Our trip to South Limburg didn’t call for any specific plans other than simply to get away from the usual and find a modicum of relaxation someplace relatively out of the way. After a night at a 16th century country estate, the only other thing I asked for was to stop at a winery before heading home, having been surprised with the Dutch wines that I’d been seeing more and more in some of the restaurants we went to. Not thirty minutes after checking out – and a completely avoidable highway incident later – we were just outside Maastricht driving on a street that wouldn’t be out of place in rural England, on our way to Dutch wine country.
As an act of mental self-preservation I avoided expecting too much from Dutch wineries, limiting my research to just reviews and locations. After parking on a pebbled section off the main road, a quiet upward walk up the driveway to the unknown, made easy by the cool wind and strong sunshine, did heighten my expectations a bit.
As we walked into an inviting, empty courtyard lush with greens and right next to a dramatic overlook of rolling hills filled with rows of pruned grape vines, I quickly felt relief and vindication. Right before us on this glorious sunny day was proof we made the right choice.
It’s always nice to be surprised and our trip to Dutch wine country was surprisingly just that.
We took a chance that the winery was open (it was), that they had a wine shop on site (they did), and that we could get some bottles to take home (happily). That we could walk around and take some pictures was icing on the cake, and serendipitously introduced to a fifty-year old company that’s been able to do well in an industry that’s been around for ages.
The atmosphere reminded me a lot of Napa Valley and quite instantly felt nostalgic for our trip there four years ago, along with my mom when she was still around. The luxury of finding an entire winery open, available, and all to ourselves is something I can only count as lucky, and a wonderful end to our quick southern Dutch getaway.