Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Royal Vineyards

Although a handful of vineyards survive in the city of Prague as a whole, these splendid terraces can lay claim to being some of the most ancient, as they lie on the land which gave its name to the district: Královské Vinohrady (Royal Vineyards), where vines were first planted under the aegis of Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century.

In 1870, Prague businessman Moritz Gröbe bought the land and erected on the upper slopes a splendid villa among whose visitors were Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Crown Prince Rudolf and the granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph) and her husband Karl Otto Windischgratz.

Gröbe's heirs eventually sold the villa and its grounds, which were taken over in 1905 by the commune of Vinohrady. The house and its grounds suffered in the allied bombings of February 1945, but since the war they have been beautifully reconstructed. The vineyard has been managed since 1992 by experienced winegrower Antonín Tureček, who over the last eighteen years has planted twelve thousand vines. Around 13,000 kg of grapes are harvested annually, producing approximately 9000 litres of wine.

Vintages can be sampled at the wooden gazebo which serves as a restaurant at one end of the sunny hillside, while the newly-built wine cellar at the other end dispenses bottles of white (Müller Thurgau), red (Modrý Portugal) and rosé.

1 comments:

Jilly said...

Glad to see you back, Alex, especially with some good vino! And great story of its history.

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