Last fall, while we were visiting family in Belgium, my mother in law took us to her cousins vineyard. He had only been in the business for a few years and his business was still taking off, but it was beautiful. Vineyards are not typical of Belgium, but he made it work in a small town near Ypres. In fact his fields and surroundings had once been the center of intense battles between the Germans and Allied forces during WWI, which inspired him to name one of his sparkling wines Wipers ( the nickname British forces had given Ypres when they had trouble pronouncing it)
He is a passionate and hard working man who built the Zilver Cruys vineyard up from nothing. While we were there, he told us about his projects to open a B&B, showed us all the work he was doing and had done and shared his hopes and dreams for the beautiful place.
Today, we learned that someone had gone in an destroyed many, if not all of his plants. Someone had gone in and sprayed them with herbicides, killing several years of hard work and causing around 50 000 euros in damage! What kind of person does this? He had told us a few stories about people trying to stop him from making the vineyard happen, causing him grief over the name wipers, over logos, over building his small business and as if that wasn’t enough, someone took it this much further. I am disgusted that somebody would want to crush someones hopes and dreams this badly, stomp over all their hard work! We are not talking about some huge vineyard here, this is a man who spent his autumn harvesting grapes by himself and occasionally with the help of friends.
I’m totally disgusted and I truly hope they find who did this, and I hope that he can somehow keep going with his dreams.