Witte Kapittel-Nobelwit-Adelblank

Edelrood & Chapittel
 


Contents

Aan het Kapittel
Vineyard and Estate : 'Ten Kapittelberg'
How it began
Situation
The soil
Wine making
Kapittelberg - farmhouse
Visits to the "Kapittel" farmhouse

  

'Aen het Kapittel'

(15th and 16th century wine supplier to abbeys and notables)

A fine mixture of the best grape vines : Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Optima, Sieger, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer , Ortega and Chardonnay for white  and Frühburgunder, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder for red.. 

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Vineyard and Estate : 'Ten Kapittelberg' (berg=hill,mountain)

The hilly area between Diest and Aarschot is not only the historical border between 'the land of Aerschot' and the 'marquisette of Westerloo', but it's also the geographical border between the two regions 'Kempen' and 'Hageland'.
Once the Flemish vineyard belt was found on the southern slopes of this hill.
It is here that 'The Kapittelberg'-estate in Herselt is located. The wine estate being only 6 kilometres away from Averbode-abbey and 7 kms from Tongerlo-abbey, supplied church wines to these abbeys and important noblemen. The name of the estate itself suggests the bond with the two abbeys.
The 'Kapittelberg' (32 meters high) is protected by a forest in the north and in the west. The southern slopes are covered with 14000 vines. They are situated in a green valley where nature is pure and scenery is quiet and peaceful…
this southern 'Kempian' scene has nearly changed in 300 years.

 

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How it began

Among others it was the late Dr. Weyns, conservator and co-founder of the open-air museum of Bokrijk (located in the region Limburg, eastern parts of Belgium) who encouraged Mr Karel Willekens to rebuild the Kapittelfarm based on a model of a Norbertin monk's farm. It was the Norberton monks who were the first to exploit the poor Kempian moors. The farmhouse was 3-winged and had a separate barn.
The first plants of the Pinot Noir-grape were bought in Vosne-Romanée (Bourgogne) in 1964.
In 1981 the vineyard was extended with seven more varieties and to a surface of 2 hectares. In 1987 two more ha of vineyard were planted.
One could write a book on the many misfortunes, the hard labour and long working-hours, but this was nothing compared with the hard labour of the many generations of poor farmers who had to make a living on the very infertile 'Kempian' soil.
 

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The vineyard enjoys a real microclimate due to its natural favourable location.
When the cold wind blows in the valley, the southern slopes, protected by the forest, have a temperature, which are always a few degrees higher than in the valley.
This is important in spring (April & May) when frost may destroy the early buds. A few degrees more or less can make all the difference as far as the surviving of young buds is concerned. In the harvest-period
(mid September-half October) a few more degrees can increase the sugar contents of the grape juice. As a forest belt protects the cold compass points (northeast), warmth can be kept longer and used in full.

 
    

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The soil

The sandy top layer on the hill has got more benefits besides the advantages of gaining warmth. Vines grow vertically and the poor soil prevents the roots from growing horizontally. So plants suffer less in dry periods and they rely on the soil. In the deeper layers they find lime, which is necessary for growing.

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Wine making

The wine making techniques we apply are modelled on Cape (South Africa) procedures. We build double bows and the plants are bent at a height of 70cms in two opposite bows.
Insufficient sunshine is a problem in our region, especially for the Pinot Noir, which almost never gets to full maturity. That's why other grapes are used, among other German, Luxemburger and Alsacian grapes, as they are more adapted to our climate.
The grape species grown here are : Müller-Thurgau, Optima, Siegerrebe, Ortega, Silvaner, Pinot Blanc, Traminer, Pinot Noir, Dornfelder, Chardonnay…
Harvest period is from end September until beginning November. The white wine is light and fruity and made according to French winemaking procedures.
As there is no rest-sugar it can be enjoyed by diabetics and the low alcohol contents (max. 11% vol.) enables the full fruity flavour of this "Kempian" wine to be appreciated by everyone making it the most popular product in the region.

 

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Kapittelberg - farmhouse

During World War I the farmhouse was burnt down and the owner, farmer Louis Bruyninckx (nicknamed 'De Witte Kapittel') was executed.
The house was reconstructed in 1963, the vineyard rebuilt and the first noble wine got the name of the last inhabitant of the Kapittel farmhouse.

 

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Visits to the "Kapittel" farmhouse

The 15 th century barn is opened daily from 1st May to beginning October from 14.00 onwards.
You can enjoy our "
Kempian Witte Kapittel" - "Nobelwit" - "Adelblank" and our Sparkling : "Chapittel" in white beside our  "Edelrood "

in red on oak !


From the 1st of October  season is closed.

Everybody is welcome on our estate.

Groups of about 15 people are kindly requested to make a reservation for a guided vineyard and cellar tour.