particularly high quality, thanks to the high amount of sun which lowers the water content in the grapes and makes them more sugary, which in turn aids the fermentation process key to winemaking.

The sun also creates grape skin, which is key for the aroma of the wine. Another condition for an excellent harvest is that the rains come quickly and don't last too long.

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Climate heating has made wine producers in southern Europe look for grape varieties that are more resistant to extreme heat and drought, thereby potentially creating wines with a higher content of alcohol. In Belgium, conditions are increasingly optimal for wine production, making the country look more and more like Bordeaux.

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