Netherlands: Wines from Ambt-Delden (PDO)

Netherlands: Wines from Ambt-Delden (PDO)

Producing unique regional wines in the Netherlands

Is there a wine ‘industry’ in the Netherlands? Yes, there is nowadays, and while it might be a small country that doesn’t produce large numbers of wine bottles, production is growing by the year. And so is the quality! There is also a growing number of registered PDO’s (Protected Designation of Origin). This registration system has been set up by the European Union to protect regional products. Ambt-Delden is one of them and received its PDO-status in 2019.

Logo Protected Designation of Origin

Ambt-Delden PDO

The province of Overijssel is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands and borders Germany. Located not far from Enschede which is the largest city in the province, is Delden, a small town in a municipality with the name ‘Hof van Twente’. That also happens to be the name of the main winery here: Wijngaard Hof van Twente.

Map of the Netherlands, indicating Twente region

The borders of this municipality changed over the years and so did the name. The former name used to be Ambt-Delden and the demarcated area of the PDO that follows the boundaries of the former municipality is named after it.

Soil-types and grape varieties 

It has been noticeably sunnier and warmer in recent years  throughout the Netherlands, but this part of the country is deep inland. As a result, the number of hours of sunshine is less than in other parts of the country. The diversity of the soil texture in this region is quite complex but the PDO applies only to the area with loamy fine sand, so called gleysol. The deeper layers contain calcareous sand. On top of that all is a fertile layer of humus that covers the soil in this area.

Johanniter, white grape variety at Dutch winery Wijngaard Hof van Twente

The modern grape varieties permitted in this PDO are Johanniter, Solaris and Souvignier Gris for the production of white wines and Regent and Pinotin for red wines. These modern grape varieties do well in the cooler Dutch climate because they need less hours of sunshine to fully ripen. Besides red and white, also rosé and sparkling wines are produced here.

Vineyard Wijngaard Hof van Twente

Red wines produced by Wijngaard Hof van Twente

Wijngaard Hof van Twente 

We visited Wijngaard Hof van Twente, the main winery in this PDO and also one of the larger wineries in The Netherlands, for the first time in 2016. Winemaker Roelof Visscher and his wife Ilse started planting the first vines in 2000 and now the vineyards cover around 6,5 hectares in three different plots. The winery is also a social enterprise and provides work for people with a distance to the labour market. You can visit the winery in the village of Bentelo daily from Monday through Saturday between 10am-5pm.

Vineyards of Wijngaard Hof van Twente

Twickel Estate

Well worth a visit is nearby Twickel Castle, located in the middle of Twickel Estate. The rich history of this estate goes back to the 14th century. It still is a private estate, covers 4,500 hectares and includes 150 farms. Hof te Dieren estate has also been linked to Twickel Estate since 1820. The 1,000 hectare heritage near the city of Arnhem happens also to be home to Domein Hof te Dieren, the largest walled vineyard in the Netherlands.

Twickel Castle in Delden

Author: Johan de Ligt | Picture credits: Tasty Tales

Updated: 30-11-2023