Even though the Czech Republic lies at latitudes where not everyone expects to see vast vineyards, there are indeed high-quality vineyards, each with their own unique terroir, and cellars where wines have matured for more than 500 years. Grapes are grown in the warmest parts of the country, usually in South Moravia, where the river meanders and the undulating countryside create a specific climate valued by the local winegrowers. Recently, Moravian white wines have made their way to some of the best Michelin restaurants in the world. We recommend giving it a try! But where should you go to do so?
Čejkovice Knights Templar CellarsThe rich history of Čejkovice in South Moravia, situated between Hodonín and Břeclav, started in the mid-13th century when the land belonged to the Knights Templar. It was the Templars who started growing grapevines and who built the fortress that now dominates the village. It now houses a hotel and the Chateau Wine Gallery, which has a broad offering of wines grown in the region. The Templars also built vast vaulted cellars used during the production of wine. The cellars’ high ceilings were enough to fit men on horses, and the width of the cellars allowed fully loaded carts to pass through. When touring the cellars, you can see the largest barrel in the Czech Republic, which has a capacity of 20,250 litres, as well as a 200-litre wine bottle. You can taste the current Templar treasures during a guided tour of the vineyard. The large underground complex also includes a stylish wine bar.
Šobes Vineyards at the heart of a national parkThe Šobes vineyards near Znojmo are some of the most beautiful vineyards in the Czech Republic. Their position on the south slope of a rock spur jutting into the Dyje River provides a specific microclimate. Moreover, they lie in Podyjí National Park, and the local countryside attracts hikers and cyclists. The vineyards cover 11 hectares and they are among the best growing locations in Europe. In summer, there is a stand at the vineyards where you can buy local wine either by the bottle or by the glass and enjoy the splendid views.
Nechory Wine VillageIn the very south of Moravia lies the village of Prušánky, between Hodonín and Břeclav, near the old peak of Nechory, renowned as a growing location. There are only wine cellars in the town itself, but it is a small, charming village with a square and narrow streets. Many interesting vinicultural and folklore events take place in Nechory, such as the wine festival called K Nechorám do sklepa (To the Nechory Cellars). You can go there to enjoy wine or sport: a popular bike trail leads through the village.
Plže Wine CellarsThe Plže wine cellars at the edge of the Petrov municipality are a unique set of historic wine cellars. They are called ‘the jewel of Slovácko’. They are located only a few kilometres from Strážnice, where you can also visit a traditional South Moravian open-air museum. The wine cellars are some of the oldest examples of folk architecture in the Czech Republic, and some of them are 500 years old! The facades of some cellars are decorated with a simple but beautiful combination of white and blue, while others also include colourful folk ornaments. In summer, a wine bar is opened where visitors can taste local wines from small vineyards.
Lampelberg CastleWine at a castle? No problem! Lampelberg lies amidst vineyards on a hillside near the Czech and Austrian border near Znojmo. The view of the undulating countryside of the Czech and Austrian vineyards is one of a kind. The castle is not medieval: it was built in 1860. Today, there is a seasonal wine bar with refreshments. It is an ideal place for a hiking trip with beautiful views.
Two tips in ValticeWhere else to end our journey than at the Valtice Chateau and its surroundings from which the Lichtenstein family ruled for centuries.
The Valtice underground is formed by a unique set of historic wine cellars from the 13th century that are now open to the public thanks to the activities of the wine-growers. Today, the underground is a labyrinth of interconnected historic cellars and passages. Wine and history lovers alike can find something of interest there. The cellars are prepared for individuals and large tourist groups. Just make an appointment. And they host events too, for example, the Night of Open Cellars or Burčák in the Valtice Underground in early September, where you can taste specialty half-fermented wines, or evenings with cembalo music.
There is one more place in Valtice that we would like to recommend: there is the Wine Salon of the Czech Republic right in the cellars of the Valtice Chateau, where you have the opportunity to taste 100 best wines from Moravia and Bohemia. The offer changes every year, and you can explore the best wines from the most distinguished vineyards and cellars. The Wine Salon includes an educational exhibition dedicated to viniculture.
And if you still have time after your visit to the cellars, you can go on a tour of the sights in the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape Area, which is listed as a UNESCO site.