Czech Grape Harvest

Category: Tradition

The most important time of the year for the grape grower is the harvest It is a traditional Czech festival of grapes and wine which takes place from mid-September up to early November.

The tradition of harvesting grapes has its origin in Ancient Greece, but the first mentions in the Czech lands come from the period after the World War II. Until then, it was an issue of the upper class and its form of celebration had been changing.

Time of the grape harvest is dependent and influenced by many factors as well as amount and quality of the grapes. These factors are weather, type of wine grapes, temperature, the purpose which are the grapes intended to such as table grapes, raisins, wine (desired type) – sparkling, late harvest, straw or grass wine, and wine made from frozen grapes. The best time for picking is when the grapes have a balance of fructose and acidity.

When the time comes, the grapes are hand cut from the vines and some places use a mechanical grape harvester only in large vineyards. All the cut grapes are transported to the place where they will be pressed extracting all the juice. The juice is then placed into vat or a tank to ferment.

The Czech Republic is one of the countries with the biggest production of wine in the world.

Moravia is traditionally the area for growing grapes in the Czech Republic. The wines from South Moravia are well known all over the world. The localities of Mikulov, Valtice, Velke Pavlovice, Lednice, Velke Bilovice, Zajecic, and Znojmo are most significant for their wine production. In the Bohemia region Melnik and Litomerice are the significant wine producers.

Every year, thousands of wine lovers of the Czech Republic partake of the wine harvest festivals. The wine harvest is part of a cultural program. People have the possibility to taste various types of red and white wines, as Cabernet, Dornfelder, Zweigeltrebe, Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau, Veltlinske, Palava, Tramin, Rulandske or Sauvignon. What cannot be missing is burcak (early fermenting grape juice). A wine growers contest is part of the festival. The visitors see the parade of kings, folk dancing, listen to folk music or can take a wine cellar tour. The cultural program varies a bit in every region or town.

There are four steps, how to taste wine like a pro :

1. look – Put the wine glass against the light source and look at it. There is some useful information of the wine such as the liquidity or color to be seen.

2. smell – In this step, the taster receives the first real impressions of the wine

3. taste

4. think – What are the impressions? Was it tasty?