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‘First Lady’ of wine cultivation

DEVÍN and Dunaj: these are the names of an ancient castle near Bratislava and the river that forms much of Slovakia’s southern border. But they are also the names of the best-known new grape varieties cultivated by Dorota Pospíšilová, who first started cultivating grapes in 1952 even though her first officially-registered varieties came much later, in the late 1990s.

DEVÍN and Dunaj: these are the names of an ancient castle near Bratislava and the river that forms much of Slovakia’s southern border. But they are also the names of the best-known new grape varieties cultivated by Dorota Pospíšilová, who first started cultivating grapes in 1952 even though her first officially-registered varieties came much later, in the late 1990s.

Pospíšilová explained in a show on TV JOJ that for a new grape variety to be registered it must be much better than the grape from which it was cultivated in characteristics such as fertility or sugar content.

The white Devín variety and the red Dunaj variety are very suitable for the specific soil and weather conditions in Slovakia. Other grape varieties that have been cultivated by Pospíšilová for wine production are Breslava and Hetery, both white, and red varieties such as Hron, Nitra, Rimava, Rudava, Torysa, Rosa and Váh.

Though Pospíšilová has reached the age of 81, she is continuing her experiments, for example by crossing established wine varieties with wild vines to make a new, stronger variety.

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