Small Carpathians Region
The Small Carpathians wine region is the most extensive of the six wine regions in Slovakia. Vines have been grown on the south-facing slopes of the Small Carpathian Mountains for two millennia. Green Veltliner, Silvaner, Riesling, White Ruland and Müller-Thurgau predominate among the white varieties and Frankovka Blue, Svätovavrinecké and Cabernet Sauvignon among the reds. The unique bouquet of Small Carpathian wines is renowned far and wide and the region prospers on its delicate high quality wines. Producers from the most important vine-growing region in Slovakia combine in the Small Carpathians Wine Route association. Thanks to this, the Bratislava region is closely linked to wine – the Small Carpathians grape harvest which takes place in September is an event known all over Slovakia, as also the day of open wine cellars dedicated to St. Martin in November and to St. Urban, patron-saint of vine-growers, in May.
The Small Carpathians Wine Route winds through the former royal towns of Bratislava, Svätý Jur, Pezinok, and Modra and villages with houses typical of vinegrowers. The wine route offers wine tasting in wine cellars, bars and shops across the region and sampling of local gastronomic specialities. Who could resist the traditional goose meat and pancakes filled with goose pâté.
Svätý Jur and its surroundings make an ideal place for a trip, with its terraced vineyards on the slopes of the Small Carpathians. Šúr, a national nature reserve, a site unique in Central Europe, can be found nearby.
The Small Carpathians grape harvest alternates annually between Pezinok and Modra, or in Bratislava – Rača. It is a festival noted for burčiak – fermenting grape must. (www.mvc.sk)
An interesting architectural feature in the small wine town of Častá, Fugger’s house from 1540 has a vaulted cellar with amazingly extensive premises.
The Small Carpathians Museum in Pezinok provides an opportunity to learn about the history of vine-growing and wine production in the area below the Small Carpathian Mountains. Wine from Modra is distinguished for its unique taste and bouquet; so also are the ceramics from here noted for their original ornamentation and colour. Slovak folk majolica is associated with several generations of masters which reached their peak in works by Ignác Bizmayer. The gallery is part of the Ľudovít Štúr Museum in Modra.