One Glass – A Hundred Different Types of Wine
What would you have done if you were given the opportunity to taste more than a hundred different types of quality wine in one day? In the historical Valtice Castle, located in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic, you can actually experience such a thing. You see, the Valtice Castle is home to the Czech National Wine Centre, and they offer their visitors the opportunities to taste their way through the country’s hundred best wines – and for a rather affordable price, as well.
The National Wine Centre is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to enhance the reputation of Czech wine and wine culture. Every year, the centre holds a competition to select the best wine in the Czech Republic. Each wine is of course tested, tried and measured by renowned wine experts. This is currently the highest ranking wine award in the Czech Republic, and the winners are awarded the honour of marking their bottles with “Salon vín České republiky”, a title meaning “Wine Salon of the Czech Republic”.
It is only the hundred best wines each year that will be marked with the renowned “Salon vín České republiky”-logo. Following the award, the bottles are then included in the yearly wine tasting exhibition held in the cellar of the Valtice Castle. In other words, not only does the cellar offer a hundred different types of wine, but they actually offer you a tasting of the hundred best wines in the country!
I know what you are thinking – gaining access to all of these amazing quality wines must surely be quite expensive, right? Well, it is actually rather affordable! The current price for a standard wine tasting session is at 399CZK, which is equivalent to a about 15 euros. That is certainly not bad for a tasting that lasts for 1.5 hours! If you choose to add an extra 4-5 euros, you will get an hour extra in the wine cellar and thereby take part in what they refer to as the “extended wine tasting”.
During the wine tasting, you will receive a wine glass to carry around with you. All the different types of wine are open for you to try, and there is also bread that will help you neutralize your taste buds between the different tastings. Water is of course available, too. In addition, there are several stations where you can clean your glass between tastings.
Our tasting started near the first cask where you can find wines number 1-5. The numbers are not in any way connected to their ranking in the competition.
It is up to you whether you prefer to do a guided tasting or if you would rather venture out on your own. All the different wines are neatly lined up in the cellar, easily reachable, and they all come with thorough descriptions of their taste, which type of grape they stem from, at which winery it was produced and other useful information. Not only will you be able to taste the delicious wine, but you will also have the option of buying a bottle or two of your very own favourite. Remember to bring one of the handy shopping carts with you, so that you can easily bring your favourite bottles home.
We chose a guided tasting through the extensive wine cellar of Valtice Castle. Our sommelier was incredibly knowledgeable, and he told us everything we needed to know about the different wines and the areas they are being produced in.
In the exhibition, you can read more about the wine and bring a bottle of your favourite back to the hotel or back home. You will most definitely find a new favourite here.
While the exhibition is permanent, the selection is still updated and changed every year after the yearly competition. Beware that the wine cellar is closed all of January, in order to prepare for the new wine selection in the exhibition. Besides that, the exhbition is open for visitors all year round, except for Mondays. The wine cellar is only open on Sundays during the Summer season. You can read more about the opening hours on their website.
Valtice Castle is located in the town of Valtice, in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic. This is in the South of the country, and it is close to the border where Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia meets. The town is only an hour from Brno, the biggest city in South Moravia, and only an hour’s drive from both Vienna and Bratislava.