The climate in Slovakia is somewhat cooler relative to some other European countries such as France and Italy or Spain. However, this fact has not restricted Slovakia from wine-making. As a matter of fact, wine-making industry in Slovakia has been around for more than thousand years. There are over 400 wineries covering over 3,000 acres of land in Slovakia. While white grapes tend to dominate the Slovakian wine market, red grape varieties are popular as well. The most popular grape variety is Green Veltliner. Recently, many new unique and interesting grape varieties have been developed.
According to various wine tasting reviews the best quality of Slovakian wine is considered to be delivered by the following wine-makers: Mrva-Stanko of Trnava, Víno Matyšák, Milan Pavelka and Roman Janoušek all from Pezinok, Karpatská Perla (Šenkvice), Masaryk (Skalica), Víno Nitra (Nitra) and J.J. Ostrožovič of Velká Trńa,(Tokaj).
Chateau Belá in Mužla (see below) and Elesko in Modra, stands out with their ultra-modern facilities boasting a “wine park” , a gourmet restaurant and a gallery featuring Andy Warhol originals.
Slovakia consists of 6 wine regions. Tasting Table lists the South Slovak wine region as one of the Most Underrated Wine Regions in the World in 2016. This is primarily due to the high quality wines produced here and the quickly expanding market.
Another well know wine region in Slovakia is Tokaj. It is one of the smallest wine regions by size worldwide located along the southern border with Hungary. Despite its size, Tokaj produces some of the most popular wines in Slovakia. Tokay is characteristic by naturally sweet wines. After the recent article in New York Times , the area is starting to gain more and more attention.
New Grape Varieties in Slovakia
As mentioned earlier, many new local grape varieties have been developed in recent years. Wine-makers crossbreed popular grape varieties and create new, surprising and extraordinary wine.
Dunaj is red crossbreed of Muscat Bouchet x Oporto) x Saint Laurent, it delivers smooth and silky wines with notes of blueberries, pickled sour cherries, chocolate and coffee.
Devín is crossbreed of Gewurztraminer and the red/white Veltliner. Expect a nose of white roses and lighter, fresh wine. If from Southern or East Slovakia, you are likely to find a very full wine with notes of honey and spice with some sweetness in the taste. But it also depends on vintage,
Rosa is a crossbreed between Picpoul x Frankovka and Gewurztraminer. By color it’s red; on the nose it seems white. In your mouth it’s something in between. A very strange, hard-to-find variety that on the nose mostly resembles a rosé and on the palate “blanc de noir” types of wine.
Hron is a quite rare crossbreed of Castets x Abouriou noir. This silky Cabernet type of wine has a great potential to age.
Breslava is aromatic, harmonious and light. Often with seductive grapefruit aromas. A very hard-to-find crossbreed of Chrupka ružová x Gewurztraminer x Italian variety St. Maria d´Alcantara.