Certified WSET Educator at WineWise Belgium
Teaching and organising WSET classes is my main preoccupation. Apart from these classes I do give some masterclasses & keep-up sessions on various issues related to wine.
VDP: Where and how did you get the wine bug?
Piet Vannieuwenhuyse: Twenty-five years ago during a holiday trip in Western Australia. I got the opportunity to meet young winemakers who shared their passion for viticulture and winemaking. Their enthusiasm and open-minded attitude encouraged me to deepen into wine study.
VDP: Your first encounter with German wines?
Piet Vannieuwenhuyse: As former a restaurant manager we did organise tasting dinners. One of my wine suppliers proposed to do something unique : Riesling and Oysters with some top producers: Egon Müller, Rheinhard Löwenstein (Heymann-Lôwenstein) and Roman Niewodniczanski (Van Volxem). Needless to say we had an unforgettable tasting with these three personalities together.
VDP: What is your favourite story to tell about German/VDP.wine – did you have highly emotional experience with our wines / producers?
Piet Vannieuwenhuyse: Shortly after that unique tasting dinner our restaurant staff couldn’t wait to visit the Mosel. We planned a visit in the (hot) summer of 2003 to visit Heymann-Löwenstein. The ‘sound of slate’ in the cellar of Rheinhard is forever engraved in my memory.
VDP: How many bottles of German wine/VDP.wines do you have in your cellar?
Piet Vannieuwenhuyse: Since many years Riesling VDP wines forms the core of my German wine cellar. But the Spätburgunder part is growing very fast. Luckily in Belgium we have an importer(s) of German wines with an amazing cellar of older and available wines.
VDP: What is your favourite vineyard in Germany – and why?
Piet Vannieuwenhuyse: To choose one is doing injustice to many others. The diversity of so many top vineyards is what Germany as a wine producing country attracts me the most. The new ‘VDP Grosse Lage Book’ will be my bible for the next visits to the German vineyards.
VDP: If it comes to German grape varieties, what is your favourite?
Piet Vannieuwenhuyse: Riesling, Spätburgunder or other? Riesling for the obvious reasons : complexity, diversity, aging potential….but the progress and evolution of the Spätburgunder wines is just as much exciting to follow.