There are currently six officially-recognised wine regions in Slovakia, all of them situated close to the country's southern border: the Small Carpathian, Southern Slovak, Nitra, Central Slovak, Eastern Slovak and Tokaj regions. The largest of these is the Small Carpathian region in western Slovakia where vineyards cover the south-eastern slopes of the Small Carpathian mountains as well as the areas surrounding the towns of Hlohovec and Skalica. The smallest and most exclusive region is Tokaj, which is limited to just a few municipalities in south-eastern Slovakia and is closely linked to the winemaking region of the same name across the border in Hungary. There are three main wine routes in Slovakia: the Small Carpathian Wine Route, the Tokaj Wine Route and the Nitra Wine Route.
Small Carpathian Wine Route (MVC - Malokarpatská vínna cesta), www.mvc.sk MVC is a tourism initiative covering the Small Carpathian viticulture region, one of the six official viticulture regions defined by a directive of the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture. The region contains vineyards covering 7,304 hectares, which is about one-third of the total vineyard area in Slovakia (22,847 hectares). The Small Carpathian Wine Route is the work of the Small Carpathian Wine Route Association, established in 1995 and uniting winemakers, municipalities and tourism businesses, as well as some volunteers, who seek to promote and develop the Small Carpathian region. The aim of the association is to foster the development of the Small Carpathian region, especially in terms of tourism connected to its winemaking traditions. The association provides marketing and educational activities for the region and its members and organises regional events focused on the promotion of wine and vintners. Top varieties produced in this region include white wines such as Veltlínske Zelené, Rizling Vlašský, Rizling Rýnsky, Müller-Thurgau, and Pinot blanc and red wines such as Svätovavrinecké, Frankovka Modrá and Modrý Portugal.
Tokaj Wine Route (Tokajská vínna cesta), www.tvc.sk The Tokaj Wine Route was established to promote the region, its culture and traditions – especially its vineyards and its production of Tokaj wines. The Tokaj region, most of which is located in Hungary, is especially well known for its sweet wines made from grapes affected by noble rot. Tokaj wine can be produced only from three grape varieties: Furmint, Lipovina and Yellow Muscat The Tokaj Wine Route runs from the city of Trebišov through the villages of Bara, Čerhov, Černochov, Malá Tŕňa, Slovenské Nové Mesto, Veľká Tŕňa and Viničky. There has been a long-running dispute between Hungary and Slovakia over the right of the Slovak part of the Tokaj wine region to use the term Tokaj for the wines produced in Slovakia. Exactly how many hectares of Tokaj vineyards are located in Slovakia remains undefined.
Nitra Wine Route (NVC-Nitrianska vínna cesta), www.nvc.sk Nitra Royal Wine Route (NKVC-Nitrianska kráľovská vínna cesta), www.nkvc.eu NVC started as an association of 19 municipalities but now includes winemakers from the entire Nitra Region. The whole Nitra Region is suitable for growing wine grapes due to its many sunny days, enabling vintners to produce high-quality wines. Vineyards in the area of Pukanec are unique in that they have the highest elevation in Slovakia.
The Nitra Royal Wine Route got its name from the royal court at which wines produced by vineyards on the slopes below Zobor Hill in Nitra were served. As this route is formed by several routes, it is the longest in Slovakia. There are currently four different routes: the Upper Nitra Route; the Tekov Route starting in Topoľčianky; the Southern Slovak Route leading from the Danube River; and the Považská Route along the Váh River starting in Vrbové. All of them lead to Nitra. Most of the grape varieties grown in Nitra Region are used for white wines such as Veltlínske Zelené, Rizling Vlašský and Müller-Thurgau, while several varieties are used for red wines such as Svätovavrinecké and Frankovka Modrá.
There are also a number of local, smaller wine routes such as: Wine Route Záhorie (Vínna cesta Záhorie), www.vcz.sk; Požitavie Wine Route (Požitavská vínna cesta), www.pzvc.sk; and Hont Wine Route (Hontianska vínna cesta).
Source: Websites of wine routes and www.winesofslovakia.com
5. Dec 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff