If you were to think of sprawling vineyards, the south of France would probably instantly come to mind. But did you know that Maastricht has countless wineries and vineyards? Yes, really! The city also owes its eternal joie de vivre to them. Apart from the fact that the view is magnificent and the wine tastes great, the land where the vines grow is extra special on account of the marl soil. That’s what’s unique about wine from South Limburg. So unique, in fact, that the region bears the BOB Mergelland geographical indication.
Although good wine requires no praise, a renowned quality label is always special. BOB Mergelland in South Limburg is an official wine region that has been approved by the European Union and consists of approximately 70 hectares of vineyards. Approved wines from selected grape varieties (where the vineyards are located on loess soil, with marl underneath) may come from this part of South Limburg. Apostelhoeve and Hoeve Nekum, for example, are on the list. Interested in finding out more? Read on here.
At 20 hectares, Apostelhoeve can lay claim to being the largest in the Netherlands. Apostelhoeve wine estate has been around since 1970, which makes it the oldest wine company in the Netherlands. Its fine wines have made it a household name at home and abroad! A wonderful family business perched atop Louwberg hill, which immediately provides you with a stunning view of the Château Neercanne restaurant, Sint Pietersberg and the Jekerdal valley. Guided tours, tastings... You can experience it all here.
Susserweg 201 | Jekerdal
If you look down into the Jekerdal valley from Apostelhoeve wine estate, another winery will immediately catch your eye. Hoeve Nekum lies proudly between Kanne in Belgium and the Sint Pietersberg/Jekerdal neighbourhood. Indeed, were you to be strolling around here on a sunny day, you’d be easily fooled into thinking you were in the South of France. The magnificent water mill, responsible for the furious flow of the Jeker river, plays no small part in this. You’d be hard pressed to believe that Hoeve Nekum is actually the second-oldest winemaker in the Netherlands. Another fun fact: Hoeve Nekum vineyard was the proud supplier of wine to the wedding of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima on 2 February 2002. Fancy a royal toast? If so, be sure to visit for a tasting or guided tour!
Nekummerweg 31 | Jekerdal
You’re in for a treat on your walk if you decide to climb Sint Pietersberg from a completely different angle (coming from the Meuse/ENCI quarry). That’s because the former Slavante casino, now transformed into a brasserie/event venue, will be there to meet you upon reaching the summit. Could it get any better? Sure it can! After all, it also has an impressive vineyard bearing the same name. At Slavante vineyard, you can also book wine tastings and guided tours, You can even combine your visit with a game of pétanque. Then again, you are in the South of France ;)!
Slavante 1 | Sint Pietersberg
Thiessen Wijnkoopers wine store
If you’ve spent the day shopping in Maastricht, chances are you’ve walked right past it. Slap bang in the middle of Maastricht, you’ll find Thiessen Wijnkoopers wine store. They’re not just famous for their starring role in the TV series Flikken Maastricht (a hugely popular programme here in Maastricht). The store is a key part of Maastricht’s identity, with centuries of history, which the staff will only be delighted to tell you about. Looking in, you’d scarcely believe that the building is 1200 m2, or that you could almost get lost in the original vaulted cellars under the shop. What also makes this spot so special is the vineyard they keep tucked away in the heart of the city centre. And yes, visitors are most welcome!
Grote Gracht 18 | Binnenstad