Four Valke Vleug wine bottles in a carton.
Courtesy Valke Vleug

Vincent Van Duysen on the Complex Character of Winery Valke Vleug’s First Vintages

The Belgian winery, designed by the architect, hopes to raise the profile of cool climate wines.
By Kathryn O’Shea-Evans
March 27, 2021
2 minute read

Puurs, Belgium, isn’t exactly known as an oenophile mecca—yet. That may change now that Valke Vleug, a year-old boutique winery created by former real estate developer Jan Van Lancker and Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen, who designed the wood-and-concrete property in the vein of a Flemish farmhouse, has released its first vintages, both from 2019. There’s a sharp, slightly sour Pinot Noir, and a Pinot Auxerrois, a crisp white that’s redolent of peaches. Van Duysen, a self-described wine lover, is partial to the latter. “It has an intense nose of citrus and spring blossom,” he says. “Plus, it’s aged in an acacia barrel, giving the wine increased spiciness and length.” Both offerings sold out after debuting in January, demonstrating a demand for wine that derives its flavor from the chilly, often cloudy region’s terroir. (Those hoping to nab one of the estate’s 2020 vintages can sign up for its newsletter, which will announce the wines’ launch date soon.)

All of Valke Vleug’s vinos, along with those from other producers, are sold exclusively by Vinetiq, a wine company and distributor that runs the Puurs establishment and specializes in cool-climate wines. Vinetiq aims to raise the profile of the variety—distinguished by a lighter body, lower alcohol content, tart notes for whites, and peppery notes for reds—through its offerings and by organizing on-site tasting experiences for private and business clients at Valke Vleug, once it’s safe to hold them. Creating a connection between Valke Vleug’s up-and-coming wines and the public was a driving force behind the stark, quietly edgy appearance Van Duysen developed for the winery, where flexible spaces for events, such as a forthcoming chef’s table with Filip De Pauw of the local restaurant Jerom, slated for June, were built with community and hospitality in mind. The property, Van Duysen says, reflects the complex character of Valke Vleug’s products: “These are unique Belgian wines with an unparalleled eye for detail.”