The Bacchus Report: On the wine trail

For those wine lovers with an adventurous mind, the possibility of visiting wineries or private wine cellars is nothing new. In fact many producers are more than ready to receive visitors.

One region where such activities have recently been developed is Znojmo in southern Moravia near the Austrian border. This region is renowned for its zingy, zesty white wines, particularly those made from the Sauvignon Blanc and Grüner Veltliner grape varieties. The largest producer here is Znovín. Here day-long visits start in the historic Loucký klášter, the enormous Premonstratensian monastery near the town centre. The ground floor of the monastery has been converted into a vinotéka and visitors can also take a walk through the cellars, where large stacks of bottles of wine are kept to mature slowly. By making enquiries at the front desk of the wine shop, excursions can be arranged to suit individual requirements. For example, one can travel to the sleepy border town of Jaroslavice, which boasts a well-stocked red-wine archive, or visit the Cruciform Cellar in Přímětice. This unique cellar built in the shape of a cross is the largest of its type in the world and possesses excellent acoustics. When the weather is fine, a walk or bicycle ride is recommended through the Nature Park, above the meandering river Dyje and down to the famous vineyard named Šobes, which is reckoned to be the best vine-growing site in the country with its specific terroir, where Riesling not only thrives but often receives awards at international wine contests. These days, visitors will find a wooden hut at the foot of the vineyard offering a refreshing selection of wines made from Šobes grapes.
The highlight of the Znojmo wine trails must surely be the famous Painted Cellar in Šatov, dug into sandstone, boasting walls that are decorated with paintings by a one-armed naive artist who went blind in the process. Your day may finish with a meal in Šatov, a village that time appears to have forgotten, as testified to by the two WW2 bunkers referred to as Stalin’s and Hitler’s. At the Moravian Cellar one can enjoy a wide selection of local wines accompanied by traditional Moravian folk music, and the fun may go on long into the night.


A must-have for wine-lovers! This elegant combination in stainless steel and dark-blue plastic includes cutter to remove the foil, opener, stopper, and its own stand. Price: CZK 1,282.

Available from: La Vecchia Bottega, Na Perštýně 10, Praha 1 or OC Nový Smíchov, Plzeňská 8, Praha 5.

Upcoming tastings

Vinotéka u Sv. Vincenta, Liborova 13, Praha 6
21st November 2002 – from 6pm there will be a Beaujolais Nouveau tasting.

Don Juan, Na Struze 7, Praha 1
A Spanish wine-tasting will take place on November 5 at 7pm.


The following is a small selection of wines available for sampling by those participating in any of the Znojmo wine trails.

Znovín Light Cuvée
The cuvée in this case being two varieties with origins in Austria, Grüner Veltliner and Neuburger. This is a light spritzy heuriger or wine-bar type of wine. Due to its low alcohol content (10%), it makes an ideal lunchtime tot that would go well with a variety of dishes. Best enjoyed young. Price CZK 60.

Chardonnay 2001 Terroir Club
Golden hue with a lush whiff of pineapple and fruit salad leading to a good Chardonnay butteriness on the palate. Being semi-sweet, it makes a fine aperitif. Price CZK 140.

This wine has undergone strict fermentation process at 18° C. It exhibits a fine catty nose so typical of the variety, leading to an abundant nose of citrus, mainly grapefruit and pomelo, and a fresh zestiness on the palate. CZK 140.

Denis d’Or Negru 1976
A true rarity this one, made from imported wine from Moldova which was decanted and then re-bottled. The grapes used are Cabernet Sauvignon along with several indigenous varieties. The wine has a deep garnet-red color with maturity showing on the pale rim. Plummy fruit is at the forefront of a generous palate and there is still abundant acidity. Price CZK 480.

The above are also available in Prague at Galerie vín Na Hanspaulce 25, Praha 6.

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