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Thanks to a direct bus connection from Vilnius, most Lithuanian visitors to the Czech Republic can travel to Prague and Brno. The rich history and outstanding cultural offering of smaller cities in the countryside is often overlooked. Gastronomy and local food are often one of the many reasons to enjoy trips abroad. Visiting vineyards, particularly those located around historic castles and mansions, add to the pleasures of driving through idyllic landscapes while learning about the local history, often going back hundreds and thousand years in time.
Outstanding landscapes and bicycle routes in Southern Moravia   Photo Courtesy of Czech Tourism
Outstanding landscapes and bicycle routes in Southern Moravia Photo Courtesy of Czech Tourism

The Romans introduced winegrowing technique to most of Central and Western European countries along with their civilisation. In the Czech Republic and dating back to third century, the Romans selected particularly regions with plenty of sun and rich mineral soil along gentle sloping riversides. Combined with unique microclimates, that is a recipe for the outstanding wines produced today. The number of winegrowers is now limited, but the Czech Wine Act of 1995 ensures that the quality has substantially increased since the introduction of that law.

To the north of Prague in Bohemia, there are about 120 wine growers along the confluence of several smaller river that flow into the Vltava River. It is one of the smaller and more scattered wine growing areas in the Czech Republic. Immediately to the south of Brno in the Moravia region, there are numerous high-quality wine growing areas, including the outstanding, UNESCO protected Lednice Castle and the Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape.

The beautiful protected landscape and UNESCO biosphere region of Pálava in Moravia is the last part of the limestone Alps. It is home to a unique steppe ecosystems and an oak forest. The various types of limestone rocks combined with calcareous clay and sand lay at the origin of unique aromatic wines. There are many sustainably farmed vineyards in the Mikulovská wine subregion in addition to historical sites such as Mikulov Castle and Dolní Věstonice where the Venus of Dolní Věstonice, a ceramic Venus figurine dating to 29,000–25,000 BC was discovered.

Early May, visitors to the Vyno Dienos (Wine Days) at LitExpo were able to discover these wines and praised them for their rich aromas and subtle flavours. "One of the main reasons to participate for the first time with our national stand at Vyno Dienos in Vilnius was the need to promote the winegrowing and winemaking tradition in Czechia, as well as presenting the quality and variety of the production," said H. E. Mr Bohumil Mazánek, Czech Ambassador before the opening of the exhibition.

Winegrowing in Czechia, and especially in Southern Moravia, is not only an industry and business, but also an important part of the culture, traditions, customs and history. "Vineyards are an inseparable part of life of many families in the region for decades, even centuries. That is why the central and local governments supports the winegrowing and winemaking through various programmes," explained Petr Vavra, Deputy Ambassador in Vilnius. His colleague, Ivana Bílková, from state-owned agency Czech Tourism added, "We want to show our Lithuanian friends that Southern Moravia with its rich history, plethora of historical sites and monuments, marvellous landscape framed by numerous vineyards, is a wonderful place to visit, learn more about our country, enjoy the stay, relax and have fun with family, kids or friends."

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