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Les Belges Histoires | Vanessa Wyckmans-Vaxelaire: The Château de Bioul vintage

Vanessa Wyckmans-Vaxelaire

People thought they were crazy when Vanessa and her husband Andy decided to leave their hectic city life to go plant vines and make wine in Wallonia. But, since their first two hectares of vines were planted in 2009 and the vintages that followed, the couple has proven that such a crazy project can lead to success and recognition. 

They planted their first vines in the heart of "Vignoulle", a place with a long history of wine production.
Spread around the château of Bioul, in the province of Namur (southern Belgium), the 11 hectares of vineyards lovingly tended by their winegrowers are bringing life back to the hillsides of the past. Today, the Domaine de Bioul produces white, rosé and red wines and even a Walloon sparkling wine! The appellation is now recognised and has been very successful with wine merchants, sommeliers and other wine lovers in Belgium and elsewhere...

Andy and Vanessa Wyckmans-Vaxelaire work in an environmentally friendly way. Biodynamics, permaculture and the choice of naturally disease-resistant grape varieties led to the estate receiving organic certification in 2020. This is great recognition for Vanessa, who considers her vines as living beings.  But the natural philosophy of the Château de Bioul wines is further amplified by the work of Mélanie Chéreau, their cellar master, who makes wine to music, as the waves and vibrations of classical music have a positive effect on fermentation.   

The Domaine de Bioul is also a château that offers other discoveries: taste, with its restaurant and its picnic baskets for taking along on a walk, and a museum with its interactive Made in Bioul tour. Vanessa Wyckmans-Vaxelaire also hopes to open a bed and breakfast. A new challenge that she should have no trouble achieving!


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