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Rača winemakers celebrate harvest

A VINTAGE wine festival that takes place every September in the Bratislava suburb of Rača will present this year's harvest to wine-loving visitors next weekend. The organisers, who have a hard time recalling back to the festival's inception, have prepared a rich programme, which will run from early afternoon on Friday, September 12 to late Sunday evening, September 14.


WINE festivities begin.
photo: Milan Oravec

A VINTAGE wine festival that takes place every September in the Bratislava suburb of Rača will present this year's harvest to wine-loving visitors next weekend. The organisers, who have a hard time recalling back to the festival's inception, have prepared a rich programme, which will run from early afternoon on Friday, September 12 to late Sunday evening, September 14.

The festival will unofficially open with what is called Burčiak Training, the tasting of the seasonal sweet, thick, half-fermented grape cider called burčiak. This pungent beverage is the sign that the wine harvest has been collected and pressed into barrels to mature into wine. Visitors will have a chance to taste several burčiaks offered by winemakers from around the whole Small Carpathian region.

"The Vinobranie [wine harvest] festivities will be officially opened on Saturday, when Bacchus [the god of wine] hands the traditional grape wreath to the mayor," said Eduard Brichta, the event's organiser, from the Rača winemaker association.

Bacchus, carried in a carriage, will lead the Allegoric Parade with folk musicians, baton twirlers, and wine-making tools. The procession will set off from Rača's Municipal Office at 13:45 and will head up to Detvianska Street to the Račan Culture Centre. An hour later, visitors can watch the process of grape pressing and taste the new cider in front of the local house on Alstrova Street.

Cultural performances of folk dance and music, as well as rock concerts will be running throughout the whole festival. Various sports activities and competitions will be held in Rača's streets. For example, local women will challenge last year's record of a 137.6 metre-long cake, while winemakers will compete for the most beautiful bunch of grapes and best burčiak.

Typical food offered during the Vinobranie festival will consist of lokše (a flat pancake made from potato dough) and goose meat, which will be sold at a number of stands set up around the festival.

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