Wine is ever present in Znojmo. It´s grown there, it´s made there, it´s sold there and, most importantly, it´s drunk there! You can taste local wines almost anytime and anywhere. You can enjoy a glass in the labyrinths of Znojmo Underground 18 meters below surface, or you can drink in an observation tower 32 meters above ground. Your choice. We did it all and we loved it.
As soon as you arrive to Znojmo, called ‘the pearl of South Moravia’ and one of the oldest cities in the Czech Republic, you instantly know that you are in a winegrowing region. The local winemaking industry is at least 8 centuries old and it´s advertised everywhere. Wine can be tasted near or directly inside all sights, which made us very happy. As much as we like sightseeing, it is no secret that we enjoy wine even more.
Drinking with a view
Once we started strolling through the beautiful (and sometimes very steep) streets of Znojmo, we knew we had a busy couple of days ahead of us. We went to admire the amazing view over the St. Nicolas Church, standing on a high rock overlooking the national park Podyjí and its wild nature. There we were, taking in the lovely surroundings: the zigzagging river down below, the picture perfect houses on a hill, the church, the vineyards… and there it was! A giant sign, big enough to be seen from a few hundred meters away, screaming: “Open wine tasting”. This sign pretty much summarizes the whole city and explains why we had such a great time in Znojmo.
So if you find yourself in this wine-friendly city, here are a few drinking stops that you can make during your sightseeing tour:
The mentioned (clearly marked) stand belongs to winery Lahofer and can be found right in the middle of Znojmo vineyards. Thanks to the big sign, you really can´t miss it – and you shouldn´t, because Lahofer makes truly great wines. If you don´t feel like climbing up and down the vineyard, you can also taste Lahofer wines in their hotel in the city center (street Veselá). At both locations, you can order even small 0.5 deciliter glasses.
The Wolf Tower
To taste truly typical Znojmo wines, visit the VOC Znojmo Information Centre in the Wolf Tower (Vlkova věž), where you can taste and buy any amount of wine from only regional winemakers. If interested, you can also climb the tower and enjoy your drink with a great view – there are a lot of those in Znojmo.
Loucký klášter (Louka Abbey)
The Louka Abbey can be found about 2-3 km away from the city center. This former monastery, founded in 1190, hosts a wine shop and a tasting stand with wines from Znovín Znojmo, one of the biggest wineries in the region. We were excited to visit the abbey and we planned to join a tour of its cellars, combined with a tasting. Unfortunately, these tours take place only four times a day (at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00). This information wasn´t available anywhere, except at the front desk at the abbey itself, and so we arrived there at 10:15. A bit discouraged, we decided to look around while waiting. After about ten minutes we realized that there was not much to look at…and so we left. The abbey is in a very bad shape and we can´t exactly recommend a visit as the only thing it really offers is the wine shop, which seems to have higher prices than other shops in the city. Anyway, it might be a nice refreshment stop if you take a walk by the river.
In the evening, you should definitely try out one of the wine bars (vinotéka), where they offer dozens of different wines for you to taste, all of them local, of course. We really liked Vinotéka U Kaplana, as well as Vinotéka Jezuitská where you can also order small 0.5 deciliter portions, which allows you to taste many different wines. If you really love a particular wine, you can just buy a bottle or two to take home with you.
Btw, if you go to Vinotéka Jezuitská, order their home-made bread and škvarková pomazánka (spread made from pork cracklings), they are to die for!
Wine is everywhere around Znojmo
That´s not all, though. Znojmo and the nearby area has so much more (wine) to offer! There are ancient labyrinths of cellars underneath the whole city, there is a unique painted cellar close by, there are big modern wineries and centuries old vineyards with castles and chateaus. And at all of these places, wine is served. But more about that later. Cheers!