These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.

Low Mountains, Small Batches, Big Flavours

    The restaurant at Víno Matyšák in Pezinok.
 The restaurant at Víno Matyšák in Pezinok.
 Photo: Ján Svrček

Picture a wine region nestled in in the foothills of a beautiful mountain range. Say it boasted a distinguished tradition that was ruined by a political calamity. Imagine that after a sudden political transition, a commodity industry rose up, producing large quantities of undistinguished wine. Amid the mediocrity, a few impassioned visionaries began experimenting, joining modern technologies with old traditions.

This may sound like the origins of California's resurgence as a world-class wine region in the 1970s, as it finally recovered from the disaster of Prohibition. But it also describes what's happening in Slovakia's Small Carpathian area in the aftermath of Communism.

No wine lover should visit Bratislava in the temperate months without touring the lovely wine country spread throughout the Small Carpathians. What follows is a survey, hardly exhaustive, of small-batch wineries that are using passion and new technologies to restore the reputation of one of Europe's oldest wine-growing areas.

These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2003.

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