A visionary in the Belgian wine world
In 2003, Philippe Grafé created his Domaine du Chenoy in Namur, which would become a household name in viticulture in French-speaking Belgium. He had been experimenting with growing hybrid vines. The king of the interspecific hybrids was born!
Philippe Grafé was pretty much born into wine, you could say. As an adolescent, he was already involved in his parents' family business, which sold wine in barrels in the cellars of the Namur citadel. He also took a wine course and gained broad practical experience. That is, until he tasted a hybrid wine in England in 2003 that he had never heard of before. His creativity exploded. Many internet searches, contacts with a well-known oenologist and vine grower, visits to wine-growing institutes in Germany and tastings at producers later, Chenoy gradually took shape. Philippe Grafé immediately realised that naturally crossed vines, also known as interspecific hybrids, were the future. Why? Because they combine three excellent qualities: they are more resistant to vineyard diseases, produce quality and are better able to cope with global warming. In 2018, he won the coveted title of Belgian Wine Personality of the Year, and in 2019, Chenoy was awarded the European organic label.
A surprising fact, however, is that those hybrids are usually of German origin. During World War II, the Germans imported them into their country from France, where they were created in the 1930s.