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Les Vilaines au Gré du vent

Dandelion wine made in Terres-de-Meuse

In the Terres-de-Meuse region, Marie-France Laruelle has dared to make the most of this little plant, often considered undesirable and unsightly… And turn it into a delicious aperitif, or digestif, as you wish! A unique, local beverage that can be enjoyed in an infinite number of ways, raw, in cocktails and even in cooking. Meet this nature and terroir enthusiast… And taste her dandelion wine in cocktails at the Pampa Bar, one of the most beautiful terraces in the Terres-de-Meuse region!

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Justine Toussaint


Ju on the road

Les Vilaine au gré du vent :

the beginning

“Les Vilaines au gré du vent” is the rather unusual name that Marie-France has given to her small business,
“Vilaines” like weeds, “Au gré du vent” like dandelion achenes
and the evolution of her business through beautiful and improbable encounters


The dandelion is wrongly judged, however, since it offers everything from its root to its flowers to its leaves and flower buds. In fact, it’s the first flower of the season, blooming and blowing in the wind to herald fine days and the coming sun.

Marie-France understands this, and has even been picking this flower for a few years now to make her beverage, and refine her recipe for herself and her loved ones.

In 2022, she attempted a professional reconversion and set up her own small business, producing in Vyle-et-Tharoul at the “Coworking by Devenirs” where she set up her vats and had access to the kitchen, which complied with AFSCA regulations.

Since her debut at the weekly markets in Marchin and Braives and at craft and flavor markets, such as the Fête de la Ruralité in Vyle-et-Tharoul and the Fête du Printemps in Huy … her wine never ceases to amaze.

How to enjoy dandelion wine?

Aromatic and sweet, dandelion wine is best enjoyed as an aperitif.
It can be sipped over ice, with a sparkling wine a la Spritz, or in cocktails.

At Pampa Bar, Pauline and Marie mix it wonderfully in their Anetha cocktail (Pisco, dandelion wine and verbena) for maximum freshness and aroma. An astonishing cocktail, to be sipped on a terrace in the sunshine!

Dandelion wine also goes very well with smoked duck, grilled vegetables, a cheese platter… And desserts, like a pousse-café!”

More and more restaurateurs are taking an interest in dandelion wine, offering it on their menus but also in the kitchen! Used to deglaze vegetables or meat, it adds sweetness, an original touch and character to plates. You can find it at “carré d’herbe” in Wépion, “la cuisine d’un gourmand” in Profondeville, “Kaillou ” in Villers-le-Bouillet, “la Roseraie” in Modave and “Pampa Bar” in the port of Statte.

How does Marie make her dandelion wine?

Dandelion picking takes place twice a year in spring. Sparingly, Marie-France picks her flowers from private properties (such as Ferme Schiepers in Antheit ), away from pesticides and roads, respecting each plant and its environment.

The first picking takes place as soon as the flowers bloom in fine weather in Terres-de-Meuse. The second picking takes place later in the Ardennes, as flowering is later and allows Marie-France to extend her production period. For her, picking is rejuvenating, like a wild act of reconnection with nature.

The dandelions are then directly placed in a stainless steel vat for maceration, along with citrus fruits, raisins and sugar. All the ingredients used are organic or local. After this, a long period of fermentation begins.

The wine is made without the addition of yeast, alcohol or sulfite, and is the result of spontaneous, slow, natural fermentation. This product is therefore totally seasonal and depends on what nature offers in spring! When it’s all gone… It’s all gone!

Where can I find dandelion wine?

Around 1000 bottles in total this year are available at Marché de la Halle in Huy, Ferme des 3 Moutons in Braives and at Marie Laruelle’s home (on order, by calling ahead). You can also sip it in cocktails this summer on the terrace of the Pampa Bar!

Marie also makes wild syrups (elderflower, nasturtium, lavender, hawthorn berries … other gustatory surprises soon to be added to a range!