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Wine farm De Kleine Schorre in Zeeland: irresistibly delicious wine

by Elisa Flitter Fever
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Wine farm De Kleine Schorre in Dreischor, Zeeland makes the best white wine in The Netherlands. So, said that. Well, that’s what they have worked hard for over the last 21 years. Still great, when it works out so bizarrely well. With mostly classic grape varieties, in The Netherlands, wow! I don’t think that is a surprise for the connoisseurs, that De Kleine Schorre is so well received. But a part of wine-loving Netherlands and Belgium still does not know De Kleine Schorre. Time to get acquainted with the pearl of Zeeland.

My loyal readers already know that good quality wine is made in the Netherlands. But hello, this is world-class wine… from Zeeland! Very nice to meet you.

Cheers to the wine of De Kleine Schorre
Cheers to the irresistibly delicious wine of wine farm De Kleine Schorre

Wine farm De Kleine Schorre

It is not without reason that De Kleine Schorre has been high on my wish list to visit for a while. After all, you don’t just get Dutch airline KLM as a customer. And that is also how, years ago, during a flight to Asia in business class, I was introduced to white wine from De Kleine Schorre for the first time. On our visit to the vineyard earlier this month we were certainly not disappointed. It was more than worth the 2 hour drive from Alkmaar to this winery!

With 14 hectares, wine farm De Kleine Schorre is one of the largest vineyards in The Netherlands, located on the edge of the so-called ‘ring village’ Dreischor. There is also a shop, camping site and restaurant. Winegrower Johan van de Velde gives us an extensive tour of the vineyard, the winery, wine storage, etc. We even get to see the newest ‘toy’, the harvester. “It costs a few tons, but then you have something. Those things are so precise and so fast these days, no harvest crew can compete with that.” Johan tells proudly (and he’s rightly so) about his new acquisition.

In conversation with owner and winegrower Johan van de Velde De Kleine Schorre
In conversation with owner and winegrower Johan van de Velde De Kleine Schorre

From agricultural company to wine company

The passionate Johan is a 4th generation farmer in the family. He is the same age as me and has built up a thriving business with his girlfriend. At the time, it was neighbor Frits who persuaded his father over a glass of gin to investigate a switch to wine grapes. Once the decision was made, son Johan was apprenticed to the renowned Luxembourg wine company Cep d’Or in Hëttermillen on the banks of the Moselle. He learned the trade there in three years.

The Brussels sprouts, potatoes and onions were exchanged for grape plants. In 2001 wine farm De Kleine Schorre started with 6 hectares. Since then, some 63,000 vines have gone into the ground on the Zuiddijk (and the Nieuwe Weg). Mostly classic, traditional varieties, but sometimes also a new variety. Rivaner, Auxerrois, Sauvignon Gris, Cabernet Blanc. The new May 2022 plantings include Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. There is also a PDO application pending.

The protected designation of origin (abbreviated: PDO) is a European regulation that protects regional products against counterfeiting.

The grapes are already looking good at De Kleine Schorre at the beginning of August
The grapes are already looking good at the beginning of August

Wine, wine, wine

Each year, the family business at wine farm De Kleine Schorre produces and sells approximately 70 to 80 thousand bottles of wine. 40 to 50% of this is sold at the farm itself. The shop of De Kleine Schorre offers not only wine, but also more than 300 regional products, such as delicacies and cute gifts. The wines of De Kleine Schorre have the brand name Schouwen-D®uivenland. Schouwen-Duiveland is the name of the island where the wine farm is located. In Dutch, the word druiven means grapes.

In total, the wine farm De Kleine Schorre shop has 20 different wines for sale, including a number of wines from the Luxembourg vineyard with which they collaborate. The farm shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Rather order wine from your lazy chair and have it delivered at home? That is also possible. (Please contact the wine farm for the possibility and costs of shipping to destinations outside The Netherlands.)

Johan and his girlfriend Paula, together with a number of permanent employees and seasonal workers, are responsible for grape cultivation, wine production, sales and marketing of the wines, etc. Volunteers do the pre-selection, so anyone who wants to, can sign up for it. Exactly when the harvest will take place will be announced at the last minute, as it depends a lot on the circumstances. Usually sometime in September, sometimes October. Also varies by grape variety.

Wine shop of De Kleine Schorre
Wine shop of De Kleine Schorre

Wine tasting at De Kleine Schorre

After the extensive tour, it was time to taste the wines of De Kleine Schorre. The KLM flight where I tasted their wine was many years ago, so I was very curious. We started with a glass of bubbly wine, the Schouwen-D®uivenland Brut de Zélande. Wow! Even my boyfriend liked it… Well that says something (normally he does not drink/like white wine). Truly a fantastic sparkling wine, bottled at the befriended wine company in Luxembourg.

After the sparkling wine, five more white wines followed, plus a liqueur. We taste the Schouwen-D®uivenland Rivaner, Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and the Barrique+… All fantastic wines, which in my opinion can measure themselves at world level. I found it difficult to pick a favorite, because they all have their own character, flavorful and smooth (not sour). “Technically composed” wrote the FD recently and I fully agree. But for me it’s more than that (not just technically in order).

Amazing, this makes me so happy! That was the first thing that came to mind when I tasted the wines of De Kleine Schorre. Subtle, refined, sophisticated. These are the quality wines of The Netherlands, dear ladies and gentlemen.

The wine tasting at Wijnhoeve De Kleine Schorre is a party
The wine tasting at wine farm De Kleine Schorre is a party

Barrique+

For me personally, the Schouwen-D®uivenland Barrique+ is the true winner of De Kleine Schorre. All good and tasty, but this one stands out for me. Unique in the Netherlands, as far as I know. After 9 months in oak barrels, this rich white wine gets just that little bit more character, which makes it extra special, delicious! It is a cuvée of Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.

This barrique from De Kleine Schorre reminded me of the barrique of the renowned Saint Clair Family Estate in Blenheim, the wine village in the Marlborough region on the South Island of New Zealand. Crazy!

The wines of De Kleine Schorre go well with seafood from Zeeland. That was exactly what Johan intended. Unfortunately not an option with my shellfish allergy, but perhaps good to know for the enthusiast.

I would have loved to have taken all of these home - De Kleine Schorre Barrique
I would have loved to have brought all of these home – the Barrique+

Visit wine farm De Kleine Schorre

The large black barn on the wine farm dates from 1735. It has been transformed into a restaurant/tasting room. Celebrations and parties can also take place there (capacity approx. 200 people). The catering area has been run since 2017 by another couple, the chef Guus and his girlfriend Sitare. Great to continue eating after a tasting! Tasting room De Kleine Schorre is open April 1 to November 1, Tuesday and Wednesday from 09:00 to 18:00, Thursday to Sunday until 20:00. Closed Monday to Wednesday in winter.

Vineyard dinners are also organized in the vineyard on certain dates during the summer. For Corona, a large wine festival was also held on the De Kleine Schorre site every year. Thousands of people came from all over the country. It is by no means certain whether this annual wine festival will ever return.

The barn from 1735 has been transformed into a restaurant with terrace
The barn from 1735 has been transformed into a restaurant with terrace

Tour

A guided tour is given every Wednesday from mid-May to mid-September at 3:00 PM. A tour of De Kleine Schorre is possible from € 6.75 p.p., including a sample glass. This will be (mainly) in Dutch though. For groups of 10 people or more, a separate appointment can be made for a guided tour.

  • Wine farm De Klein Schorre
  • Zuiddijk 4 in Dreischor
  • Phone: +31111-401550 or +31111-202055 for the tasting room
  • info@dekleineschorre.nl

Two charging points for electric cars have been realized in the parking lot of wine farm De Kleine Schorre. Ideal!

Loading wine electric in front of the storage shed of wine farm De Kleine Schorre Schouwen-Duiveland
Loading wine electric in front of the storage shed of the wine farm
The facade of the white farm shines in the morning sun De Kleine Schorre Dreischor
The facade of the white farm shines in the morning sun

Quality wines

The quality of De Kleine Schorre’s wines is also reflected in the pricing. While most Dutch wine bottles start directly at the farmer around 10 euros per bottle, you will not make it at De Kleine Schorre. The Schouwen-D®uivenland Rivaner 2021 starts at € 15.95 per bottle.

And my favorite, the Schouwen-D®uivenland Barrique+ 2020 is also the most expensive ‘flat’ wine at € 29.95 per bottle. For the Brut de Zélande you pay a few euros extra. But trust me, it’s all worth it. All wines from De Kleine Schorre have a screw cap, which is handy and sustainable. And a matching classic label on the bottle. Also nice to give as a gift!

Stay over

After tasting all those delicious wines, you better not get out on the road anymore. Next to the vineyard is a small-scale campsite with 23 free pitches of 165 m² with electricity (16 Amp.), water and sewer connection. The plan is to realize private sanitary facilities for each camping site. The De Kleine Schorre campsite in Dreischor has been nominated by the ANWB (Dutch version of AAA) as Best Small Campsite of 2023.

Since 1 May 2022, there have been placed three beautiful wooden wine barrels on the campsite, where you can stay at the vineyard. Each barrel offers space for a maximum of 3 people and a view of the vineyard. Wine barrel Pinot Gris has a sauna and barrel Rivaner has a hot tub. Reserve in time, minimum stay 2 nights.

Are the wine barrels fully booked and do you not have a caravan, tent or camper? Then B&B Slotstraat might be a nice alternative for you. Less than a 10-minute walk from De Kleine Schorre, this cozy B&B is located in the middle of the authentic village center of Dreischor. Very nice owners and good breakfast.

Sauna with a view over the vineyard Camping De Kleine Schorre Dreischor Zeeland
This sauna offers a view over the vineyard
Wine barrel Rivaner with hot tub at camping De Kleine Schorre Dreischor
Wine barrel Rivaner with hot tub

Wine Weekend Getaway

Tip: make it – just like we did – a nice Wine Weekend Getaway out of it! Combine a visit to wine farm De Kleine Schorre with all the beauty that the Schouwen-Duiveland island has to offer. I hadn’t been to the province of Zeeland for about twenty years (shame, shame). So about time to explore it further. Now that we’re there anyway… I will write a separate article on what to to on Schouwen-Duiveland.

Many hours of sunshine, salty air, knowledge of and passion for the winegrower’s profession are apparently the right ingredients to make high-quality, tasty wines from classic varieties in the Netherlands. So it is possible… at least in Dreischor! Wine farm De Kleine Schorre, Johan, it was a real pleasure to visit you. Thank you very much and see you next time! I’m going to enjoy those delicous wines at home… Cheers!

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On this website you will find more articles on Dutch vineyards, of which a part is translated to English, such as:

  1. Red wine therapy at Thermae 2000 in South Limburg
  2. Dutch vineyards you should put on your bucket list
  3. South Limburg: discover the remarkable vineyards and wineries in 1-3 days

For an overview of the vineyards in The Netherlands, view this map.

The stainless steel barrels in the winery
The stainless steel barrels in the winery
Beautiful picture of Johan in the vineyard on the wall of the tasting room
Nice picture of Johan in the vineyard by www.picture-bar.com

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Last Updated on 08/31/2022 by Elisa Flitter Fever

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