One of my favourite places to visit in Europe is Belgium. The Belgians know how to appreciate the finer things in life. They eat some of the best food, drink the most delicious wines and they certainly know about keeping track with the latest developments in the design world. I absolutely love the modern simplistic (and sometimes daring) look of the Belgian interior. In Kruibeke, a town close to Antwerp our wines get represented by a lovely, young, ambitious sommelier, Stefaan - his wife, Sally and their two daughters. The girls remind me of my childhood when my sister, Inke and I would fiddle around in the wine tasting room 'serving' customers and being the on-the-spot assistance to mom and dad.
A few weeks ago after exhibiting our wines at the annual Prowein exhibition in Germany, I had the privilege of attending Kaas & Wijn Stefaan`s Spring Tasting in Kruibeke, where I was spoiled by their hospitality, good food, cheese and wine.
Stefaan grew up in a family that appreciates good wine and from childhood Stefaan had the opportunity to sample the best French wines and cheeses. After completing his studies at the Hotel School Koksijde, he worked as a sommelier in Belgium. In 2005 he was voted "First Sommelier of Belgium" and in 2006, he won the contest "Best Sommelier of Belgium". In 2010, Stefaan was the runner-up in the World Championships for Sommeliers of South African wines (WOSA - Sommelier World Cup). It was also at around this time that Stefaan fell in love with South African wines and ever since then he has been dealing with our wines in a more business-like fashion.
Wife Sally is Stefaan`s right hand. She helps wherever, whenever needed and also recently received her Master in Cheese.
Down the road from Kaas & Wijn Stefaan, you will find the Camerlinck family restaurant, The Ceder. The Ceder was established by Stefaan`s parents and today his sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Frederick Schaffrath - Camerlinck run the family restaurant and B&B. Be sure to book a table ahead of time as bookings need to be made at least two months in advance for a weekend dinner. A culinary experience not to be missed!