Moravia is full of wine. There are vineyards everywhere you look and there tend to be dozens of winemakers in every small village. So how do you choose where to go? Which places do you visit? Which wines do you taste? We know that planning a wine holiday can be difficult, so here are a few tips for you.
We are soon leaving for our next wine trip to Moravia. We never use any sort of travel agencies or pre-arranged trips, so we have first hand experience with the troubles of planning one´s holiday. From picking where to stay, to – most importantly – where and what to drink.
Tip 1: Travel in packs
If you are with a bigger group, a wine holiday in the Czech Republic can be a bit easier than if you travel alone or as a couple (like us). If you have a large group, you can arrange a wine tasting practically anywhere. All you have to do is to pick a promising winemaker and book a tasting with them – although a language barrier might be an issue, so it helps to have a Czech native speaker in your midst. However, even with a Czech person by your side it is often not possible to arrange a wine tasting for only two or even four people. In such cases, you should probably search for other options.
Tip 2: Visit open cellars days
So called “open cellars” (otevřené sklepy in Czech) are a great way to get acquainted with all kinds of Moravian winemakers. Most villages, towns or areas associated with wine regularly organize open cellars, days when cellars of several or even all local wineries are open to public. That means anyone can just stop by, pay an entrance fee of about €5 – €10 and taste roughly 5-10 different wines in every cellar. Open cellars take place throughout the whole year, usually over the weekend or during summer. If a particular open cellars´ event involves more than one village/town, buses are often available to transport you from place to place. This is a fantastic opportunity to taste wines especially from small winemakers!
Tip 3: Wine hides near touristic spots
We like to focus on smaller, rather than larger wine making companies, so in the past we tried to visit tiny villages without too many tourists. That might have been a great idea, if wineries in such places opened their doors to anyone, including two lonely travelers. Unfortunately, it does not work that way, and so we have had a hard time arranging wine tastings for just the two us. Because of this, we now look for places where it´s easy to taste several types of wines without any prior booking or hassle.
These places are generally in or near famous touristic sights that attract many visitors, and therefore can be almost always open. Valtice has several of such establishments – the Wine Salon or the Valtice Underground, for example. We are planning to visit Znojmo, where there are also large cellars with a constant possibility of small wine tastings. Generally, bigger towns – such as Brno, Znojmo or Mikulov – are a good choice since they are likely to have many wine bars, if nothing else. In any case, we will test out several “small group friendly” wine locations this summer to give you some more specific tips.
Tip 4: Get expert help in selecting wine destinations
Still confused about where to even begin searching for a good winery? So are we. There so many of them in the Czech Republic, it is merely impossible to choose. Yet, we have to choose. To get oriented, you can try to base your travels on winners of Czech competitions, such as the Winery of the Year (Vinařství roku) or the Top Wine Destination (Top vinařský cíl). You can also look for winemakers successful in international or local wine competitions. If you can´t rely on tips from friends and family, like we sometimes do, websites such as wineofczechrepublic.cz might be helpful. And finally, the easiest option of all: follow our blog 😉