In London, New York and Chicago they have been around for a while, but since 2017 we have also had an 'urban winery' in the Netherlands. Chateau Amsterdam is located in Noord, in a former machine factory, close to Oedipus Brewing and other creative companies and hip restaurants.
Just as at coffee roasters and beer brewers you enjoy your coffee or special beer between the roasters and brew kettles, at Chateau Amsterdam you can taste the wines made there between the tanks and wooden barrels. Chardonnay, Macabeo, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Spätburgunder are now aging there. But, you naturally ask, how is that possible? Where do these grapes grow? Not on the banks of the IJ! No, the grapes come from Italy, Spain, France and Germany. The winemaking team scours the wine regions in search of perfect fruit. Immediately after the harvest, the grapes are brought to Amsterdam in crates in refrigerated trucks. There, at Chateau Amsterdam, the wine is then made.
Between the tanks
'It's pretty hectic here then,' says Joni Sloesen, responsible for tours & tastings but, like everyone at Chateau, jack-of-all-trades and therefore also involved in making the wine. 'As soon as the grapes arrive, we select, de-stalk and bruise them and then fermentation can begin. For the red wines, we do not add yeast, but only use the grape's own yeasts. The aim is to work as naturally and sustainably as possible.' The people at Chateau Amsterdam are assisted by volunteers. Joni: 'With us, you can experience the whole process close to home. I learned an incredible amount about grapes and winemaking here in a short time because you experience everything, from selection to labelling. We want to tell the story behind the wine, share the love and passion and bring it to people. Because our guests do a tasting here among the barrels, the wine comes alive.'
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