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My son is the neighbour of Paul Vleminckx, the owner of the Meerdael vineyard.
For my birthday I received some bottles of his sparkling wine, so I could taste and learn to appreciate it.
The wine is called "Chardonnay Meerdael" because only the wine from a certain area in France can be called 'champagne'. Connoisseurs says this wine has a very fine flavour and the quality is much better then many inexpensive champagnes. [www.chardonnaymeerdael.be/nl/]
I am especially interested in making documentary films. For that reason I asked Paul for permission to make a film about his vineyard and his way of making wine. He was very enthusiastic and he promised me all the facilities and help I needed.
Paul began growing vines as hobby. After staying in the champagne area of France he became a full-time wine producer.
The planting, cultivation and care of the plants is overseen by a French nurseryman.
The Meerdael vineyard is situated nearby Louvain, atbout 90 km from Ghent where I live and I followed all the stages of production for more than a year.
At the start of each different stage, Paul contacted me, so that I could film at the right moments: the blossom, the growth of the grapes, the harvest, the bottling and the last phase - labelling and inserting the cork.
I don't like films with sub-titles, because while you are reading you can miss some details in the pictures. But I promise that next time I will try to find a commentator who can speak English well.
I must say, I am very happy with the comments from the jury, who did understand my film and appreciated my way of film making.
Renaat Geeraert, April 2008