Exploring the award-winning wine and architecture of the Mikulov sub-region

The limestone massif of the Pavlov Hills (Pálava) stands as the defining feature of this region. Those who have not visited yet, should return their Moravian tourist passport. While the natural metropolis is Mikulov, other villages also boast excellent wine-growing locations, a fact confirmed by the movie “Bobule” (Grapes). Among these, Valtice holds a significant position and serves as our starting point.

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Obelisk, timeless modernism with an Antique touch

The design of the winery draws inspiration from antiquity, seamlessly blending it into the broader context of the renowned Lednice-Valtice area. The architect duo Bainar from the AiD team skilfully connected the building's aesthetics and essence with Valtice, the Reistna colonnade, and the panorama of Pálava. Like a timeless part of the landscape, the winery nestles harmoniously among the vineyards, evoking a minimalist reinforced concrete structure supported by three rows of columns that effortlessly meld with the 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, including stone, oak wood, glass, steel, concrete, and corten, gracefully age in harmony with the natural surroundings. High ceilings add to the grand impression and the warm color palette, ranging from beige to brown, along with the wooden floors and ceiling marquetry by artist Natalie Perkof, evoke the Baroque ceilings of Valtice Castle while providing a cozy atmosphere inside.

Even the rustic barn can be chic

Vinařská stodola (Wine bar) is situated right in the heart of Valtice, on the way to the viewpoint and the Reistna colonnade. But it's not just an ordinary barn! This unique wine cellar in a rustic style is connected to the Chateau Valtice complex and might just deceive you at first glance. In its underground chambers, it hides a wine sanctuary with a rotunda, fashioned after one of the most ancient temples - the Roman Pantheon. The architects opted for traditional building materials (aged fire bricks, wood, forged elements) and employed traditional construction techniques (vaulted ceilings and hand-sprayed facades). The successful revitalization of the entire area is further enhanced by a tranquil outdoor relaxation zone. The square, adorned with illuminated fountains, evokes the charm of historic squares found in major European cities, featuring a patterned layout of light and dark cobblestones reminiscent of the city centers of Prague or Vienna. Designed by the M2AI studio, the construction was finalized in 2017 and earned a Special Prize in the South Moravian Region Building Competition that same year.

Gotberg, where wine and architecture converge in splendor

The Gotberg Winery above Popice, crowned as the Best Industrial Building of South Moravia in 2009, attracts visitors with its exceptional wines and stunning views of Pálava from the open terrace. Get ready for a guided underground tasting experience! As you step into the tasting room, known as “Diamant,” you'll feel as you've been transported to a futuristic Hollywood movie set. The creative minds at Bukolsky architects ingeniously integrated the building with the landscape, artfully blending it into the hillside.

The exterior features a strikingly futuristic concept, with the production facility partially submerged into the ground and clad in sleek sandwich concrete panels, crowned by a pitched green roof. This creates a captivating contrast between the inviting warmth of wood and the minimalist austerity of concrete, paying homage to the rhythm of the surrounding vineyards.

The wine presentation takes place in the vault, which is the heart of the establishment. It evokes the traditional essence of a wine cellar but reimagines it in an ultra-modern concept, with a vaulted ceiling of reinforced concrete refracted in the form of a cut diamond.

Sonberk - amidst a flood of sun and wine

Sonberk, another pop winery nestled in the middle of the vineyards, has a similarly modern flair. Architect Josef Pleskot (AP Atelier) respected the surrounding landscape and the site's history, collaborating closely with the cellar master in its creation. The result is a building that reminds unassuming from distance, gradually unfolds in grandeur as you approach it. Even the broad access staircase conveys the wine house's friendliness and welcoming atmosphere, inviting you inside. The concrete production 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 help designed the grape drying area for the straw wine, with a corrugated roof that not only gently sculpts the light but also provides ample ventilation, allowing the grapes below to dry perfectly on wooden frames. Harmoniously tracing the contours of the nearby Nové Mlýny Dam, the dominant roof adds a captivating touch to the winery's aesthetic.

Kolby winery near the Pouzdřanská step nature reserve

The name "Kolby Winery"draws inspiration from the nearby Kolby forest. This elegant and thoughtfully designed winery, a sibling of the Reisten winery, is seamlessly integrated into its natural surroundings. In 2023, a dry warehouse was skilfully 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  provide an inviting space for wine tastings. The warehouse is cleverly designed, partially nestled 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 camping, providing a luxurious yet close-to-nature experience. Moreover, there are plans to renovate the adjacent château, further enhancing the allure of this picturesque winery.

Reisten Wine Bar: A modern gem beneath a romantic ruin

At another enchanting winery, you can relish a glass of wine while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Nové Mlýny Dam. 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, graced by a gable roof, beautifully complements the sophisticated interior within. ORA has artfully integrated natural materials and original design pieces, featuring motifs inspired by the world of wine.

Large French windows seamlessly connect the bar to a spacious tasting terrace, creating an inviting setting for wine appreciation. The intentionally simple interiors are thoughtfully designed to showcase the magnificent surrounding landmarks. Indeed, there's an abundance of captivating views to enjoy – from the breathtaking water reservoir to the vast vineyards, and  notably, the iconic ruins of Děvičky Castle, a beloved local attraction.

Friend of Pavlov (and exceptional wine)

The Pavlov winery with the cheerful name Přátelé Pavlova (which translates as Friends of Pavlov) is yet again surrounded by vineyards. The design by Atelier Štěpán the structure evokes the spartan simplicity of a barn in an ultra-natural form with a flat green roof. Emphasizing the use of primarily local materials and adhering to a narrow selection, the construction reflects a commitment to authenticity without extravagance. Two materials dominate the design - cast reinforced concrete for the exterior walls and wood for the roof structure. Inside, the captivating fusion of austere grey concrete with the inviting 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, blending in with the surrounding 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 advisable to arrange your visit in advance. 

Where to eat along the way

As you venture through the architecturally splendid wineries, you might find yourself craving a delicious meal. Don't miss the opportunity to savor 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.

What else to explore along the way

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 (which are also connected to wine!).  Just outside of town, a must-visit spot is the scenic Reistna colonnade, 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). While traversing the beautiful Pálava region, consider making 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

If you plan to hike the final 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 opposite direction via the picturesque Pouzdřanská steppe and enjoy breathtaking views of the Palava hills. Continue your exploration via Popice and Gotberg/Sonberk.


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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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