Ypres winemakers expect first harvest

Verzoeningskruis Zuidschote
The new wine domain is located near the remembrance cross for the victims of WWI's first gas attack.

Filip Decroix (42) and his wife Claudine Debaenst (39) are planting the first winery in Great Ypres, reports the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. In 2007 the new vintners bought an old farm along the Diksmuidseweg in Boezinge, right on the frontline of the First World War, near Steenstraete. The first gas attack in history happened here in 1915. The name of the new vineyard, Silver Cruys, is derived from the silver reconciliation cross on to the former battlefield. Currently about ten thousand vines are being planted. This year, the couple expects a first limited harvest of Chardonnay grapes. Also Pinot Gris and the  German grape Bachus are being planted. In 2013 the couple hopes to make their first sparkling wine. They expect a total production of 12,000 bottles. Furthermore, they will open a bed and breakfast in the old farm. Decroix was a trainee at winery Monteberg, while his wife is currently in her last days of training in the Entre deux Monts vineyard, near the Rodeberg in Westouter. Filip Decroix is also active in politics. He is political secretary of the Flemish right wing party Lijst De Dedecker (LDD) for Ypres. In the last election he was a candidate for the Belgian Senate on the list of LDD and received 5.150 votes.