Belgium already had a wine industry about a hundred years or so ago. After a long period of neglect Belgium has seen a significant re-emergence of wine-making in recent years. A wine culture has re-established a place of honor once more in a nation of beer drinkers. Only the cultivation of grapes in the open air is dealt with in this book, not the growing of grapes under glass.
The Belgians have succeeded in gaining their own appellation d’origine contrôlée (AC) for Hageland, which is an area within the triangle formed by Louvain-Diest-Tienen in the Belgian province of Brabant. Vines were being cultivated here in the twelfth century, and possibly earlier. The area flourished in its heydays during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and there was still an active trade with neighboring Flanders and Holland in the sixteenth century.