Tulips, cheese windmills and… wine! door Judith Sciarone
Leaving the rolling hills of Limburg behind us, we headed towards a more distinctly Dutch landscape in the province of Noord-Brabant where dikes, polders and churches punctuate the flatlands. Marius van Stokkom is a pioneer of Dutch winemaking. With his years as head brewer at Oranjeboom, the famous Rotterdam beer brewery, behind him, he decided to make honest, safe, natural wines for himself following the big wine scandals of the 1970s when it was revealed that wine wasn’t only being made from grapes.
The move from beer to wine was not undertaken lightly with research begun in 1977. Having done his homework, Marius planted 40 grape varieties. He observed them closely, eventually narrowing them down to seven through trial and error. And so Domein de Linie was born (www.delinie.nl). Over the next 10 years, following increasing success at international tastings and contests, his hobby turned into his profession. On his single hectare, planted in 1988, Marius produces a red wine from Pinot Noir and a white wine that is a blend of seven Alsatian varietals. Everything is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve the wines’ fruit and freshness. Dutch airline KLM served his wines in their business class until the airline’s demand exceeded Marius’s production.