Melnik area and Czech Wine

The Melnik area, near the town of Melnik on the delta of the Moldau (Vltava) and Elbe (Labe) rivers, is Bohemia’s largest Czech wine-growing region. Various branded Czech wines are produced here of which the best known is Ludmila, which is sold in squat cylindrical bottles known as ‘ink pots’. The base wine for Ludmila is Modiy Portugal (or Blue Portugal). This Czech wine is clearly acidic with a taste of hazelnut. White Ludmila mainly consists of Mliller-Thurgau grapes and has a mild floral bouquet and tastes of fresh fruit. Both wines are drunk when young. The first Bohemian sekt is also made in Melnik, known as Chateau Melnik Brut, which is popular in the Czech Republic for its fresh taste and high acidity.

The next Czech wine region to Melnik has the town of Roudnice as its centre. Here the vineyards are planted on fairly steep hills alongside the Elbe (Labe). The dry white Czech wines here are mainly made from Sylvan Zeleny (green Sylvaner), producing a mildly bitter and spicy taste. The red Svatovavrinecke (St. Laurens) is an intense dark red wine with fulsome taste and mild nose redolent of fruit stones. The young wine is fairly unruly but the taste becomes more rounded with age.

In the Zernoseky area the vineyards are sited on south-facing slopes overlooking the river Elbe (Labe) and the central mountains of Bohemia. The best-known mountain is Radobyl and one of the most important places within this area is Litomerice.

Bohemia Czech Wine

The most widely main Czech wines

The most widely main Czech wines here are from Mliller-Thurgau, Ryzlink Rynsky (Rhine Riesling), Rulandske Bile (White Rulander), and Tramin Cerveny (Red Traminer). These are dry Czech wines characterised by their pronounced bouquets. The Tramin Cerveny (Red Traminer) is golden yellow and possesses a distinctive bouquet and spicy taste for a good Czech wine.

The most widely drunk of the red Czech wine from here is the Svatovavrinecke. This is a dark red Czech wine with a piquant taste that is dominated by tannin. The area of Most was the largest of the Medieval Czech wine areas but wine-growing and making fell into decay here in recent times. It was not until late in the twentieth century that new vineyards were planted on areas such as the spoil tips from the lignite (brown coal) mines. The vineyards here regularly suffer from frosts but the Czech wine from this area is of reasonable quality in good years.

The white Czech wine include Miiller-Thurgau, Ryzlink Rynsky (Rhine Riesling), and Rulandske Bile, while the reds include Svatovavrinecke (St. Laurens) and Zweigeltrebe. These are typical grape varieties for northern latitudes. The white Czech wines have a pronounced aroma and tart taste.

The red Czech wines are intensely coloured and have a definite taste of tannin. The wine-making centre of this area is Chramce. Kosher wine is also made here from grapes cultivated and picked under supervision of a Prague rabbi. This Czech wine is made under very strict conditions of hygiene. The entire process from the pressing of the grapes to filling the bottles is carried out by Jews.

The Czech wine is pasteurised because no other preservative than sulphur dioxide is permitted.

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