Not being a supporter of “Moravian fragmentation of varieties”, I rely on those varieties proven and renowned over a long period of time, searching for, in my opinion, what belongs inseparably to the Pálava region and what also offers a certain story. Each individual variety may only be planted where there is a chance to produce unique wine from its grapes.
Welsh Riesling Important tradition
At the time when soldiers of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius marched along the amber route from Vindobona to the north, a fascinating view of the limestone rocks of Pálava opened up to them after climbing from the Danube Basin. This reminded a lot of members of the Legio decima Gemina, Pia Fidelis of the limestone slopes of the Alps decorated with vineyards. It was them who probably first planted the Welsh Riesling brought from the south.
The Welsh Riesling is not a variety to be found in the whole viticultural world. It is the matter of Central Europe. Welsh Riesling wines produced in Perná, Bavory, Mikulov, Dolní Dunajovice, and Pavlov belong to the best ones that this variety can offer. Subtle flowery scent, juiciness, savoury acidity, crispiness, fullness, and drinkability – these are the desired characteristics which have to be sought for in Welsh Riesling, since it can produce them very well.
Sauvignon My favourite
The variety appears to be a sort of troublemaker who knows exactly what he wants. Sauvignon is a man of many faces. So what he should be like? Peach, black currant, apricot, gooseberry or nettle? In my opinion, you should search for a combination of the white-flesh peach, grown frequently on vineyards in the past, and the elderflower, with a gentle mineral sub-tone of gunpowder.
Despite being originally an old French variety, starting its career in the Loire region as Sancerre and Puilly Fumé, I believe it has very good prospects in our conditions. It is not easy to get on well with it, since it demands a great deal of work on the vineyard, growing luxuriantly and not defending too much against mildew. Also in the cave, it can show its whims. But when it turns out well, it is definitely worth the effort.
Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris Burgundy family
Due to its limy subsoil, the Pálava region is predestined for excellent quality of ripe grapes of these three related varieties. Although Chardonnay is currently the world leader and owing to its popularity, it may be found virtually everywhere, I am convinced that the wine made of this variety should only be produced in the top-class locations.
In our country, Chardonnay started to be grown much earlier before we even learned to pronounce its name. Due to its current popularity and fashionability, it is often confused with Pinot Blanc, since there are not many differences between them. What serves as a distinctive feature, though, is a petiolate incision in the shape of letter V. Sprout mutation paved way for different Pinot varieties: using this method, Pinot Noir was cultivated to Pinot Gris and similarly, Pinot Gris to Pinot Blanc.
The harmony conveyed by “white” relatives should bring a strong delight: starting from greenish and goldish sparkling, through a tantalizing aroma of tropical fruit and flint, up to the harmony of body and acidity, i.e. the energy that precisely characterises the local soil.
Pálava Moravian child
In relation to the length of cultivation and recognition of a new variety, it is a real baby. Our domestic variety was cultivated by J. Veverka at the Cultivation Centre in Velké Pavlovice. It appeared after crossbreeding of Red Traminer and Müller Thurgau varieties. In 1977 at the Cultivation Centre in Perná it was first tested whether it might take roots in Pálava. Not surprisingly, the Pálava variety really likes the hills of the Pálava reagion.
Owing to its unique flavour, pleasant acidity and the ability to ripe into higher sugar contents, I intend to use it for producing wines with a higher content of residual sugar.
Pinot Noir Challenge
The Pinot Noir variety represents a challenge to me, since it is said to be the “university” of viticulture. When growing, the variety tends to be ungrateful, when pressing, it is problematic, and when making wine, it requires delicacy in fingers. Let alone understanding Pinot Noir wines, which is not easy to understand at all.
It is a very old variety, probably originating in France. The first mentions reach as far as the 4th century AD. In the Mikulov region, they refer to the period around 1300. If we do want to prepare good quality wine, we must also provide it with excellent terroir, since it flourishes on limy soils. Also, it requires the highest possible care when growing. The variety can give you a really hard time: in spring, the shooting bushes may freeze and young grapes are often endangered by botrytis or mildew. Pinot does not stand heat or moisture; rather it flourishes in a long and warm autumn. It is old bushes that bring true miracles.
Merlot and Blaufränkisch Moravian “Bordeaux”
The origin of Blaufränkisch remains unclear. It is a variety destined for perfect locations, being old and classical with big leaves and bunches. I intend to use it as a replacement of late maturing Cabernet Sauvignon.
I also believe in better prospects for Merlot rather than Cabernet. Over the past five years, this variety has significantly spread over South Moravia and it may be said once again that it belongs to perfect locations only. Through its taste, Merlot tends to be closely related to its “terroir”, being capable of describing precisely the unique character of the given location.