Czech winemakers have something to celebrate. Not only is this year an excellent wine season but, for the very first time, the prestigious International Organisation of Vine and Wine has awarded a Czech publication on wine with a prize.
Vilem Kraus, one of the four authors of the New Encyclopaedia of Bohemian and Moravian Wine, has just come back from Paris where the award ceremony took place:
"The first volume of the publication mainly covers the cultivation of grapevines, the types of grapes that grow on vines, and the environment on which vineyards should be established. The encyclopaedia also contains a dictionary of words that are commonly used in the world of wine making. Besides that, some fifty wine companies that concentrate on high-grade products are listed to give readers an idea of who processes the grapes from our vineyards in Moravia and here in Bohemia."
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine, OIV, has been awarding selected publications for their scientific and original contribution to the vine and wine sector for 76 years. The works are evaluated by a panel of specialists in viticulture, oenology, viniculture economy, wine and health, history, literature and the fine arts. They are university professors, journalists, scientists, and even historians.
With just about 19,000 hectares of vineyards and not more than 600,000 hectolitres of wine a year, Czech winemakers have not had it easy promoting their produce abroad. The award, they hope, will help promote the good name of the country's wine. But what about the widespread belief that Czech white wine can be promoted but red wine just isn't good enough to make its name abroad? Vilem Kraus had this to say on the matter:
"It is a fact that the red wine we've been producing is from late harvest grapes, such as Frankovka or Svatovavrinecke, for example. These wines are traditionally acidic and are therefore currently not as 'in' as the red wines of low acidity and high amounts of tannin that foreign red wines have. So if you compare our wines with the foreign ones from Chile, Australia, South Africa, and so on, then you're comparing the incomparable because the character of their wines is completely different from the character of ours. So, in the end it boils down to taste - if you like acidic wines, choose from ours and if not then you'll have to get a foreign one."
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