South Moravia offers a diverse selection of local wines. Photo: Vinařství Kolby
Yearning for a refreshing drink during these scorching summer days? You’re in luck. Boasting over 800 wineries, South Moravia offers a diverse selection of local wines, perfect for a picnic in the park or dinner party by the grill. In experimenting with ambitious vinification techniques, regional producers are expertly crafting their wines into a myriad of styles. Ranging from Pét-Nats to light bodied reds, Moravian wines are both delicious and versatile, proving that this distinct wine region has some serious juice. And although the plethora of options can seem daunting, the reality is: wine is not meant to be complicated. I am here to break it down for you, to ensure that everyone can feel confident while strolling into their local wine shop.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Photo: Mojelahve.cz
Winemakers here are taking risks, producing thirst quenching bubbles while incorporating their own Moravian twist. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, often without disgorgement, Pét-Nats are funky and exciting, with flavors ranging from citrus and stone fruit, and colors ranging from lemon to amber. While gaining attention both here and abroad, Moravian Pét-Nats offer a refreshing spin on traditional method sparkling wine. Although Pét-Nat is currently in the midst of a global revival, its production method is nothing new. In fact, it predates the Champagne method and is traditionally referred to by the alias ‘méthode ancestrale.’ No matter the name, Pét-Nats are unpretentious and easy-drinking, and are the perfect companion to a hot summer day.
Pálava and Muškát Moravský offer enticing floral and tropical fruit aromas. Photo: Arielle DeSoucey
South Moravia is the home for intensely aromatic white wine. International varieties like Riesling and Grüner Veltliner flourish in Mikulov and Znojmo, while wines produced from native grapes, like Pálava and Muškát Moravský , offer enticing floral, and tropical fruit aromas. When purchasing a local wine, it is important to identify certain factors that determine style, such as grape variety, residual sugar, acidity, and alcohol level. In addition, specific transformative vinification techniques, like barrel maturation or lees ageing, can enhance a wine’s complexity. If you are overwhelmed by the selection at your local wine shop, try using descriptors like ‘youthful, citrus flavors,’ or ‘complex, creamy texture,’ to help narrow down your search.
Rosé wines are typically vinified in stainless steel. Photo: Vinařství Baraque, Headshot_Prague
Year after year, rosé wine from South Moravia is increasing in quality, consistency, and demand. Concentrated and refined, rosé is available in a range of colors and styles, from dry to semi-sweet, further enhanced by juicy acidity and decadent, fruity flavors. Typically vinified in stainless steel, rosé wines produced from Frankovka, Saint Laurent, or Zweigeltrebe, exhibit fragrant notes of ripe cherries, currants, berries, and plums. In recent years, certain producers are taking it a step further, emphasizing textural complexity gained by extended skin contact maceration or maturation in oak barrel. These techniques intensify the color and overall composition of the wine, while prolonging its bottle age potential. Rosé All Day- I’ll take it.
Taste Saint Laurent, and Cabernet Moravia. Photo: Pocket media
Light Bodied Red Wines
With the evening hours giving way to cooler temperatures, red wine absolutely deserves to keep its place at the table. Light bodied red wines like Pinot Noir, Saint Laurent, and Cabernet Moravia, offer excellent accompaniments to simple, gastronomic fare, like burgers and grilled vegetables. Softer tannins and higher acidity allow these wines to maintain balance, exuding nuanced hints of black fruits, flowers, and spice, particularly when fermented and/ or matured in oak barrel. Regional plantings of black grapes are increasing, proving that the sunny, hillside vineyards are an oasis for these notable varieties. Maturation and vinification styles certainly vary, but for me, some of the best bottles hail from the VOC Modré Hory in Velké Pavlovice.