On Friday people all around the Czech Republic began celebrating Saint Martin’s Day, which falls on November 11. According to a Czech proverb, it is the day which brings the first snow to the country. In recent years, however, the day has mostly been associated with the arrival of the season’s first wine and with the traditional feast of roast goose.
The first burčák of 2019 has gone on sale in South Moravia, the Czech
News Agency reported on Tuesday. Among those offering the fermented young
wine is Miloslav Machuča from Valtice, who began selling it on Friday. Mr.
Machuča said this year’s grapes were of high quality and in plentiful
supply, meaning that 2019 burčák is also good.
The appearance of burčák, which is fizzy and can resemble fruit juice, is linked to the start of the country’s grape harvesting season.
The Czech government has temporarily suspended plans to give farmers
blanket permission to use a certain type of rat poison in fields, orchards,
meadows and vineyards. The cabinet is set to debate the proposed use of the
Stutox II poison on Monday.
The Environment Ministry said Stutox II presents a serious threat to birds and other animals, including household pets, and that its use violates the law on landscape protection.
Its use was given the green light by the Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture. The institute, which is under the auspices of the Agriculture Ministry, has confirmed that the poison had never been used on Czech territory.
Czech farmers had sought permission to use the poison mainly to combat a widespread infestation of voles, which have decimated grain and rapeseed crops and are threatening corn, beet, sunflower production.
The Czech Parliament will in future propagate excellent Bohemian and
Moravian wines which may be sold under the label “Parliament wine” and
will give them as protocol gifts both here and abroad.
The speaker of the lower house, Radek Vondráček, on Friday handed out awards to those winemakers who won in an open competition allowing them to use the “Parliament wine” label.
He awarded wines in seven categories. Thirty-six winemakers entered the competition with 106 wines.
Two years after a law aiming to clamp down on bootleg wine sales and low quality wines came into force it still sparks controversy among wine-growers and wine sellers. While the Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority claims the quality of wines sold on the market has significantly improved, small wine makers say it is putting them out of business.
Tuesday saw representatives of the National Wine Centre and a special evaluation committee announce the best Czech wine of 2019. The winner is the Rulandské bílé, a special Czech form of Pinot Blanc from Castle winery Bzenec, specifically the late harvest collection 1508 from 2017. The winning vintage was selected out of a pool of 400 finalists.
The grape harvest in the Czech Republic should exceed that of the two
previous years, the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday, citing data
released by the Union of Winemakers of the Czech Republic and the
country’s Wine Fund.
According to the head of the Wine Fund, Jaroslav Machovec, the grape harvest is about 30 percent higher than the ten-year average. Contrary to expectations, the quality of grapes, with the exception of early varieties, has not been affected by drought.
Due to the exceptionally hot and dray weather, the grape harvest in the Czech Republic started a few weeks earlier.