What a Pálava! | Posted: 21 May 2013
Locals don traditional dress for the Palava Wine Festival
Steve Jack

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Steve Jack

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Calling in for tastings is one of the highlights of our self-guided cycling holiday in Moravia

The Pálava Wine Festival is one of many celebrations in the Czech Republic that mark the grape harvest each year.

Wine tastings are meant to be enjoyable, wherever you are in the world, but in the Czech region of South Moravia, close to the Austrian border, the emphasis is firmly on fun.

It’s around harvest time, though, when spirits run even higher than usual with a glut of festivals and wine-related celebrations to enthuse and entertain locals and visitors alike.

Perhaps foremost among these is the Pálava Wine Festival in the enchanting town of Mikulov, which takes place in the first half of September each year. People come from far and wide to sample burcák, the year’s unfermented wine made from just-pressed grapes, and to sample the many regional food specialities on offer. There are also folklore performances, an art and craft fair, and concerts with some of the Czech Republic’s best-known musicians. The centrepiece comes during the Saturday parade, though, when a costumed ‘King Wenceslas IV’ parades through the main square. Said to date back to 1403, the festival commemorates the return of John Lichtenstein, the knight in charge of the Mikulov manor, who brought the king back from captivity in Vienna.

Further Information

Wine Trails of South Moravia

Cycle between romantic châteaux and the villages of Znojmo, Mikulov and Valtice, as you enjoy plentiful tastings in this refreshingly down-to-earth wine region.

More about our cycling holiday in Moravia >


If you’re considering a holiday to the Czech Republic, you’ll find plenty of inspiration, as well as practical information and much more, on the Czech Tourism website.

www.czechtourism.com >

The season’s young wine, plus three days of organised merriment, are also on offer in Znojmo in mid-September. Znojmo is one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Europe, so it’s fitting that the Znojmo Historical Wine Festival celebrates an even earlier event, the visit of Czech King John of Luxembourg, who came with his entourage in 1327.

Finally, should you visit outside the harvest period, then one unmissable treat is the Wine Salon of the Czech Republic in Valtice, where you can taste the top hundred wines in the country – we don’t advise you to try them all!

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