Znojmo, a royal town since the 13th century, showcases a remarkable mix of architectural styles from Romanesque to modern, including Brutalism. No entrance fees are required to explore the city's rich heritage. And we haven't started on the modern temples of winemaking of recent years yet…
The old styles seamlessly blend with modern architectural projects, often merging with them to create an unexpected and impressive interplay. One such example is the Enotéka, located just a few metres away from the Rotunda of St. Catherine and the castle.
The renowned architectural studio Chybík+Krištof from Brno is the mastermind behind Znojmo's Enoteca of wines. In 2019, the studio received one of the prestigious 10 Design Vanguard awards in New York. The award was the first of its kind to be won by Czechs and Slovaks, recognizing their visionary approach.
For the Enotéka, the architects applied their visionary approach wholeheartedly. It was ingeniously designed on the grounds of a 19th-century brewery, making use of technical buildings from the socialist era. This unique transformation retains traces of the original structures, acknowledging the historical and political context. As a result, the architects even incorporated an extension from the communist 1970s into the reconstruction, preserving the city's architectural narrative. Adjacent to the meticulously restored brewery, the Enoteca proudly continues Znojmo's captivating architectural legacy. While preserving the outer walls, they ingeniously incorporated dark wood seating at different levels within the snow-white austere interior. Don't miss the opportunity to ascend to the highest "box" and witness the seamless connection with the bar below! The Enotéka's asymmetrically spaced windows offer stunning views of the 800+ year old Gothic St. Nicholas Cathedral, adding to the delightful ambiance while you savour wines and coffee.
Inside, the tasting room ensures an undistracted sensory experience. The self-service by the glass system allows you to indulge in tasting wines from the Znojmo wine region in small, customised batches of your preferred choice and strength (with well over a hundred samples available!).
Chybík+Krištof also took charge of the prestigious Lahofer winery near Dobšice. The award-winning Building of the Year 2020 seamlessly blends with the natural landscape - it reflects the undulating terrain, while the colonnade of arched ribs follows the rhythm of the surrounding vine rows, embracing the wine motif within the interior. A monumental concrete wave connects the production room in one elevated section and the tasting room in the other, with an outdoor amphitheatre nestled in the U-shaped space between them. Feel free to visit LAHOtéka for a tasting or perhaps attend an outdoor concert from their cultural calendar.
You can also take a stroll from Dobšice or Znojmo to the Piálek and Jäger winery in Nový Šaldorf. Here, they adopt a highly personal approach, not only towards winemaking but also in the overall ambiance. The two friendly winemakers have been the welcoming faces of the winery since its inception. Incorporating the centuries-old Piálek family coat of arms into their logo, they've added a touch of heritage to their brand. The tasting cellar's new design has been skillfully crafted by the architects themselves, with Kamil Piálek, who is known to have a flair for painting, taking charge of most of the interior design.
When you visit, you'll be captivated by the prominent use of wood and pure materials like glass, granite, marble, or concrete on the ceilings. Don't forget to look up and admire their unique texture – during the concrete pouring, leaves found their way in, leaving behind a beautiful impression. The builders were initially concerned about this unexpected effect, but to their delight, Piálek and Jäger appreciated it as an embodiment of nature. This aspect perfectly encapsulates the essence of their wine project, which has always been grounded in harmony with nature from its very inception.
Both winemakers take a modern approach to the traditional winemaking process, and that philosophy extends to this property as well. Traditional elements, like the gabled roof and classic portal, blend harmoniously with modern touches, such as the "rusty" corten sheet and glass doors.
Inside, you'll be delighted by the prevalent motif of circles, drawing inspiration from the wine ball. This theme can be spotted everywhere, from the ceiling to the floor. The glass circles in the floor offer a unique view from the bar down to the cellar and back, ensuring that everyone remains connected, even in separate spaces. The absence of sharp corners creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, which you'll quickly grasp. Both winemakers have a great sense of humour, bringing laughter to all those who visit. However, their wine is no joke; it is also served in Michelin-starred establishments, reflecting its exceptional quality.
Visit the Konitz winery for a gastronomic experience and tasting of lesser-known grape varieties. They have devoted themselves to the exquisite fusion of wine and food. For a truly immersive experience, consider staying overnight in the winery guesthouse.
The renovation by Tomáš Dvořák architects has been nothing short of remarkable, earning accolades like the Brick Award 2016 for the best building of the year and the Big See Tourism Award as the top project of the Czech Republic in the category of tourist architecture in 2019.
The white building with a stone base exudes an air of luxury, thanks to its generous windows. Inside, a striking upper temple lighting window beneath the roof offers a glimpse into the elegant truss structure. The design cleverly incorporates original materials and technology, like bricks sourced from nearby demolished buildings. A harmonious interplay of natural materials such as stone, wood, and metal, including a splendid dark stone sink with an impressive pattern, adds to the allure.
The architects exercised sensitivity while incorporating modern accents, particularly in the ground-level spaces, ensuring minimal disturbance to the historic sandstone basement. Thoughtful lighting arrangements enhance the captivating atmosphere. The primary goal was to infuse the spirit of old buildings into a modern manifestation, and the result is a truly captivating blend of history and contemporary finesse.
At the edge of the village of Havraníky, you'll find the Thaya winery, named after the nearby river Dyje, known as Thaya in German. The confident design of the estate was crafted by the architectural studio Jakub Cígler architekti. Its centrepiece is the former granary, surrounded by other structures, evoking the essence of a classic Moravian village. The roofs of the halls mimic the undulating waters of the Dyje River and the surrounding hills. Every detail embodies harmony, with Austrian wood and Czech bricks "bobrovky" playing key roles.
The gracefully undulating roof smoothly transitions into an artificial hill above the tasting cellars and apartments. The recreational courtyard pays homage to the ancient tradition of Franconian courts, where wine was processed in mediaeval times. At the Apri restaurant, you can relish local wines paired with outstanding cuisine. Their kitchen revolves around local ingredients and traditional recipes, but with a modern twist. Try game from local forests or local fish, seasoned with herbs grown within the winery premises.
And what wines await you here? The winery's enologist says: "We raise wine like a child. We don't shape it strictly and sternly, but we guide it by hand to mature into perfection."
During your trip to Podyjí National Park and the renowned Šobes vineyard, make sure to pause at the Vyhlídka restaurant at Vinice Hnanice. In Znojmo, indulge in a delectable snack and delicious coffee at Balance coffee & wine, enjoy a fantastic brunch at půlnapůl, and savour a hearty lunch at the ReZtaurace, located next to Enotéka. For wine and food go to Slepičák on the oldest square in Znojmo called Slepičí trh (Chicken market). Those fairs took place here in the Middle Ages, today you can enter Znojmo Underground from here. If you're interested in seeing an example of Art Nouveau in Znojmo, visit the charming Svět cinema on Havlíčkova Street. While there, refresh yourself at the Bistrograph and admire the captivating illustrations by Matúš Maťátko adorning the walls.
Recharge with positive energy in Podyjí - the only national park in South Moravia. In Popice, visit the birthplace of Charles Sealsfield or take the Iron Curtain era trip.
Ist Ihnen das Thema des Artikels unter die Haut gegangen? Did you get the topic of the article under your skin? Enough theory. Come and discover South Moravia by yourself.
Slovácko is a region of still living folk traditions and the locals cherish them. Are you expecting one painted cellar with colourful ornaments next to another? Of course, they are here. But now we will talk about wineries in the modern concept, from the austere Nordic simplicity to a mill that is (no longer) a mill at all.
The limestone massif of the Pavlov Hills (Pálava) stands as the defining feature of the region. Those who have not been there should return their Moravian tourist passport. The natural metropolis is Mikulov, but other villages also have excellent wine-growing locations, as confirmed by the movie Bobule (Grapes). Among these, Valtice holds a significant position and serves as our starting point.
While South Moravia excels in white varieties, Velké Pavlovice sub-region stands out as the heart of Moravian red wines, thriving with blue varieties. The wines and the landscape here possess distinct attributes - described as both 'a forestless region without shade' and 'a region of blue mountains.' You'll be enchanted by the lush green nature along the way. Cycling enthusiasts will relish the appealing terrain and expansive vistas, leaving extroverts in awe and introverts uttering an eloquent aaah.