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.
The inspiration behind the winery's design draws from antiquity, seamlessly blending it into the wider context of the renowned Lednice-Valtice area. The architect duo Bainar from the AiD team masterfully connected the building's aesthetics and essence to Valtice, the colonnade of Reistna, and the panorama of Pálava. As if a timeless part of the landscape, the winery harmoniously nestles among the vineyards, evoking a minimalist reinforced concrete skeleton supported by three rows of columns, effortlessly blending in with its surroundings.
Most of the building is sunken into the ground, the pavilion's upper glass floor treats visitors to an awe-inspiring view of the vineyards, making it an ideal spot to savor local wine/panorama. The materials, such as stone, oak wood, glass, steel, concrete, and corten, age gracefully in tune with the natural surroundings. High ceilings add to the grandiose impression, yet you'll be cosy inside thanks to the colours from beige to brown, the wooden floor and the wooden marquetry on the ceiling by artist Natalie Perkof, which is meant to evoke the Baroque ceilings of the Valtice castle.
In Valtice itself, along the route leading to the viewpoint and the colonnade on Reistna, you’ll find a wine barn. And not just any barn! The unique wine barn in the rustic style is connected to the Chateau Valtice estate and is a bit deceiving in body. In the underground it hides a temple of wine with a rotunda, built on the model of one of the oldest ancient temples - the Roman Pantheon. The authors have used traditional building materials (old burnt brick, wood, blacksmith elements) and traditional building methods (construction of vaults and hand-sprayed facade). The successful revitalisation of the whole area is crowned by a pleasant outdoor rest area. The square with its illuminated fountain evokes the style of historic squares in leading European cities, while the cobbled patterns of light and dark cobblestones can also be found in the centre of Prague or Vienna. The building, designed by the M2AI studio, was completed in 2017 and in the same year was awarded the Special Prize in the Building of the South Moravian Region competition.
The Gotberg Winery above Popice, crowned as the Best Industrial Building of South Moravia in 2009, attracts visitors with its special wines and the view of Pálava from the open terrace. Prepare to embark on a guided underground tasting! As you step into the tasting room, known as Diamant, you'll feel like you've been transported to a futuristic Hollywood movie set. The brilliant minds at Bukolsky architects ingeniously integrated the building with the landscape, artfully blending it into the hillside.
The exterior boasts a surprising futuristic concept, with the production facility partially submerged into the ground and clad in sleek sandwich concrete panels, crowned by a pitched green roof. A captivating contrast emerges between the inviting warmth of wood and the minimalist austerity of concrete, paying homage to the rhythm of the surrounding vineyards.
The presentation of the wine takes place in the Vault, which is the heart of the house. It is a reminiscence of the traditional form of the wine cellar - albeit in an ultra-modern concept with a vault of reinforced concrete refractions in the form of a cut diamond.
Sonberk, another pop winery nestled in the middle of the vineyards, has a similarly modern flair. The architect Josef Pleskot (AP Atelier) respected the surrounding landscape and the history of the place, and involved the cellar master in the creation. The result is a building that is inconspicuous from a distance and grows with every step you take as you approach it. Already the wide access staircase proclaims the friendliness and openness of the wine house and invites you in. The production concrete section, embedded in the ground, helps maintain natural thermal conditions. On the cellar master's advice, grapes are tied from the back of the upper section and fall down only with the help of gravity during processing. The cellar master also spoke to the grape drying area for the straw wine - the corrugated roof not only softly sculpts the light. It is airy and the grapes underneath dry ideally on wooden frames. Harmoniously following the contours of the nearby Nové Mlýny Dam, the dominant roof adds a captivating touch to the winery's aesthetic.
The name "Kolby Winery" draws inspiration from the nearby Kolby forest. This cool and tasteful winery, a sibling of the Reisten winery, is thoughtfully integrated into its natural surroundings. In 2023, a dry warehouse was skillfully added to the premises by the talented ORA studio, while a renovated space now serves as a charming wine cellar. The original building and the extension seamlessly merge through a pre-set steel and wood structure, which will eventually be entirely covered with greenery, adding to the organic charm. A spacious terrace adjacent to the wine bar and the vaulted cellars in the basement both provide an inviting space for wine tastings. The warehouse is cleverly designed, partially tucked beneath the terrain, ensuring optimal conditions for wine storage.
In the coming year, the winery aims to offer accommodation in charming cottages, reminiscent of glamping rather than tramping, providing a luxurious yet close-to-nature experience. Moreover, there are plans to renovate the adjacent chateau, adding to the allure of this picturesque winery.
You'll be treated to a stunning view of the Nové Mlýny Dam as you savor a glass of wine at another charming winery. The renowned ORA studio from Znojmo has worked its magic on a former warehouse in Pavlov, transforming it into an exquisite wine bar. The unassuming simplicity of the building, adorned with a gable roof, beautifully complements the sophisticated interior within. ORA has skillfully incorporated natural materials and original design pieces, featuring motifs inspired by the world of wine.
Through French windows, the bar seamlessly connects to a spacious tasting terrace, offering a delightful setting to indulge in wine appreciation. The deliberately simple interiors are thoughtfully designed to showcase the magnificent surrounding landmarks. And indeed, there's an abundance of captivating views to enjoy – from the breathtaking water reservoir to the vast vineyards, and most notably, the iconic ruins of Děvičky Castle, a local excursion favourite.
The building of the Pavlov winery with the cheerful name Přátelé Pavlova (translates as Friends of Pavlov) is yet again surrounded by vineyards. The design by Atelier Štěpán evokes a spartanly simple barn in an ultra-natural form with a flat green roof. Utilising predominantly local materials and adhering to a narrow selection, the construction reflects a commitment to authenticity, no extravagance. Two materials predominate - cast reinforced concrete for the exterior walls and wood for the roof structure. In the interior, the thrilling blend of austere grey concrete with the distinctive warmth of wood creates an enchanting ambiance. Respecting the location within the Pálava Protected Landscape Area, architect Štěpán crafted a design with a low horizon and a gently sloping roof, gracefully mirroring the natural terrain. When viewed from above, whether from a drone or the Pálava Hills, the roof seamlessly integrates with the landscape, veiled by vegetation. The tasting room offers a breathtaking view of the enchanting curves of the Děvičky ruin, providing a unique setting to savour the wine. For this delightful experience, it's best to arrange your visit in advance.
When exploring the architecturally splendid wineries, hunger may strike, and you wouldn't want to miss out on the culinary delights at Valtice's renowned establishments: Zlatá terasa restaurant or Café Hostina. In Mikulov, we highly recommend Kuk Bistro, the charming Pedro's Streetfood Bistro, or the delectable Víno Šílová Restaurant and Vican Wine.
While touring Valtice, don't miss the chance to explore the opulent chateau and its adjacent park, the delightful herb garden and hundreds of metres of underground beneath the castle (even this is connected with wine!). Just off the town, a must-visit spot is the scenic colonnade of Reistna, where you can take a leisurely stroll on the Barefoot Trail. If you're cycling, take a well-deserved break at the Portz Insel outside Sedlec, which serves as a bistro for cyclists during the summer months. Southeast of Mikulov, check out the renovation of the charming Baroque brick bridge Silent Island / Portz Insel. As you traverse the beautiful Pálava region, you might want to experience one of its fantastic short stops. Near Mikulov, visit the Na Turoldu cave or the Kočičí skála (Cat’s Rock) natural monument. Near Klentnice, explore the ruins of the Sirotčí hrádek (Orphan's Castle), or discover the captivating ruins of Děvičky in Pavlov. Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to visit the museum-architectural gem, Archeopark, or indulge in sports and relaxation at Nové Mlýny Dam.
Are you going to hike the last stage between Popice and Pouzdřany? We highly recommend stopping at the confluence of the Jihlava and Svratka rivers before they flow into Nové Mlýny Dam. You'll find lovely bike paths for your journey. Then, head the other way via the picturesque Pouzdřanská step (steppe) and enjoy breathtaking views of the Palava hills. Continue your exploration via Popice and Gotberg/Sonberk.
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.
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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.
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…