Little Carpathian Wine Route

Although Slovakia may receive only minor reference in the World Wine Encyclopedias, it earned a status of a wine country. Despite its wines are not widely exported, their taste, structure and large vineyards deserve an attention of wine lovers.

Nowadays, according to the law, Slovakia has 6 wine growing areas situated along the southern border, namely: Little Carpathian, Southern, Nitra, The Central, East and Tokaj. The largest is the Little Carpathian area, especially south-eastern slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains and surroundings of Hlohovec and Skalica. The smallest and most exclusive is Tokaj, closely linked with a place in Hungary bearing the same name and is limited to only a few municipalities. 

 

Little Carpathian Wine Route

The Little Carpathian Wine Route combines in itself several phenomena – wine, landscape, history and gastronomy of area located between Bratislava and Trnava (major centers of Southwestern Slovakia). Among them are situated three small wine towns, Pezinok, Modra and St. Jur, old traditional independent royal cities. They have received the title in the 17th century, mainly because of the production of quality wine, tasted by royals in Vienna and Bratislava (then a capital of the Kingdom of Hungary).

Let´s start at the beginning – take the Little Carpathian Wine Route from Bratislava to Trnava – as most visitors do during Open Wine Cellar days in November, making it the first celebration of the work of wine growers and vintners. On this day, recently made into two days, the wine cellars open to everyone who wants to learn about the wine and taste the seeds of this beautiful and culturally rich area.

 

Bratislava, Rača, Vajnory

In the past century, Bratislava has transformed from a calm city into a vibrant European capital, and many of its wineries were turned into dwellings. Its renovated city center however, is full of cozy, small cafés and restaurants and for true wine gurus and wine lovers offers a visit into the Wine museum accompanied with the taste of Slovak and world´s best and famous wines. To experience the true essence, one need to visit the first wine cellars established in what is now a suburban area of Bratislava but once separate villages – Vajnory and Rača. Although Rača may discourage visitors with the block of flats, wine from private collection is delicious – especially Lemberger (Frankovka), favorite wine of Maria Theresa.

 

St. Jur

Five minute drive from Rača you can find the first of three wine-growing cities mentioned earlier – St. Jur. Well preserved center of the city acts as a open museum and gives a feel of a true wine-making city. In addition, its location also offers a beautiful view over the Danube Lowland. The wine made here has become a sought out drink by one of the most respected scholars of the Hungarian Kingdom – Matej Bell. And although we are on a wine route, we should mention that in St. Jur there is also a small monastery brewery – one of its kind in Slovakia.

 

Pezinok, Slovenský Grob

Pezinok is the center of the Little Carpathian region. After the sightseeing in the historical center you can visit many wine cellars and wine shops – the widest range offers the “City Wine” shop (Mestská Vinotéka). In autumn along the main road are lined up hundreds of small tables offering bottles with Burčiak (a fermented liquid between cider and young wine), said to regenerate the blood cells. Taste and be the judge yourself. 

 

Next to Pezinok is Slovenský Grob with only few vineyards. The highest proportion of wine sales comes from the wine being used during geese consumption. Roasted goose is considered local specialty, with two dozen restaurants offering this delicacy to locals and visitors. If you want to enjoy this meal during autumn, you should plan ahead and make a booking in advance

 Our Trip Tip:

 Little Carpathian Wine Route: Half Day Guided Tour

  • Royal wine cities: St. Jur, Pezinok and Modra
  • Make your own or buy ready made products, and visit the exhibition of famous Modra ceramics, majolica, production.
  • Visit the castle “Red Stone” (Červený Kameň) – a beautifully preserved castle with rich collection of furniture and biggest three-floor cellars in Central Europe. Finally, engage in the tasting of local wines in an ancient cellar.
  • Duration: 5.5 hours
  • Indicative price: 85 EUR (including entry and wine tasting)
  • More information: http://www.bratislavasightseeing.com/92/tour-+3+-+malokarpatsk%C3%A1+v%C3%ADnna+cesta

    

Modra

Through Vinosady village we will arrive into Modra – the world´s famous center of production of majolica. Wine and culture are two themes that highlight the way of life in Pezinok and Modra where every two years in autumn, numerous grape harvesting events are held. When it comes to the Slovak national meal, first thing that comes on people´s mind are sheep cheese dumplings (bryndzové halušky). However, according to others, the true Slovak meal is Sauerkraut soup and cooking competitions are held mainly in Pezinok. 

 

Red Stone Castle (Červený kameň) 

The cellar under this castle could probably hold the biggest stock of wine and in the Middle Ages was used as a copper storage room. The largest wine cellar – called Fugger (after one of the most famous former owners) can be found in the village Častá. 

In autumn 2004 its owner organized a “Day in the Vineyard” where visitors could have experienced the true nature behind wine-making. After tasting the legendary red wine “Orešiansky” whose core is based on Blue Portugal and visit of the wine cellar in the Smolenice Castle we will arrive to Trnava. 


Little Carpathian Wine Route offers events for wine lovers throughout the year – the list is published annually in the special calendar. During late winter and in spring, one can enjoy wine at local wine exhibitions with Pezinok Wine markets as highlight of the event. Summer is full of tasting events in attractive locations with interesting program. The Wine year finishes in autumn by grape harvesting, wine blessing and with the “Wine cellar open days”, attended by thousands of visitors from Slovakia and abroad. During these days, visitors receive a “Wine passport”, tasting cup and other accessories, and travel all around the region to visit several out of 60 still running cellars offered by nearly hundred small and large producers, members of the Association of Little Carpathian Wine Route. 


This trip is dedicated not only to true wine lovers but also to those who enjoy architecture, history or nature – wondering across the vineyard is refreshing not only for your body but also for mind and soul.   

Article Source: http://www.mvc.sk/malokarpatska-vinna-cesta

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