“This is mostly because the older generation can’t find anyone to replace them,” says Francis Charlier of Lejeune. The wholesaler in Sint-Katelijne-Waver offers a wide assortment, and the grapes form an integral part. “Also, the market is overrun with grapes from foreign countries.”
“The heydays were in the sixties and seventies. After 1980, there was a steady decline we feel to this day. Still, it’s a solid item and we keep selling to regular customers. The top grapes are coming directly from the growers, they are as fresh as they get.”
Belgium knows several varieties, but the undisputed champion is the Leopold III, the Ferrari under the grapes. The price of the Leopold never drops below 18 Euro. Its cardinal months are September and October.
In spite of the industry’s recession, Charlier thinks the sector will survive. “It is still a product our country is known for. The taste is unequalled.”
Lejeune will open its doors to the public on 27 and 28 October. Visitors are welcome in Sint-Katelijne-Waver to see the famed grapes for themselves. Visiting hours are from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
For more information:
Strijbroek 3 - magazijn 22/26
2860 Sint Katelijne Waver
T. + 32 (0)15 31 69 31
F. 32 (0)15 31 40 49