The vineyards of Prague
Similarly to other towns, Prague has, in the last few decades, returned to the ancient traditions of wine-making, and vines are once again cultivated in revived vineyards. If you want to discover (and taste) true rarities, these are the places to visit, because these wines generally aren’t normally available in shops.
Where to go for wine in Prague?
First some numbers for the connoisseurs: there are six vineyards in Prague with a total area of slightly less than 12 hectares and annual production of about 45,000 litres of wine. While not a lot, it is true that Prague wine is more of a curiosity in the wine trade. They can be tasted during vintages and various city celebrations.
The view from St. Clare’s
For marvellous views of the city panorama, visit the terraces of the St. Clare’s Vineyard above Troja Chateau. It’s very easy to get into – simply buy a ticket for the Prague Botanical Garden, as the protected vineyard forms one of its exhibits. An educational trail leads through the vineyard and there is a wine shop in the vineyard lodge in the middle of the vineyard, where you can both sample and buy the local product. A Vintage, including an exhibition of grapes and tastings of sparkling young wine (burčák) and wine, takes place at St. Clare’s every September.
St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard at Prague castle
Several years ago the St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard, on the eastern hillsides of Prague Castle was renewed. The vineyard is freely accessible. It is talked about as the oldest vineyard in Bohemia, founded by St. Wenceslas at the beginning of the 10th century. Only two varieties of grape, Riesling and Pinot noir, are cultivated in the vineyard itself, with several dozen other varieties cultivated along the viewing path. In the lower part of the vineyard stands Villa Richter and the Piano Nobile restaurant, where wine-lovers are welcomed with specially-prepared, thematic menus and social events.
Viniční altán at Gröbovka (the Vineyard Gazebo at Gröbe’s Villa)
Another place where you can enjoy a glass of wine right in the middle of the vineyard is Gröbovka (Gröbe’s Villa), on the steep hillsides of the Nusle Valley, not far from Vyšehrad. Long famous amongst wine-lovers is the Vineyard Gazebo, an interesting wooden structure in the middle of the vineyard. The gazebo is open every day, and naturally serves mainly original Gröbovka wine, while also organising degustations of wine from elsewhere, as well as many cultural events. You can enjoy your glass both inside and outside, on the lookout terrace.
Salabka Vineyard, Troja
The Salabka Wine Trail stretches out above Prague Zoo, over locations with an unusual view over the Vltava valley. While the first mentions of viticulture date from as far back as the first half of the 13th century, Salabka, similarly to the nearby St. Clare’s, gradually deteriorated and lay fallow until the mid-20th century. Vines are now once again cultivated here and visitors are welcome for a degustation.