The Kingdom of Belgium (Dutch België, French Belgique) in Western Europe with its capital Brussels covers 30,688 km². It lies between the North Sea and the Ardennes and borders the Netherlands to the north, Germany and Luxembourg to the east and France to the south. The north of the country with the Flemings is Dutch-speaking, the south with the Walloons is French-speaking. Standard German and West Middle German dialects are widespread in East Belgium. Together with the neighbouring state of Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the Benelux countries are formed.
Viticulture in Belgium has a long tradition despite its minor economic importance. In the 9th century, under Emperor Charlemagne (742-814), wine was cultivated by monks in southern Belgium. There were vineyards along the Meuse (which was also an important transport route) around Antwerp, Brabant, Hainaut, Liège and Naumur. Even in the early Middle Ages, wines from Flanders (today the two provinces of East and West Flanders, the remaining part is in France) were highly valued and the centre of the northern European wine trade. In the 15th century, due to climatic changes associated with the Little Ice Age and competition from Burgundy, viticulture was abandoned.
The cultivation of table grapes is of great importance. In 1862, Felix Sohie established the cultivation of grapes under glass in Huldenberg. Today, there are thousands of greenhouses where such grapes as Alphonse Lavallée and Leopold III are grown. The wine production volume is around 7,000 hectolitres. The largest winery is Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen. However, Belgium's wine needs are mainly met by imports from France.