The 342 judges requisitioned by the organisers of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles awarded the 2019 International Revelation Sparkling wine to a Belgian producer, Domaine du Chant d’Éole in Quévy-le-Grand. Its 2014 Prestige Brut Blanc de Blancs was acclaimed among more than 720 sparkling wines from across the globe blind tasted by leading international experts. Estate director Hubert Ewbank commented: “For us it is an honour and a privilege. We put so much energy and passion into our work that to receive such recognition is incredible”. The award mirrors the quantum leap in quality of Belgian sparkling wines.
Since the Belgian estate’s award, media interest in the producer has been overwhelming with Belgian, French and German television crews travelling to the estate.
In fact, this style of wine is also becoming increasingly popular with customers. “We really want to stand out from the crowd. Our goal is not to aim for volume sales, but to secure an image for ourselves. You have to be a little crazy, because it takes 10 to 15 years to make any kind of profit. But when you recruit the help of specialists, you can achieve great things in Belgium!” Since the Belgian estate’s award, media interest in the producer has been overwhelming with Belgian, French and German television crews travelling to the estate. Every last bottle of the Prestige label has now been sold – proof, were it needed, that the award has been a real godsend for the estate. Fortunately, a prestige label from the 2018 harvest is already in the making.
Estate director Hubert Ewbank
Belgium, the new Eldorado of wine?
Sparkling wines from Wallonia often receive awards in international competitions, underscoring the quality of the wines. “There is also pride in seeing a Belgian wine secure such recognition. We are still in some ways the underdog of Champagne. Clients prefer the Champagne region, even though we have the same soil, have made significant investments in tanks and winemaking techniques, and are assisted by the top Champagne consultants”. In addition to the grand gold medals awarded to the Prestige label, the property also received two gold medals for its 2016 Blanc de Blancs and 2016 Brut rosé.
“For the image of Belgian wine, garnering such recognition is a real bonus!
It really gets us noticed on wine lists.”
Climate change is also creating weather conditions conducive to vine growing in Wallonia. “We have the right soil and with climate change over the past 45 years, we can see that we are headed in the right direction. We pulled out all the stops to make the finest wine and it really is a great source of pride! For the image of Belgian wine, garnering such recognition is a real bonus! This is important for us and other Walloon vineyards, because it really gets us noticed on wine lists”.
Brut Blanc de Blanc, 2014 Prestige label
Blanc de Blancs, 2014 traditional method
98% Chardonnay and 2% Pinot Blanc, Western Hainaut, South-West of Mons
Hand harvesting, thorough settling, alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures (18°).
Ageing on laths for at least 48 months. Limestone (85 %) and clay soils (15 %)
Tasting notes: Beautiful yellow-gold colour with fine, elegant bubbles
Mature but not to excess. Fine floral nose with notes of peach, sweet almonds and acacia honey on the finish. Fresh, invigorating attack with yellow peach aromas.
Drink as an aperitif, for cocktail parties and receptions.
Best serving temperature: 5° – 8°
Alcohol by volume: 12.5%
About the winery:
Domaine du Chant d’Eole’s adventure began in Quévy less than a decade ago, when Champagne winegrower Filip Remue, originally from Ninove, and Louis Ewbank de Wespin, a farmer from Henuyer who owns the current vineyard, partnered to farm nine hectares of vines on limestone sub-soils (the same as in Champagne) located South of Mons, between Harveng and Quévy.
Hubert Ewbank now manages the vineyard on a daily basis, while Filip Remue is tasked with maintenance and the winemaking process, with help from a team of technicians. More vines have since been planted: 2.5 hectares in 2017, 3.2 hectares in 2019 and 3.2 hectares are planned for 2020.