The vast majority of small, independent winemakers in Slovakia are family owned and run, producing wines predominantly for their own consumption. Hence why very few Slovakian wines are seen outside of the country. Now however, signs are emerging of a new wave of producers, helping to put Slovak wines firmly on the map. The biggest name of all, is undoubtedly that of Egon Muller of Germany, having become involved with the estate Chateau Bel Air near Stúrovo in the South. Bratislava, the capital, is to the far East of the country and much of the wine is made in this region, to the West lies the famous region of Tokaj (split between Hungary and Slovakia). Wines are split into three categories for sweetness, 1 - for dry, 2 - off dry and 3 - sweet. Grape varieties are a vast array of international varieties, such as Chardonnay, Riesling & Cabernet Sauvingon, however, strides are being taken to re-introduce indigenous grapes and hybrids such as Dunaj, Palava and Lipvinia. As with any emerging wine region, wineries are adapting quickly to new techniques, vineyard management and vinification techniques. Where before the wines were poorly made (oak usage etc), now the wines are showing real freshness, balance, terroir and elegance. Value wise, expect to see a number of Slovakian wines on the shelves soon, quality is on the rise.
See our producers Elesko