If you cross the river on the northern edge of village Bořetice, you will also be crossing a state border. You won´t end up in Austria or Slovakia, though. You will enter the Independent Federal Republic of Kraví Hora, a tiny wine-making republic. This miniature country has its own flag, national anthem, currency, government and even a constitution, which also states that “All winemakers are equal” and that “Nobody inside a cellar is allowed to grouch that they don’t drink.”
An independent wine country sounds like the perfect holiday destination, right? We agree, and so we just had to visit Kraví Hora during our last wine trip. We parked our car at the national car park and walked the streets to see all the important sights, such as the residence of the local president, the international embassies (there are many!) or the post-office where they print the national stamps of Kraví Hora. And wine cellars, of course. So, so many wine cellars!
“Every citizen of the republic is obligated to mark their cellar with the national emblem”
At this point you are probably wondering: Is this for real? Is there really an independent country in the middle of the Czech Republic? Yes. Well, sort of. The Independent Federal Republic of Kraví Hora was founded in year 2000 as a prank that should attract attention to the local wine-making industry.
Although it is a jest, it is also a serious business, because a wine republic is sure to entice many tourists – and it does. The locals therefore take it quite seriously. The national emblem of Kraví Hora can be seen on nearly every house. There is an official website where you can find the full constitution, map, information about the winemakers and even coordinates for the local airport. (We didn´t see it, but the website says there is one.)
A few hundred wine cellars to visit…
Unfortunately, we were stupid enough to go there by car, so we couldn´t taste any wines from Kraví Hora, but there were several wine cellars open for public tastings – on a Wednesday morning, I might add. However, even without drinking it was still worth the trip.
The republic, which is basically a small village full of wine cellars on the edge of Bořetice, is extremely picturesque and seems like an ideal place for a short holiday. If you´d like to get a nice view over this unique country, climb up to the lookout tower (rozhledna) on a hill just next to Kraví Hora. Just a little warning though, 1225 steps up a steep hill is further than it might seem…
Laws about drinking and singing
To give you a better idea about Kraví Hora, allow me to mention a few more excerpts from their official constitution:
“If somebody in a cellar sings other songs than songs about wine, they will be locked inside the communal cellar with only water and bread and the ugliest hag in the village, until they learn how to sing about wine.”
“No visitor of a cellar is allowed to needlessly squander wine. If a person is seen spilling wine on the ground, on their shirt or dipping their mitts in it, they will be tied to a pole on a Vincek Square until they promise they will never do it again. Afterwards they will be punched in the face and sent home.”
“Inside a cellar, it is allowed to talk solely about wine or women or to sing. If somebody talks about work, they have to immediately leave the cellar.”
I’m thinking about making a few slight modifications and hanging these rules in our living room 😉