We write often about the fantastic food we’re lucky to enjoy here in Belgium, but we’ve been neglecting all of the great things there are to drink with our meals. So today we’re beginning a new series called CheeseWeb Drinks (Responsibly). We hope you enjoy it!
When you think of great Belgian beverages of course beer springs to mind, but Belgians are quietly producing some fantastic wines as well. With their Cuvée Seigneur Ruffus, Belgian winemaker, Domaine des Agaises, is producing a bubbly to rival Champagne.
Fans of the bubble will be familiar with Spanish Cava and Italian Prosecco, but few people consider Belgium as a wine producing country, and particularly not for sparkling wines. We were just as surprised as anyone when we were first introduced to Cuvée Ruffus two years ago. How good could Belgian bubbles actually be?
Actually, pretty darn good! So good in fact, the 100,000 bottles produced each year continue to sell out and Cuvée Seigneur Ruffus continually wins gold and silver medals at prestigious European wine competitions.
Although it can’t actually be called champagne (only sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France can have that designation), Cuvée Seigneur Ruffus is produced using the méthode traditionnelle, or traditional method; the same process as used to make sparkling wine in Champagne.
The CuvéeRuffus Blanc de Blanc makes up about 90% of Domaine des Agaises production. It is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes, with only 7 g/L of sugar, and aged for at least 12 months. It is light, elegant and refreshing and one of our favourite sparkling wines.
Domaine des Agaises has about 14 hectares of vines, primarily Chardonnay, but also Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The pinot grapes are used to produce Cuvée Seigneur Ruffus Rosé.
Cuvée Seigneur Ruffus Rosé is slightly sweeter than the white variety and it’s less fizzy. It would be perfect for sipping on a sunny terrace.
The domain also produces a very limited run of an eau-de-vie called Ratafia de Ruffus which can be served as an apéritif or a dessert wine as well as a Brut Sauvage. We were fortunate enough to sample to Brut Sauvage at a the recent Domaine open house. It is much fizzier than the regular sparkling white and is tangier on the tongue.
Chai des Agaises
Rue E. Lefèbure, 18
Do you have a favourite Belgian wine we should try? Let us know in the comments below and we’d be glad to give it a taste!
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