In Photos: Experience The Valtice Wine Market First-Hand

The two-day Valtice Wine Market (Vinné trhy ve Valticích) is the oldest national wine competition. Each May, historic Valtice Castle becomes an irresistible temptation for tourists eager to fall in love with local wines, and an important hub for winemakers and industry experts, who return to the event year after year. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics.

Brno, May 15 (BD) – The professional jury chooses the best from the hundreds of wines available to visitors in the truly beautiful surroundings of Valtice Castle and its gardens, but the wine-tasting event is not just for the experts. People from all over the country show up in suits, traditional folklore costumes, or Star Wars themed t-shirts.

“I have been there every single year for the past 35 years,” said the owner of our hotel, when we asked what she thought of the markets. This year, the event attracted around 3,000 visitors, tasting 759 different wines from 125 winemakers, from Moravia – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Chile, and Australia. The award ceremony for the professional audience was held in the morning on Friday 10 May in the riding hall.

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Our co-tenants in the small family hostel kitchen welcomed us with a full glass of Neuburské wine when we came down for a coffee early Friday morning: “Won’t you join us? We are having a warm-up wine before we go to the castle!” The castle opened its gates to visitors at 2pm, and the afternoon atmosphere was friendly, relaxed, and full of expectation.

Traditionally, people bring their own snacks to the event to avoid getting drunk easily. In Valtice, as it is a large event, various food stands offering everything from cheese and bramborak (salty potato pancake) to ribs slow-roasted on an outdoor grill were scattered conveniently throughout the area.

Part of Friday’s program was a charity auction of champion wines, which raised over CZK 30,000 for local charities.

The castle had two music stages: “traditional” and “modern”. The stage inside the riding hall, where most of the stands with white wine were located, hosted the Moravian folklore music. The outdoor modern stage featured mainly 20th century Czech and foreign live music.

One of the Saturday program highlights was an attempt to break the record for the number of people toasting with wine at the same time, which unfortunately failed, as only 454 visitors toasted with the Gracia Rose medal wine, around a hundred less than in 2018. “Last year, 556 visitors toasted with wine, this year it was only 454. Most importantly, people had fun so… hopefully next year!” said organizer David Šťastný with an optimistic smile.

This year’s champions were Ryzlink vlašský, Březí, Liščí Vrch, a selection of grapes 2017 from the Mikrosvín Mikulov winery, Grand cuvée, the late 2017 harvest from the Moravíno winery; the Austrian WV – DAC – Classic Grüner Veltliner, 2018 ExclusivWeine Woditschka became the champion of foreign wines. The Best Wine Award of Valtice is an internationally recognized and highly-valued award for winemakers.

“Winning this award is an extraordinary achievement, and we have already won three times, so we greatly appreciate it. Our wine won as a cuvée for the first time in the history of Valtice wine markets, mostly it is only the single varieties,” said Ludvík Budín, director of the Moravíno winery.

The Valtice Wine Market celebrated its 52nd year in 2019, but the original wine festivals have a history of up to 159 years. The Valtice Wine Market is the number one event for tourists discovering the beauty of South Moravia every May.

Written by KK.

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