For great wine come to the Czech Republic

Czech wine-making began with the Czech king Charles IV, whose memory is honoured to this day when Czech wines win top prizes at European and World competitions. Every September this exceptional beverage is celebrated in all our winemaking areas. Our outstanding wine is available throughout the year, but in the autumn the wine-making areas throughout the country celebrate the grape-harvest and wine making, which includes wine tasting and a whole host of interesting things to do.

South Moravia has a rich cultural heritage and is one of the best wine-making regions in the Czech Republic. Connoisseurs of quality wine consider this area as prestigious as, for instance, the great French Champagne. Both Champagne and South Moravia attract a great number of tourists in search of relaxation in the picturesque countryside and the pleasant atmosphere of the local wine cellars. According to the latest estimates there are at least 10,000 wine cellars in the Czech Republic, most of them in South Moravia. September is the best time to visit, during the wine festival, the famous grape-harvesting festivities to celebrate the ‘new wine’ which is still a fresh, fermenting grape juice. Everyone visiting the town of Znojmo (www.znojmocity.cz) between 17th and 18th September, 2004 will be able to enjoy the Znojmo wine festival. The colourful, two-day programme begins with a procession in traditional folk costume by torchlight which will proceed through the town, and culminate in a historical celebration and a ‘theatre of fire’. And there is much more to entertain visitors, including contemporary music, traditional dancing, fencing, and jousting tournaments.

Not far from Znojmo is Mikulov, another wine-producing town (www.mikulov.cz). The town also attracts wine-lovers to its own wine festival, called the ‘Palavské vinobraní’ will run from the 10th – 12th September, 2004. The entire beautiful town of Mikulov is a protected urban area. On the outskirts of Mikulov there is the old disused Turold quarry, which forms a natural amphitheatre. Both Mikulov and Turold come to life with music, dancing, and the very traditional “hodokvas” feast. New this year is a procession showing off magnificent, traditional local costumes, in their full, spectacular beauty accompanied by a local brass band.

Not wanting to lag behind Moravia, Bohemia also has a wine festival 25th and 26th September 2004 at the most popular Czech castle Karl_tejn (www.hradkarlstejn.cz) a mere 25 km from Prague. There will be tasting of Karl_tejn wine as well as plenty of other entertainment including a period costume show with clothes from the Gothic to the Renaissance period plus lessons in medieval dance, fire-eaters, fakirs, and court sorcerers to name but a few.

The town of M_lník also holds a wine festival (17th – 19th September, 2004) where among other things visitors can see the beautiful Renaissance castle and the 14th century wine cellars, open all year round. There are also similar festivals in the town of Kada_ 25th September, 2004, in the Moravian town of Strá_nice 11th September, 2004 (www.straznice-mesto.cz) a place famous for its folklore traditions and in many other places throughout the Czech Republic. To learn more about Czech and Moravian wines it is good to visit The National Wine Salon (www.salonvin.cz).

Wine tasting can also be combined with sport. South Moravia is interlaced with so-called “Moravian Wine Cycle-trails”, which wind through ten wine-growing areas, peppered with wine-cellars, in which lovers of both sport and wine can enjoy famous Moravian hospitality.

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