The village I’m in is called Nemčičky, which is in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic. This area has a really strong wine culture (To put into perspective how important wine is in this region…in Nemčičky, they produce 2000 liters of wine per resident annually), and the majority of the houses here (and in the nearby villages) have wine cellars in their backyards. Although they are used a little less often today, it is still very common for the families in the area to make enough wine for their own consumption.
And if having a small wine cellar in your backyard isn’t enough, there’s a place in the nearby town of Vrbice where you can buy or rent a wine cellar. These are built into the hillside, and there are 12 different levels of them as you go up or down the hill.
Today, another guy showed up at the Stávek’s to work for a bit. Nathan is from Australia, and currently traveling around Europe after just finishing at University.
After dinner, Richard brought Nathan and me up the road to his friend’s wine bar. This is a type of place I’d expect to find in a huge city, but not in a town with 600 inhabitants (until I realized how much wine is consumed in this little town).
The bar was opened less than a year ago, and the main attraction is the large variety of wines that are all produced in the winery immediately behind the bar. They have 23 wines on tap, and the deal is that you pay 70 crowns an hour for a wine glass…and for this small price, you can drink all the wine you want.
While at the bar, we met the owner, Zdenêk. He brought a few of us on a tour of the winery and cellar, which they’ve been digging continuously since 2005. Their goal is to continue digging (navigating with a compass) until they are able to reach his brother’s cellar and connect the two. It currently contains over 100 meters of tunnels and rooms, and is up to 20 meters deep in some places. And Zdenêk estimates that he currently has close to 40,000 bottles of wine aging in the cellar (he produces over 100,000 liters of wine a year…….oy)…If I were him, I think I’d retire, sell the house, and move into the cellar.
(sorry for the quality…iPhone in low light doesn’t work all that well)
Later on, as I was talking with Zdenêk (via a translator), he found out that I was traveling by motorcycle. Turns out he rides as well, and in two days will be going to the Brno MotoGP circuit with some friends, as they will be opening the track for the public to ride on, and he says I should come with! Looks like I’ll be taking a little break and heading to Brno for some motorcycling fun in a couple days!